Posted by: Wasrag | November 17, 2011


World Toilet Day was created by the World Toilet Organization (WTO) in 2001 and is celebrated each year on 19th November.  It is currently celebrated in 19 countries by various national toilet associations, with over 50 events to raise the global awareness facing 2.6billion people (one third of the world’s population) which do not have access to basic sanitation.

In 2010 the “Big Squat” saw 600 people in six locations across Singapore Island alone join this campaign depicting squatting people trying to hide through the lack of any basic sanitation.  Many Rotarians may not be aware of the 5000 world wide deaths per day of children less than 5 years of age caused from diarrhoea brought about by the lack of basic sanitation facilities along with basic health and hygiene programs.  Nor are we aware of the restrictions that open defecation and lack of toilets put on the activities women and young girls in developing countries who stay home or do not go to school because of the lack of basic private facilities.

The UN and Rotary International have established Goals which include reducing those without basic sanitation by 50% by the year 2015.  It is now recognised this will not be achieved.  But it also does not mean we give up.

Rotary has for many years, added its effort to improving and supplying clean safe water to people who have not had access to this basic life requirement.  Many Clubs and Districts are now involved in extending their efforts to include sanitation along with health and hygiene programs.  Sanitation is recognised as having made the greatest single contribution made to improving the health of the world’s population in the last 300 years.  Sanitation plays an important part in the seventh Millennium Goal of ensuring environmental sustainability.  Rotary cannot continue to allow over one third of the world’s people to live with conditions which cause death, ill health and poverty.  Along with the WTO and many other NGO’s and supporting organisations, it must learn to react faster as since first mooted back in 2000, those without any sanitation facilities has increased to 40% which is another 300,000,000 people.

Water and Sanitation, Rotary Action Group (Wasrag) is working to implement programs that will help deliver water and sanitation to affected areas in South American countries such as Haiti, Uganda in South Africa, India and others.  Individual Clubs and Districts can also assist by joining with NGO’s such as Engineers without Borders (EWB) with a program like providing toilets to the Vietnamese Floating Villages around the shores of Tonle’ Sap in Cambodia, the WTO with its Sanitation Marketing Program and Sanishops in Cambodia as well as WaterAid with its many programs on the South African continent just to name a few and others which undertake similar programs.  Facilities which individual Clubs and/or Districts can help finance and build include both sustainable school toilets as well as individual rural toilets or, contribute finance to small sewerage plants with wetlands or sub surface reticulation systems in peri urban or other similar communities.  Visit Wasrag’s website at: “www.Start with



  1. Dear Fellow Rotarian ,

    Congratulations !!! WASRAG , for World Toilet Day.
    I wish you can help me solve the problem of our coastal area , a toilet (sanitation) crisis , for the benefits of the children , especially in their School.
    I’m from Rotary Club of Metro Clark , District 3790 ,Philippines
    Maribel Sison , contact no. 09193426850 /

  2. Hi Maribel. Keep an eye on the Wasrag newsletter and website: for the formation of a Wasrag Regional Team in your area. Or perhaps you might consider volunteering for the team?

  3. Hi!
    Please allow me to volunteer myself for WASRAG Regional Team.
    I will be attending the Symposium on May in Bangkok , please email me your program. Tell me what to do.Thanks.

    Maribel Sison
    09176075011 globe

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