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Friday, November 9, 2012

World Toilet Day on 19 November aims to highlight the plight of 2.5 billion people without access to a clean, private toilet
“I give a shit, do you?” is theme of global awareness campaign
8 November 2012 Geneva/Singapore:  “I give a shit, do you?” is the plea of the 2012 global World Toilet Day campaign put together by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the World Toilet Organization (WTO).
Observed annually on 19 November, World Toilet Day aims to break the taboo around toilets and hygiene, and draw attention to the existing global sanitation challenge. Sanitation is a fundamental human right. World Toilet Day was created to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper dignified sanitation that a staggering 2.5 billion people continue to face.
“Can you imagine not having a toilet?,” asks Saskia Castelein, Advocacy and Communication Officer at WSSCC. “Can you imagine not having privacy when you need to relieve yourself? Although unthinkable for those living in wealthy parts of the world, this is a harsh reality for many - in fact, one in three people on this globe, does not have access to a toilet! The World Toilet Day Campaign aims to raise awareness, inspire action, and make sanitation and hygiene for all a reality in the 21st century.”
The benefits of proper sanitation, good hygiene and clean drinking water on health and well being, educational attainment and economic growth are increasingly gaining recognition by the international development community. However, there is still a long way to go.
Designed as an online campaign, World Toilet Day wants to cast its net far and wide to get the attention of not just those working on these issues already, but also decision makers and the public. The website enables the world over to:
  • Share key messages about safe toilets
  • Advocate for better sanitation by hosting an event and registering activities on an interactive World Toilet Day map
  • Promote World Toilet Day by using the logo, posters, banners, stickers and brochure
  • Tell the world why You Give A Shit!
  • Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter
If you Give A Shit, then take action, share and learn on
Media Contacts
WSSCC – Saran Koly,; +41 22 560 81 74; WTO – Haikel Fahim,; +65 6352 8921
Note to Editors
About the World Toilet Organization
The World Toilet Organization is a global non-profit organization committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. It is a global network and service platform that all toilet and sanitation organizations can use to share knowledge and advocate sound sanitation and public health policies by leveraging media and global support to influence governments. Visit for more information
About the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council's (WSSCC) mission is to ensure sustainable sanitation, better hygiene and safe drinking water for all people.  Good sanitation and hygiene lead to economic and social development, yielding health, productivity, educational and environmental benefits. WSSCC manages the Global Sanitation Fund, facilitates coordination at national, regional and global levels, supports professional development, and advocates on behalf of the 2.5 billion people without a clean, safe toilet to use.  WSSCC is hosted by UNOPS, supports coalitions in more than 30 countries and has members around the world. Visit for more information. 

'Sanitation still a far cry in progressive Assam'
Naresh Mitra, TNN Mar 30, 2012, 10.35PM IST

GUWAHATI: Assam has a lot more to do in improving sanitation facilities even as more and more people in the state are watching the television and using cellphones. There is also a rise in buying of cars and two-wheelers, despite the fact that the state tops among 14 states using firewood for cooking.

The 2011 Census of India report on houses, household amenities and assets for Assam, which was released here on Friday, revealed that there was no significant improvement in providing sanitation facilities to people between 2001 and 2011. The census covered 3.11 crore population in 26,395 villages, 214 towns, including 126 census towns.

In 2001, 64.6 per cent households had proper sanitation facilities within their premises. In 2011, there was only a slight improvement of 64.9 per cent. The number of households not having such facilities has also declined to 35.1 per cent in 2011 from 35.4 per cent in 2001.

On the other hand, while 43 per cent of the households have cellphones, there has been an increase of 44 points for households using the basic telephone. The 2011 census found 48 per cent (42 per cent in rural and 81 per cent in urban areas) of the households use telephones and 43 per cent (39 per cent in rural and 69 per cent in urban areas) households have cellphones.

Households possessing television sets have increased to 27.5 per cent in 2011 from 18.3 per cent in 2001. There has been an increase of 3.77 per cent in houses having four-wheelers in 2011. In 2001, the figure was 2.05 per cent. Likewise, houses having two-wheelers increased to 10.15 per cent in 2011 from 5.21 per cent in 2001. The report also said that 9.3 per cent of homes (7.2 per cent in rural and 21.0 per cent in urban areas) have computers and 2 per cent have access to the internet (1 per cent in rural and 6 per cent in urban areas).

Another picture of Assam highlighted in the census report is that 80 per cent of the households still use firewood, crop residue, cow dung cakes and coal for cooking, while only 19 per cent use LPG or PNG, electricity and biogas. While 20 per cent have drainage facility, 79.59 per cent still don't enjoy such facilities against 79.6 per cent in 2001.

Households having electricity have increased to 37.1 per cent in 2011 from 24.9 per cent in 2001. Again, kerosene is still used in 61.8 per cent of homes as a source for light.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Making every toilet flush count—creating electricity from sewage

Treating sewage takes a lot of energy, but in the face of rising energy costs, creating electricity from wastewater is a near-ideal renewable energy option.

“Wastewater operators are asking themselves how to maximise energy recovery from wastewater treatment as well as minimising energy consumption in the treatment process,” Dr Greenfield says.

Dr Greenfield, chair of the Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation, is addressing an international water congress in Korea next week about achieving improved sustainabilty in the urban water sector.

He says the two most valuable products from wastewater treatment are energy and clean water.

“As the price of energy goes up, that will encourage wastewater treatment operators to become more energy efficient and look for more efficient ways of generating energy from the wastewater processing.”

Sewage, or wastewater, needs to be cleaned of chemicals, organic matter, bacteria and viruses—and part of the process to achieve this clean-up can be used to generate electricity, fuel, heat, biogas and more.

Treatment plant operators are increasingly interested in using methane generated from wastewater to power their plants and, in some cases, feed electricity back to the grid.

The main drivers for mining energy from wastewater are rising electricity costs and, similarly, carbon prices in countries that have pollution taxes in place such as Europe and Australia. Modern cities are also turning to greener design and innovation.

Dr Greenfield points out that, with time, “there will be different ways of collecting water—recycled, rainwater, stormwater, desalination, reservoirs—and a myriad of uses—industry, agriculture, developing and old areas,” he says.

“We will end up with much more complex systems than we currently have, and see great advances in technology. Operators will certainly want to recover energy, because energy costs are only going to go one way in future.”

The International Water Association’s World Water Congress and Exhibition, in Busan (Korea), runs 16–21 September 2012.

For interview and/or photos:
Dr Paul Greenfield, Chair of the Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation; International Water Centre, Queensland, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3014 0200 Email:

For media assistance:
Alison Binney, Econnect Communication, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3846 7111 Mobile: +61 (0)428 900 450 Email:
Jenni Metcalfe, Econnect Communication, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3846 7111 Mobile: +61 (0)408 551 866 Email:

Further information:
IWA Congress & Exhibition website:
Event hashtag #iwa2012busan

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Major sponsors of the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition are:
  • Xylem
  • Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction
  • Samsung Engineering
  • The Ministry of Environment
  • Busan Metropolitan City
  • GS E&C Corporation
  • Veolia Water