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Celebrating World Toilet Day 2012: stories, activities and pictures from around the globe

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Around the globe, on the 19th November 2012, people celebrated World Toilet Day and raised awareness of sanitation and hygiene issues. We asked you how your organisation celebrated and got a fantastic response. Below you can read about the inspiring and creative ways in which organisations and individuals in different countries around the world marked the occasion, raised awareness and spread the message that good sanitation should be accessible to everyone and is essential for a healthy life.



Dear member of CLTS. Yesterday was World Toilet Day. What my office do? We do evaluation CLTS for 5 villages; 4 are good and they will certified in December 2012. We do lesson model about toilet in 3 class at school of a village witch name Bancoumana, Republic of Mali, West Africa. Moussa CISSOKO Regional Director of Sanitation at Koulikoro, Second area of Republic Mali, West Africa.


Jharkhand: "Hi, thanks for your greetings. We have been working with the help of Manav Adhikar Raksha Samiti (MARS), an NGO in Garhwa District of Jharkhand and have organised programmes at Panchayat Levels to aware the villagers about sanitation. we also told them during our interaction on 19th November that defecating in open would not only enhance the chances of bacterial diseases but also impact the reputation of that particular village since people avoid marrying their daughters in villages where women are made to defecate in open fields. this way we made to understand about the importance of the topic." Mritunjay Kumar Singh

Uttarakhand: Global Toilet day was observed by SBMA-Plan in all 12 clusters in Bhatwari and Dunda block of Uttarkashi District. Under the school wash project it was observed in 7 locations and in rest by the community WES. Main object of the event was make community sensitized towards the use of toilet. Most of the cluster observed day at school level where they have invited participants form others schools and community. Read more

Uttar Pradesh:The world toilet days aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge and raise awareness for proper sanitation. An event was organised at Community Health Centre, Mall on 19th November 2012 along with the Health Mela. Find out more about the WTD celebrations in Lucknow


UNICEF: "Bonjour Petra, Je te remercie beaucoup pour les souhaits et encouragements que tu nous apportes. A Madagascar, les activités pour  la célébration de JML nationale consistent à des visites de sites DAL et ODF avec les institutions (Ministères , partenaires privés,.....) suivis  des ateliers de ''déclenchements institutionnels''  afin que les différentes institutions mais aussi les partenaires WASH ( ONGs ,Associations),les partenaires privés, tous prennent des décisions et  s'engagent pour des stratégies contre  la lutte contre la défécation à l'air libre et de promouvoir l'utilisation des latrines.  Un évènement de sensibilisation sera réalisé ce jour avec plusieurs entités comme la fédération des scoutismes à Madagascar. Dans les régions, les autres partenaires WASH célèbrent aussi cette journée par plusieurs activités comme la célébration des sites ODF. On t'informera pour la réalisation de ces activités. Bonne continuation, Bodo Andriamaroson, Wash UNICEF, Madagascar

Olo-majihy project: The “Olo-majihy” means “very clean person” project operates in the DIANA Region constituted by 5 districts - in the north Madagascar - for the National Sanitation program. We use the CLTS approach for the promotion of sanitation in this Region. We’ve choosen one district of our areas of action for the celebration of the World toilet day. It was realized in the District of Antsiranana II in the commune of Anivorano Nord. In the morning of the 19th november, the celebration was officially opened by the Secretary General of the DIANA Region.

After that, we’ve organized a meeting between the stake holders in sanitation composed by different members of Associations in water and sanitation, the Directors of schools, doctors and teachers also were invited. The goal was to make known all those stake holders about their responsibilities about the promotion of sanitation on their domain of action. As they are operating directly with the population every day, they should show examples of good practices and promote message of the importance of using toilet.

In the afternoon, we’ve organized animation and games for the occasion.  The subject of the animation   was “Sanitation and hygiene everyday life”. Student from all school in the Anivorano-nord commune were presented and exited to answer to all the questions that the animators are asking to them. Gifts were given to those who get the rights answers!

