“Sustainable development goal 6 calls on the international community to ensure access to toilets by 2030. Delivering on this basic human right — the right to water and sanitation — is good for people, business and the economy.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
Breaking the Taboos
Breaking the Taboos
World Toilet Day, on 19 November, is about taking action to reach the 2.4 billion people living without a toilet. The theme of World Toilet Day 2016 is ‘toilets and jobs’, focusing on how sanitation, or the lack of it, can impact people’s livelihoods.
Sanitation is a global development priority. The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone everywhere has access to toilets by 2030.
Toilets play a crucial role in creating a strong economy, as well as improving health and protecting people’s safety and dignity, particularly women’s and girls’.
The UN and its partners are getting the message out that toilets save lives, increase productivity, create jobs and grow economies.
To learn more about the connection between toilets and jobs, please download the factsheet.
To take action and join the global movement, please go to www.worldtoiletday.info
•2.4 billion People live without improved sanitation (World Health Organization (WHO)/UNICEF 2015).
•One in ten people has no choice but to defecate in the open (WHO/UNICEF 2015).
•Diarrhoea caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water kills 315,000 children every year (WAS-Hwatch 2016).
•Disease transmission at work mostly caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices, causes 17% of all workplace deaths (International Labour Organization (ILO) 2003).
•Loss of productivity due to illnesses caused by lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices is estimated to cost many countries up to 5% of GDP (Hutton 2012)
UNIC Colombo selected an interior rural village in the Central Province of the Island, about 235 km away from Colombo, to mark the Day. The Centre found that the villagers of this beautiful rocky mountain village do not have decent hygiene facilities due to deeply rooted poverty and difficulty in transporting building materials to construct a toilet due to non-availability of proper mode of transport as the only road to the village is totally damaged and washed away.
They take 16 k.m. journey up and down through thick jungle to go to the town to sell their produce and buy provisions once a week.
– Heading back to the hidden village – Plight of the villagers: A risky crossing over the washed away path
< Travellers helping UNIC Team to carry the stuff
Out of 35 families live therein, only 05 families have toilets and others practice open defecation. – A dilapidated toilet to collapse down any moment
UNIC Colombo arranged a programme to educate the villages on how the sanitation could have an impact on their livelihoods. The assistance of People’s Representatives (Hon. Chief Minister of Central Province, Mr. Sarath Ekanayake) was obtained to partner with the Health Department. UNIC selected 05 families with school-going children to provide toilet facilities as it is important to change long-standing practices that hinder the quest for dignity of children. The programme which was attended by villagers and school children comprised of the following:-
• Speaking engagements to raise Awareness and inspire action to tackle the local sanitation crisis
• UN4U – UNIC
• SDG through quality education and the target to ensure everyone everywhere has access to toilets by 2030. – UNIC
• Upholding dignity through proper sanitation practices – Public Health Inspector /Department of Health, Central Province
• Protect the Planet – UNIC
• Inspiring thoughts on volunteerism – UNIC
• Meet household Toilet – Assistance to construct 05 full toilets and 07 half built ones – UNIC with kind generosity of UNIC’s friend’s circle and UN colleagues
• Health Camp : Tests for kidney diseases and diabetes Distributing building materials for construction of toilets a “> UNIC’s team sets off for the Day
– Yuuka, UNIC’s intern from Sophia University, Japan, shares her passion for volunteerism
– UNIC team makes sandwiches for tea offered to participants
UNIC is thankful to Ranbanda & Wimala for all their helps.
PARTICIPANTS FROM UNIC:
01. Kumari Wickramasinghe – UNIC staff
02. Hiranthi Gunawardena – UNIC Staff
03. Nadeeshani Gomez – UNIC Intern
04. Yuuka Iwamura – UNIC Intern
05. Devana Salgadu – UNIC Volunteer
06. Thilanka Gunawardena – UNIC Volunteer
Courtesy: Mr. M M. Ranbanda of Galamuduna, Coordinator
Mr. Devana Salgadu, Team Leader
UN Colleagues )
UNIC’s friends circle) who supported the toilet project
Department of Health, Central Province
Department of Zonal Education, Central Province
Transport courtesy: UNDP Transport Unit- Messrs. Rohana Dissanayake, Jayamini Seneviratne & Ranjan