LONDON — Since 2001, November 19 has been reserved as World Toilet Day in an effort to raise awareness of sanitation issues in both richer and poorer countries, according to the Independent.
The World Toilet Organization''s initiative for 2009 is The Big Squat, which encourages participants to squat for one minute in highly visible, public places as part of the campaign, the story stated.
According to the article, the Swedish organization Hygiene Matters is launching a photo competition and is asking individuals to send in pictures of "the freshest, most interesting or most beautiful public toilets" for display on their website.
As part of the effort, The World Toilet Organization is encouraging website visitors to visit www.EndWaterPoverty.org and help improve sanitation and water quality where it''s needed most, the story noted.
Over one-third of the world''s total population, some 2.5 billion men, women and children, are currently without satisfactory sanitation, which in turn leads to 1.8 million preventable deaths a year from diarrhea, dysentery and various other infections, the story added.
According to the story, diarrheal disease is even more of a contributor to child fatality rates in the developing world than the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
To watch a video on the proper way to squat for World Toilet Day, click here.