In conclusion, the day of the 19th November will not be forgotten by the Anivorano-nord people. It will have a positive impact for the success of the “Olo-majihy” project and for applying the CLTS approach in this Region. Alivony Ravelomanantsoa, Responsible for monitoring and evaluation "OLO-MAJIHY" Project, DIANA Region - Madagascar

Mahasoa: Bonjour à tous. A Madagascar, nous avons célébré la journée mondiale de latrine dans notre région et j’étais parmi les techniciens organisateurs. Les autorités de l’Etat central a conduit une équipe pour honorer cette célébration.

Je vous envoi ci-joint quelques photo durant la célébration.

1) Photo de visite d’une plage ODF de Mahasoa que Dr Kamal Kar a réalisé de déclenchement lors de son passage ici à Madagascar et actuellement ODF

2) Randonné pour vérifier l’état de l’ODF par la communauté et les autorités

Dr Kamal Kar connait très bien la spécificité de ce village, qui est un grand village avec plus 1080 habitants et il a conduit le campagne de déclenchement lors de son dernier passage. Actuellement ce site est ODF alors les autorités de Madagascar décide de le prendre comme model et de faire la même chose ailleurs et partout à Madagascar pour éradiquer totalement la DAL. Jocelyn  Rakotonirina


Nairobi: World Toilet Day was marked in Kenya just like in many other countries in the world. For the first time, a Nairobi wide event was held at the City Stadium (one of the major stadiums in Kenya). In collaboration with Plan International, Goal Kenya, KWAHO and the City Council of Nairobi (Community Development Section), Community Cleaning Services organized world Toilet Day 2012. The Community Development Officers were anxious to see the event succeed. The event was marked with excitement by community members and all other stakeholders.

World Toilet Day was characterized by pre even

ts that were held in all the five divisions where Urban CLTS is being implemented that is, Makadara, Kamukunji, Starehe, Embakasi and Starehe. The pre events involved cleaning 17 City Council Schools (with more than 18,000 children affected)with a total of 623 toilets, the purpose of this was to highlight the deplorable state of toilets in public schools as well as create sanitation awareness. The cleaning was carried out by 9 CCS mobile cleaning teams constituted of 66 members in 2 days. There were also community barazas, door to door campaigns, street theatre and banners that were placed on Jogoo, Landhies and  Langata roads. These pre events assisted in mobilizing people for the World Toilet Day celebration and increasing awareness of the day. Radio talk shows and posters along the roads were also used to increase awareness. Read more about the event in Nairobi

Kariobangi: The Equity Bank Kariobangi Branch in partnership with Global Peace Festival Foundation joined together with the community in celebrating the world toilet day in Kariobangi. The occasion marked the opening of the 4 public toilets facilities tagged   Kariobangi community toilet project by Ms. Lucy Kamura. The initiative is the Banks staff led under the leadership of Mr. Robert Kamanja the Branch Manager: with the aim of providing access to toilet facility to the banks 130,000 client base of which over 1000 people attend the banking services on a daily basis. This is of significant value additions and a mitigation effort following the results of the community needs assessments carried out by the Global Peace Festival Foundation in May 2011 which prioritized sanitation as a major challenge in the community. This also created an opportunity for job creation with one of the youths recruited to run the toilets which can be accessed by the community at a fee Ksh 10.  Partnership and collaboration is still being mainstreamed to see much improvement and possibly reed the area of open defecation. “We are happy with this initiative of the Bank and is going to really help the customers here and also the community. We have been suffering a lot” asserts the area village elder Mr. Alex Ojwang. Japheth Ouda, Global Peace Festival Foundation

Nambale: The World Toilet Day celebrations concluded well as Nambale District become the first district in Kenya to be officially declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). ODF is a situation where community members are using latrines, and there is no trace of faeces in the open environment, a process verified by a third party. 

Nambale ODF journey: Started late 2009 when Mlimani village got ODF. Ministry staff and partners become curious and anxious of the Mlimani success. They pledged to support the district. In 2010 GOK-UNICEF WASH programme supported CLTS training in Busia where 32 Public Health Officers and technicians were trained. They triggered 79 villages to become ODF. In May 2012, Nambale district comprising of 179 rural villages become ODF. This in terms of health benefits accounts for over 100,000 people reached with sanitation and hygiene interventions. This enormous achievement couldn’t go unnoticed, prompting the World Toilet Day celebrations to be held in Nambale as the first district to become ODF in Kenya. Read more about Nambale's ODF celebrations on World Toilet Day.


