Celebrating World Toilet Day with Education

Pakistani schoolchildren learn the importance of sanitation and hygiene.
Credit: N. Sobecki
Credit: N. Sobecki

Earlier this year, the United Nations designated November 19th as World Toilet Day in order to raise awareness for the 2.5 billion people who do not have access to sanitation and toilets. In Pakistan, one of the countries where Action Against Hunger works, more than 43 million people do not have access to proper sanitation, and sanitation-related diseases are responsible for more than half of all deaths of children under five.

Since our work focuses on malnutrition, why do we care about water and sanitation? Waterborne diseases like diarrhea contribute to and severely aggravate childhood malnutrition. Poor sanitation also has a serious impact on education: children frequently miss school due to hygiene-related diseases. For these reasons and others, we are working to improve access to safe sanitation across Pakistan. Last year alone, we served nearly 150,000 people in Pakistan with water, sanitation, and hygiene-related interventions.

Our base in Dadu, Pakistan celebrated World Toilet Day by linking up with local NGOs and the government Primary and Middle School. Over 200 children participated in an event focusing on:

  • Limitations in sanitation coverage in Pakistan
  • Sanitation-related diseases
  • The importance of sanitation facilities
  • Stories from schoolchildren
  • The importance of handwashing, with a demonstration

Children also received soap and participated in an awareness walk around the community.

We thank our staff in Dadu and school officials for organizing such an informative and important event. And we thank our dedicated supporters who help us provide safe sanitation for children in Pakistan and across the world.

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About Dominique Hernandez

Dominique manages Action Against Hunger's online community and social fundraising efforts. Find Dominique on Google+.