World Toilet Day: WaterAid Canada Calls for Better Global Urban Sanitation

Second Annual INGO Report Shows More Than 700 Million People Without Proper Sanitation Are Prone to Preventable Illnesses

OTTAWA, Nov. 17, 2016 /CNW/ - One child dies every two minutes from diarrheal diseases. The physical and cognitive development of 159 million children under the age of five is stunted because of repeated bouts of diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and hygiene.

According to Overflowing Cities, WaterAid's second annual report on the state of the world's toilets, more than 700 million people live in urban areas without proper sanitation. The report, which examines the status of urban sanitation around the globe, demonstrates this is becoming an increasingly pressing issue.

"By 2050, two-thirds of the world's population is expected to live in towns and cities," says Nicole Hurtubise, CEO of WaterAid Canada. "Put into context, the line-up for people waiting for toilets in our cities and towns would stretch around the world 29 times. Everyone deserves access to a toilet, not only for personal dignity, but to avoid the many preventable health risks, such as cholera and Ebola, associated with improper sanitation. It's crucial we confront the issue now to prepare for the future."

"This report exposes several countries for failing to make progress in providing urban sanitation, despite rapid economic growth," says Andrés Hueso, senior policy analyst on sanitation, WaterAid. "Good sanitation is the bedrock of public health. We need to prioritize the provision of safe toilets for everyone for a healthier, more sustainable future."

November 19 is World Toilet Day. WaterAid is calling for:

  • Everyone living in urban areas, including slums, to be provided with a toilet to ensure public health is protected.
  • More money, better spent from governments and donors on sanitation, clean water and hygiene for the urban poor.
  • Coordination from city planners, governments, NGOs, private sector organizations, informal service providers and citizens to address this crucial issue. 
  • Sanitation workers to be given the respect they deserve with stable employment, safety and decent pay.

Find out how you can get involved: 
Read and download the full report here: 
Access the photo gallery here:

About WaterAid: WaterAid helps improve access to safe water, hygiene and toilets in the poorest nations around the globe. Its mission is to help improve these basic human rights which underpin health, education and livelihoods and are an essential part of overcoming poverty. The international organisation works in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific Region. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 24 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 24 million people with sanitation.

For more information, visit or follow @WaterAidCanada on Twitter.


SOURCE WaterAid Canada

Image with caption: "People walk past a urinating zone in Dhaka, Bangladesh. WaterAid’s Overflowing Cities: The State of the World Toilets report reveals that Bangladesh ranks sixth in the world for having the greatest number of urban dwellers living without safe, private toilets-- 23 million people. (CNW Group/WaterAid Canada)". Image available at:

For further information: Media enquiries: Amanda Speroni, Thornley Fallis Communications,, 613-231-3355 ext. 226


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