Plan Indonesia, participated in the celebration of the World Toilet Day, organized by Pokja AMPL Bappenas and World Toilet Organisation, in Senayan City shopping mall’s restaurant. The event was aimed to increase public awareness on the importance of having toilets and support concerted efforts to widen access for people worldwide to having toilets. Currently, around 2.5 billion people worldwide do not get access to healthy toilet.

The 2012 World Toilet Day was celebrated through a media gathering attended by a number of officials from Indonesia’s Bappenas (National Development Planning Agency), Public Works Ministry, Depok city mayor  and Jakarta’s celebrities. Plan Indonesia took part in the event by presenting a toilet entrepreneur Nur Wahid (representing Grobogan Sanitation Enterpreneurs Association/ Papsigro) and some Plan Indonesia CLTS staff. Nur Wahid presented his association’s activities that produce affordable but quality closests and sanitation tools. ”Papsigro is ready to supply toilets to anyone needing toilets. Toilets produced are not sold for free. They must purchase them.  But the price is affordable by the people,” said Nur Wahid showing off two of his closets. Nur Wahid also explained how to produce affordable closets and sanitation package.  ”Squat closet are sold Rp.40.000 (US$.4.5), while in the market, similar products cost Rp.120.000 (US$14),” he added. Despite low-priced sale, according to Nur Wahid he still gets the profil, because they have abundant raw materials from the village. ”such as calsit material is easy to find in Grobogan. (communications). You can read more in the Jakarta Post


Sindh: Community Development Foundation Pakistan (CDF-Pakistan) based in Shaheed Benazirabad Sindh district of Sindh Province, organized a campaign on World Toilet Day in its project areas with the cooperation and participation of Oxford Public School, Students, Teachers, Women and community members. CDF-Pakistan organized Poster Competitions among school student on topic of Celebration Toilet Day on 19th November 2012. Read more about the celebration activities hosted by CDF

 Mardan: The Integrated Regional Support Program (IRSP) being the national secretariat of FANSA Pakistan celebrated the World Toilet Day in Mardan and requested other provincial chapters to do so. To aware and mobilize the communities to adopt safe disposal of human excreta latrine models were constructed and placed at busy public places. The informative slogans were printed/pasted on the latrines. The displaying the latrine models was new to the public and showed interest by stopping and reading the text printed on the latrines. Read more about IRSP's World Toilet Day activities

Plan Asia

"Uttering the word “defecation” is often considered impolite. People say “going to the back” in Indonesia and “folding legs” in Cambodia. Many people also ask where to wash their hands rather than where the toilet is, avoiding the “dirty” word for the sake of politeness.

While talking openly about defecation may cause discomfort or embarrassment, it is a topic we all need to discuss. More than one billion people around the world still practice open defecation, the practice of defecating outdoors. Of this number, more than 60 percent live in Asia, according to a World Health Organization/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program report. "

Read the rest of this article by Hilda Winarta of the Plan Asia Regional Office

South Africa

Indeed we have celebrated World Toilet Day in RSA. The Department of Human Settlement deed took the lead and gathered the Limpopo Province people in the tribal hall for health and hygienic practices that they can employ in prevention of communicable diseases as it is rainy season(summer). Development Facilitator, Rachuene Cedric, Limpopo, South Africa

United Kingdom

We’ve been raising awareness around Shrewsbury with 23 restaurants and bars displaying posters, leaflets and table cards, encouraging people to try and imagine how different their lives would be if they did not have a decent and dignified place to go to the toilet. They were being encouraged to ‘spend a penny’  every time they went to the toilet, by making a donation to our work by text message. There were also collection tins at the tills to collect for our campaign and leaflets about our activities to increase hygiene and sanitation levels in Zambia.  We’ve had lots of interest and enthusiasm and it’s definitely raised the profile of our work. Clare Wearden and Ian Stone, Village Water, Shrewsbury




Date: 27 November 2012