GEORGE NEWS - To observe World Toilet Day, 19 November, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWA) in the Western Cape held a door-to-door campaign in Thembalethu to educate residents about good hygiene practices and sanitation.
World Toilet Day is celebrated every year to inspire people to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which promises sanitation for all by 2030.
Established by the World Toilet Organisation in 2001, World Toilet Day was made an official UN day in 2013. UN-Water leads a task force of international agencies to campaign around a common theme. This day seeks to educate people that sanitation is a human right and a toilet is not just a toilet - it's a life-saver and dignity protector.
The DWA, in partnership with the George Municipality, together with members of the community provided free toilet paper and items to clean their toilets to Asazani residents. Residents were taught about the importance of saving water, making sure your toilet doesn't have leaks and also washing your hands.
Malusi Rayi, DWS head of communication, said the campaign is part of their programmes which seek to teach people about good hygiene, sanitation and importantly, about saving water.
According to the World Toilet Day website, 4,2 billion people live without safely managed sanitation. This is more than half the global population. 673-million people worldwide still practice open defecation. Globally, at least 2-billion people use a water source contaminated with faeces for drinking water.
"Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 432 000 diarrhoeal deaths every year and is a major factor in diseases such as intestinal worms and trachoma. Children under the age of five living in countries affected by protracted conflict are, on average, nearly 20 times more likely to die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene than by direct violence," the website reads.
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