UN chief rolls out World Toilet Day

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Associated Press

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 9:33 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The lack of access to a decent toilet is no joke for a third of the world's people, but a matter of life and death.

Some 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation, the United Nations says, and more than 1 billion practice open defecation — a problem that contributes to countless deaths from preventable diseases.

"We must break the taboos and make sanitation for all a global development priority," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in declaring Tuesday to be the inaugural World Toilet Day.

Each year, more than 800,000 children under 5 die from diarrhea, the U.N. says, many due to poor sanitation.

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