The National Sanitation/ Toilet Day is an annual event commemorated in Samoa each year on the 19th November in line with the World’s Toilet Day, promoting the importance of the sector’s efforts towards the sustainable management of wastewater and sanitation developments for a better and healthier Samoa. This year, Samoa celebrates the 8th National Sanitation Day on the 24th November 2022 on the global and national theme of, “Sanitation and Groundwater”- Making the Invisible Visible. The theme emphasizes on the impacts of poor and inadequate sanitation systems on our water resources including our Groundwater.
Today we are facing a global sanitation crisis. There are about 3.6 billion people around the world still living with poor quality toilets impacting on their health and polluting their environment. More than 800 children die from diarrheas’ everyday due to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene. Poor and inadequate sanitation systems spread human waste into rivers and lakes and soil polluting the water resources under our feet. This problem is invisible as it happens underground. It is invisible because it happens in the poorest and most marginalized communities around the world.
Groundwater is by far the most abundant source of freshwater globally supporting drinking water and sanitation systems, food production, industrial processes and the healthy functioning of ecosystems. However, aquifers are close to the surface in many areas making them particularly vulnerable to human-made pollution from the soil and surface water above. As climate change worsens and populations grow, groundwater is vital for human survival. As such it is critical to note that;
1. Safe sanitation protects groundwater. Toilets that are properly sited and connected to safely managed sanitation systems, collect, treat and dispose of human waste, and help prevent human waste from spreading into groundwater.
2. Sanitation must withstand climate change. Toilets and sanitation systems must be built or adapted to cope with extreme weather events, so that services always function and groundwater is protected.
3. Sanitation action is urgent. We are seriously off track to ensure safe toilets for all by 2030. With only eight years left, the world needs to work four times faster to meet our promise.
The MNRE wishes to thank all the implementing agencies and development partners for their continuous support with water, sanitation and hygiene management in Samoa. For more information on the National Sanitation Day, please contact the or the Water and Sanitation Sector Coordination Division of the MNRE on telephone number: +685-67200.