Toilet access a basic human right – Water & Sanitation Dept


The access to a toilet is a basic human right for all. This is according to the Head of the Department of Water and Sanitation in the Free State, Tseliso Ntili, in a statement issued ahead of World Toilet Day.

World Toilet Day is an international event that is recognised by United Nations (UN) and observed annually on the 19 November.

Created to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper sanitation since its inception in 2001.

Theme of this year World Toilet Day is “We must break the taboo” launched by Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General of the United Nations..

This international day of action aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge.

A day to take action raise awareness about all people who do not have access to a toilet – despite the human right to water and sanitation.

It is a day to do something about it. Gems found in human haste spread diarrhea diseases claiming lives of innocent young children worldwide due to poor sanitation.

World Toilet Day is also used as platform to celebrate progress made in reducing sanitation backlog and further recommit towards maintaining awareness on health and hygiene in toilets. Also to share latest information on sanitation technology option available both internationally and locally.

Improving quality of sanitation service delivery from construction to operation and maintenance.

By educating beneficiaries about their daily maintenance responsibilities. Toilets should be well maintained to be usable and sustainable.

Of the world’s seven billion people, 2.4 billion people do not have improved sanitation whereby 1 billion still defecate in the open mostly exposing women to danger. Unhygienic poor sanitation increases the risk of disease particularly for women and children. According to the International Labor Organization, disease transmission accounts for approximately 17% of workplace deaths each year and most of these are a result of poor sanitation and unsafe hygiene practices.

The elderly and people with disabilities often face challenges as well, since available facilities cannot accommodate their physical limitations. Toilets are one of the most basic human rights, yet one in three of the world`s population do not have one.

Partnerships with the private sector, researchers and technocrats are important to come up with innovation on sanitation technologies to address the global sanitation challenges.

Government thru Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched in 2015, is working round the clock to ensure everyone everywhere has access to toilets by 2030.

This makes sanitation a global development priority. Through the leadership of the Department of Water and Sanitation, noteworthy progress has been made to ensure that over 2 million households were provided with improved sanitation facilities since 1996.

Nevertheless the hard worked achievements by Department of Water and Sanitation there are still significant sanitation backlogs and eradication of these backlogs will need a concerted effort to reach target of toilet access to all by 2030.

Statement issued