18 Nov 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times - November 19 is international World Toilet Day, and to mark the occasion in 2020 two organisations are calling on creative talents to produce a three-minute toilet-related videos.

The competition is hosted by WASH, an NGO focused on promoting clean water, sanitation and hygiene in Myanmar, and Wisdom for Life, a local child protective services organisation.

Though toilets are a feature of all modern houses and apartments, around 4.2 billion people around the world live without a safe sanitation system.

The main purpose of the short video competition is to raise awareness of this issue, with filmmakers exploring the many issues and solutions to living without proper functioning toilets.

The motto of this year World Toilet Day 2020 is "Sustainable sanitation and climate change".

"We can very easily damage the environment if we're not able to dispose of our human waste, including human feces," said U Tun Myint, retired deputy director of the Environmental Health Unit with the Department of Public Health.

"We try to convey this massage online, to raise awareness of the importance of proper sanitation across the world," he added.

To commemorate World Toilet Day experts and advocates will give public talks about public health and hygiene, which will be hosted online between November 17 and 19. The talks will address the issue of waste disposal, and the need for clean and safe toilets in rural areas.

Some speakers will also focus on initiatives taking place in Myanmar's cities, including the back-alleyway rejuvenation program in Yangon and the introduction of smart toilets in Mandalay.

A talk on waste disposal in Myanmar will also be available.

"If we don't dispose of our daily trash, wastewater and feces properly, the pollutants will impact people who live elsewhere – as contaminants reach other places via oceans and rivers," U Tun Myint said.

Proper waste management and sanitary toilets will help communities develop a cleaner and more sustainable way of life.

"If we recycle rather than dispose of our waste, we can also make a difference in terms of climate change," he added. "For example, we can produce biogas by recycling human feces. This will be a way to reduce our reliance on other forms of energy."

Floods, drought and water shortages often pose a threat to poor communities, and can have a devastating impact on their sanitation systems. With more reliable and robust sanitation systems communities can better cope with these problems.

For those interested in creating are encouraged to focus on the sustainable development goal: "everyone should have accessto clean drinking water and sanitation systems."

The closing date for the competition is November 17, and more information can be found on the competition's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/1586306408365202/posts/2764044000591431/