The sanitation challenge remains a global crisis: in 2014 more than one-in-three people on this planet still do not have access to improved sanitation, and one-in-seven face the indignity of defecating in the open.
With the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals approaching in 2015, the goal for sanitation has not even nearly been reached – in fact it’s one of the most lagging development goals.
Since it was founded in 2001, World Toilet Organization (WTO) has played an important role in legitimising the sanitation agenda, and shining a spotlight on this challenge. This is evidenced through the achievements of such milestones as having World Toilet Day established by WTO, adopted by the United Nations as an official day in 2013: UN World Toilet Day on 19 November.
The release of our Annual Report for 2014 has given us an opportunity to take a look back at some of our achievements over the last year.
Here are just a few of the highlights of 2014:
- Launched the global Urgent Run: in 2014 World Toilet Organization launched the Urgent Run for UN World Toilet Day – with 22 global events in 13 countries in the first year for the event, thousands around the world were engaged with the issue of sanitation. The flagship event organized by WTO was held in Singapore, with events led by supporters, members, partners and other organisations taking place in countries including India, Germany, Italy, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Benin, Gambia, and Mozambique. We have plans to make the global Urgent Run bigger and better for 2015!
- Global Advocacy Engagements: with more than 50 high level advocacy engagements around the world, including the India Today Conclave, World Economic Forum, BOP World Convention and UN World Toilet Day at the UN headquarters in New York. Advocacy has been the cornerstone of WTO’s work since 2001, and we continue to focus on global advocacy to break the toilet taboo, and draw attention to the global sanitation crisis.
- Sustainable Sanitation to 5,000 Households: Through our sanitation social enterprise SaniShop, nearly 5,000 households in Cambodia and India gained access to sustainable sanitation. Our market based approach to sustainable sanitation empowers local communities to improve their health and wellbeing through access to sanitation, as well as improving livelihoods.
- Expanding SaniShop: Mozambique is in the top 10 countries in the world in terms of number of people defecating in the open. In 2014 with our partners ACRA-CCS, and local NGO ESTAMOS, and funding from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we’ve started to set up our SaniShop model in Mozambique.
- Mr Toilet Becomes Village Chief in Samoa: Our Founder Jack Sim was bestowed with an honorary Ma’tai Chieftain title of Tuifalevao for the village of Falevao, in Samoa in honour of his sanitation work by Prime Minister of Samoa in appreciation of his global sanitation work. The name of the village Falevao means ‘grass hut’, which is a euphemism for toilet in Samoa.
Read our full Annual Report to see what we achieved in 2014.
We need to maintain the spotlight on sanitation and accelerate progress towards ‘sanitation for all’. And we need all players to work in a coordinated, collaborative way.
That is why our work goes beyond that being implemented by our organisation. WTO since its inception has acted as a catalyst, mobilising the global sanitation movement, and we will continue working in collaboration and empowering stakeholders and actors in the sanitation sector to tackle this challenge head on.
And going forward, we will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with as many governments, companies, NGOs, motivated individuals and sanitation players as possible to focus on solving the sanitation crisis.
We hope you’ll join us on this meaningful journey towards a day when everyone, everywhere will have access to a proper toilet anytime they need to use one!
Download our Annual Report (PDF) for 2014.