World Toilet Day, November 19th, is a UN-supported day which was created to raise awareness about the issues of water and sanitation around the world. 2.4 Billion people in the world lack access to improved sanitation, and 1 Billion people still practice open defecation. A lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation causes many health, environmental, and social problems.
To mark World Toilet Day and raise awareness about the issues of water and sanitation, our Canadian delegate Alex Miller organized a multidisciplinary discussion panel at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. The panel featured academics and professionals involved in the issues of water, sanitation, and health. Professors with backgrounds in biology, human nutrition, and anthropology, as well as two representatives from the Coady International Institute, took place in the
discusson panel. Topics ranging from sewage treatment, droughts, water conservation, and the First Nations water crisis in Canada were discussed.
The event was a success, attracting students, faculty, and community members who participated in a discussion once the panelists had finished their presentations. More work needs to be done to address the issues of water and sanitation around the world, and the North American Youth Parliament for Water (NAYPW) member Alex Miller hopes events such as the discussion panel will help improve public awareness about the topics.