November 19 is World Toilet Day

November 19 is World Toilet Day

November 19, 2021



Catherine D. Ong


The inaugural of the World Toilet summit was held on November 19, 2001, thus marking this day as World Toilet Day by the World Toilet Organization. While it might seem mundane to have a special day dedicated for toilets, it has become more meaningful than one might think.

The focus of the World Toilet Summit was to focus attention on the growing global sanitation crisis. The aim was to promote the importance of hygiene and the cleanliness of our surroundings and also to encourage the improvement of education, public health, environment and economic development. The theme of this year is “Valuing Toilets.”

For the 3.6 billion people in the world that are currently living without a clean toilet or properly sanitized area, this is indeed a crisis. World Toilet Day has continued to garner support from NGOs, private sectors and international organizations in order to boost awareness in addressing this issue.


You may join the global #WorldToiletDay conversation and show the world how much you care about toilets. By visiting the official campaign site, you can discover more about the issues and various materials prepared by the organization to help get the message across on the value of toilets, and you are welcome to participate in the online dialogue.

A clean toilet makes a world of difference.

Aside from hygiene, we also associate toilets and bathrooms to privacy and comfort. That was why in the Philippines, public toilets were once known as “comfort rooms.” During the American era, Filipino homes had incorporated what was called a “Tsalet system.” This was mainly where the bathroom and the kitchen were built inside the house, including the flush system and a shower. The bathtub came into the picture much later.

It is a necessity to have toilets situated not just at the home, but in communal places as well. However, public toilets often don’t have the highest standard when it comes to cleanliness or sanitation.

In Japan, where hygiene and innovations in toilet designs and functionality are of the utmost importance, toilets in public recreational places such as Yo Yogi Fukamachi mini-park and the Haru-noogawa community park. It is the first in the world to use smart glass technology where the glass would turn opaque the moment someone enters.

Photo by Satoshi Nagare (Courtesy of The Nippon Foundation)

A project by the Nippon Foundation, they have enlisted the help of Shibuya city, so that 17 of these toilets that can be accessible for anyone regardless of gender, age, or disability. From standard designs to toilets incorporating the latest technology, the toilet has come a long way indeed.