This year’s observance focuses on ‘toilets and jobs’ and the impact of sanitation — or the lack of it — on livelihoods and work environments.
Toilets play a crucial role in creating a strong economy. A lack of toilets at work and at home has severe consequences, including poor health leading to absenteeism, reduced concentration, exhaustion, and decreased productivity. About 17 per cent of all workplace deaths are caused by disease transmission at work.
Access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) can make economies grow faster. Approximately $260 billion is lost each year to the effects of poor sanitation and unsafe water. Every dollar invested in water and sanitation leads to $4 in economic returns.
Yet at least 2.4 billion people across the world lack access to toilets and are struggling to stay well, keep their children alive and work towards a better future. Investing in appropriate toilets is especially important for women and girls so that they have private, clean and safe facilities, and are able to manage menstruation or pregnancy safely.
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. Let us continue working towards a world where everyone, everywhere, has adequate and equitable sanitation.