By Lisa Talley, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Rotary Action Group Marketing and Communications Chair
Today alone, 1,000 children under five will die due to a preventable disease spread through open defecation. According to the United Nations, there are 3.5 billion people still living without access to safe toilets. Today, and every day, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Rotary Action Group, works hard to help eradicate waterborne diseases. This year, on World Toilet Day, we invite you to join in the fight against this global crisis.
From remote villages to dense urban islands, when children lack access to clean water and toilets, they are often forced to leave school. The rise of disease poses a threat to everyone’s health, especially affecting women, girls, and other vulnerable groups. Preventable diseases can be reduced through the construction of sanitation facilities and culturally appropriate hygiene education. The Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Rotary Action Group Ambassadors support clubs by advising on project plans and helping implement sustainable projects and global grants.
If everyone does their part, we can accomplish the United Nations sanitation target of Sustainable Development Goal 6 – safe toilets and water for all by 2030.
Since 2007, our Rotary Action Group has advised and funded water, sanitation, and hygiene projects all over the globe. We also help clubs ensure project sustainability, stressing the importance of a needs-driven approach, find project partners, and develop and share best practices. We host an annual World Water Summit featuring world leaders who are experts in water, sanitation, and hygiene, giving our members the opportunity to ask questions and accelerate change in the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector. Our network connects individuals without sector experience with the experts they need to plan, implement, and measure the lifesaving impact of a water, sanitation, and hygiene project.
Today, you can help us save a life, like Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Rotary Action Group supporter Barbara Lovegrove in the United Kingdom, who is assisting others in six schools in rural Nepal; or Narayan Muraka from the United States, who is organizing water, sanitation, and hygiene efforts in Guatemala; or Sally and Keith Halsey in Uganda who are volunteering to share about best practices for successful water, sanitation, and hygiene projects. Visit our website or subscribe to our free newsletter for resources, project ideas, and to learn how you can change the water, sanitation, and hygiene world. Today is the day!
And we hope you’ll join us for our next World Water Summit, scheduled to take place in Singapore preceding the 2024 Rotary International Convention. The theme for our 2024 Summit is We Can’t Wait, where we will underline the critical importance of sanitation in community health, economic growth, food security, and the alleviation of poverty. Register to attend live in Singapore or virtually to hear from Jack Sim, founder and director of the World Toilet Organization, and others.