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November 2019

Are you taking your toilet for granted?

Written by Lemay Rogers
Cleanliness and Hygiene

Have you heard of World Toilet Day? You might think I’m joking but World Toilet Day is an actual observance day celebrated on the 11th of November annually and it has a very important message.

This day was established by the World Toilet Organisation in 2001 and made an official UN day in 2013.  UN-Water leads a task force of international agencies to campaign for the global sanitation crisis and to help achieve Sustainable Development Goal #6, which promises sanitation for ALL by 2030.

According to the World Toilet Day website, 4.2 billion people don’t have safely managed sanitation and don’t have access to safe toilets.  That means that about half the world’s population does not have access to a basic human right. 

They have also created an amazing tool to demonstrate this called The Toilet Privilege Race. Where do you think your circumstances will rate compared to the global personas?

The Toilet Privilege Race game

This year’s theme for World Toilet Day is leaving no one behind, which focuses on the contribution of sanitation to the upliftment of people from poverty. 

But how does sanitation contribute to poverty alleviation?  

Looking at the facts, 673 million people are still practising open defecation worldwide and there are at least 2 billion people who use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces.  Faeces contain harmful bacteria that will make you sick. How sick? UN-Water says that more than 297 000 children under five die annually from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water.   That is enough children to fill 342 Airbus A380s.

I found a great video supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on how the toilet changed history.  Take a few minutes to watch it, I promise you will see toilets in a whole new light.


At Initial, we are passionate about hygiene and  - by default - about toilets. Remember that good toilet hygiene includes a thorough toilet hygiene routine and a rigorous hand washing routine.  We have also created some Loo Laws bathroom etiquette posters to help your team during their daily routines in the office.

clean bathroom posters download

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Lemay Rogers

Lemay Rogers

Lémay Rogers is the Marketing Manager for Rentokil Initial's Sub-Saharan Africa region. When not contributing to the Rentokil Initial blogs, she is the custodian of all things Marketing for Rentokil Initial Sub-Saharan Africa. As a frequent traveller AND mother of a pre-schooler, she is all too aware of how easily germs can travel with us, from one location to another and then back to our homes. Follow Lémay on Twitter and LinkedIn for practical pest control advice on good hygiene practices, both at home and in the workplace.

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