World Toilet Day: Toilets Create Health Impacts Far Into the Future

World Toilet Day is one day of the year when we all rally around an amazing and simple technology – the toilet. Unfortunately 2.4 billion people around the world do not have access to toilets. Water For People is focused on market-based approaches to end this sanitation crisis, and make sure families, clinics and schools where we work have reliable access to this necessary technology.

“The municipality motivated me to build my bathroom. Upon verifying that I’d completed it they gave me the sanitation hardware as an incentive. My family is very happy; my bathroom is the fruit of my labor.” – Erbin, Bolivia

In Bolivia, rural access to a toilet is as low as 34% across the country, but in municipalities like Villa Rivero, Water For People is making change through a market-based sanitation approach. Families like Erbin’s can have options for what works best for them and what they can afford. The best part: her children will grow up with the dignity, privacy and security of a household toilet – making healthy changes and generational impact.

Toilets are particularly important for teenage girls. In Blantyre, Malawi, blocks of toilets have helped provide safety and privacy to girls and boys in schools. With separate, private toilets, girls are able to manage their periods with dignity.

“Two years ago, we had only one toilet block that we shared with boys. It was so embarrassing having to go into the same block as boys. Now, we have our own toilet block and the boys have theirs. But our block is better because it has a changing room and we put flowers and plants around it!” - triplet girls from a primary school in Blantyre

With nearly 61% of the rural area lacking adequate toilets, increasing the number of toilets in schools is a key goal that will help children for generations.

In rural Uganda, a toilet is a hard thing to find. Only 26% of rural Ugandan homes have access to an adequate toilet. Water For People is working with local entrepreneurs to make toilets more accessible to rural households through business creation and loans designated for toilets. As Pastor Samuel points out, the ease and accessibility of toilets makes it so everyone benefits.

“Sanitation with this toilet is first class. It is affordable even to poor people. It is safe and is not very complicated to use. Very easy. Everybody can use it. Even a kid can go there. After doing what he or she does, just pour in water, and then go out. And it is very quick to construct. Two days, it’s already established.” - Pastor Samuel, Uganda

For more information about World Toilet Day, please visit, and learn more aboout our sanitation work here.

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