Tuesday, November 19th, Palms for Life Fund Swaziland will join countries around the world in a surprising celebration: World Toilet Day. The event will be hosted by Nkalangeni Primary School, north of Mbabane, where Palms for Life Fund has recently built a new, hygienic toilet structure for the school’s students, thanks to a grant by USAID. On this important day, Palms for Life Fund Swaziland joins with the United Nations and the international community to help ensure “Sanitation for All” and to bring awareness to the critical issue of good sanitation and health.
The USAID grant has enabled Palms for Life Fund to build 54 new toilet structures of varying shapes and sizes, as well as 150 rehabilitated latrines, which were in dire need of repair in 120 participating schools. The project, called “Enhanced Water Supply, Sanitation and Food Security in Swaziland,” is benefitting more than 40,000 school children with improved infrastructure, school gardens and information on best sanitation and hygiene practices.
World Toilet Day was officially adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, and Palms for Life Fund is contributing toward one of the important challenges of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals: to improve sanitation among people living in poverty and thereby reduce the incidence of diarrhea and other diseases that result in the death of thousands of children under five, every year.
“The amusement and laughter likely to follow the designation of 19 November as ‘World Toilet Day’ would all be worthwhile if people’s attention was drawn to the fact that 2.5 billion people lacked proper sanitation and 1.1 billion were forced to defecate in the open, the General Assembly heard today,” a U.N. press release reads.
According to the UN, 1 in 3 people do not have a basic toilet, and nearly 2,000 children die daily from preventable diarrheal diseases. The aim of the World Toilet Day is to create awareness around the importance of good sanitation and to highlight the importance of assisting people who are suffering with inadequate sanitation facilities.