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World Toilet Day 2023: Accelerating Change

World Toilet Day 2023 animation of toilet and bird

World Toilet Day 2023, on 19 November, will focus on the theme of ‘Accelerating Change’.

World Toilet Day is an annual United Nations Observance promoted through a worldwide public campaign that encourages action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. 

Today, there are 3.5 billion people still living without safe toilets and 419 million people still practising ‘open defecation’. In these situations, diseases spread, killing 1,000 children under-five every single day. This global crisis poses a threat to nature and everyone’s health, particularly women, girls, and other vulnerable groups.  

With just seven years left, the world has to work, on average, five times faster to meet the sanitation target of SDG 6 – safe toilets and water for all by 2030 – on time.

The World Toilet Day 2023 campaign uses the ancient tale of the hummingbird who does what she can to fight a great fire – carrying droplets of water in her beak. The story conveys the idea that each of us can take actions – however small – to help solve a big problem.

The campaign also targets governments, companies and organizations of all kinds to commit to the Water Action Agenda, announced at the UN 2023 Water Conference in March, which is a collection of existing and new institutional commitments to make rapid change on sanitation and water. 

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