|[CNN]World Toilet Day aims to improve sanitation for 2.5 billion haewoojae ㅣ 2013-11-26 ㅣ 3650|
World Toilet Day aims to improve sanitation for 2.5 billion
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)
Read more: Mr. Toilet House" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/131119172946-world-toilet-day---mr-toilet-house-horizontal-gallery.jpg" width=640 height=360> In honor of World Toilet Day on November 19, designated by the United Nations to raise awareness for 2.5 billion people who do not have access to sanitation and toilets, here's a look at some toilet-themed venues around the world. First up is the two-story toilet-shaped Mr. Toilet House in Suwon, South Korea. A museum devoted to toilets, it used to be the private home of former congressman and mayor of Suwon, who was known as "Mr. Toilet" for his interest in toilets and sanitation. He founded the World Toilet General Assembly and served as chairman. The museum showcases exhibits on the history of toilets and efforts to fund public bathrooms in underdeveloped countries. Read more: Mr. Toilet House
Read more: Flush Japanese City builds world's biggest toilet" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/131119170424-world-toilet-day---japan-garden-horizontal-gallery.jpeg" width=640 height=360> The public toilet in Ichihara, Japan, was built by architect Sou Fujimoto to claim the title of the "world's largest toilet." On 200 square meters of open garden, this toilet sits inside a glass box and is surrounded by a two-meter fence to shelter it from prying eyes. The city commissioned it with the hope of attracting tourists. Read more: Flush Japanese City builds world's biggest toilet
There are quite a few London restaurants that have made a point of using former toilet spaces as their venues. The Attendant, a subterranean London cafe, occupies a former Victorian toilet built in the 1890s. The interior retains the original floors, walls and urinals. Each urinal has been transformed into a seating cubicle. Read more: London's dash to 'toilet restaurants'
Read more: Shanghai bathroom fashion statements" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/131119172233-toilet---art-lab-moca-vertical-gallery.jpg" width=270 height=360>The swirly patterns on the toilets at MoCa in Shanghai are actually scrawled tirades of obscenities about life. Conceived by Chinese artist Tsang Kin-Wah (曾建华) especially for Art Lab, the art is entitled "Pretty S**t -- Piss Pretty." As Tsang explains, "The s**t is everywhere, even at your most private moment and space ..." Read more: Shanghai bathroom fashion statements
This Indian toilet museum examines the evolution of the lavatory from 3000 B.C. to present day. On display are antiquated toilets, including ornately painted medieval urinals and ancient stoneware chamber pots, juxtaposed with futuristic models. Read more: 7 wackiest museums in Asia
Read more: Inside Beijing's toilet restaurant" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/131119170230-toilet---house-of-poo-horizontal-gallery.jpg" width=640 height=360> At Beijing's toilet-themed restaurant, all 50 seats are made from actual toilet bowls, topped with cartoon-themed warmers. This particular dish? Beef curry in a toilet-shaped bowl. "The food wasn't really that good," says iReporter Alainsojourn. At least he walked away with these photos. Read more: Inside Beijing's toilet restaurant
Read more: The long drop: Australia's outback dunnies" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/131119165805-toilet---leaning-dunny-horizontal-gallery.jpg" width=640 height=360> In Australia, the outhouse is called a "dunny," and the few that survive to day have evolved into tourist attractions. The Leaning Dunny (pictured) comes with its own art gallery and is located in a former gold-mining town which is often featured in commercials and movies for its rugged landscape. Read more: The long drop: Australia's outback dunnies
Where to celebrate World Toilet Day
(CNN) -- As many of the devastating stories and photos of typhoon-wrecked Philippines show, one of the most pressing problems of the Philippines crisis is the lack of toilets and the collapse of water systems.
Tacloban is currently facing a desperate lack of sustainable sanitation. UNICEF, among other organizations, has delivered portable toilets and hygiene supplies to Tacloban and is appealing for $34 million to help the four million children affected by Typhoon Haiyan, the estimated amount for six months of assistance.
The lack of sustainable sanitation that the Tacloban region is suddenly facing is part of daily life for an astonishingly high percentage of the world's population.
To throw a spotlight on the issue, the United Nations General Assembly declared this year would kick off the inaugural World Toilet Day on November 19.
"We must break the taboos and make sanitation for all a global development priority," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in an official statement in Singapore last July.
Some sobering facts about the world's lack of toilets, according to the United Nations:
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon declared November 19 World Toilet Day.
Due to the unglamorous nature of the subject matter, toilets tend to take the back seat when it comes to awareness and fundraising.
"We aim to make these hugely important issues relevant and sexy," says Garvey Chui, the Asia representative for Toilet Hackers, a nonprofit organization trying to give access to "dignified sanitation" to those without.
"For many Westernized travelers -- particularly for many women travelers, no matter how well-seasoned -- sanitation and access to clean toilets becomes a serious consideration when traveling," says Chui.
"But for those without access to safe, clean and private toilets and sanitation, it is more than an inconvenience, it can be life or death," says the Toilet Hackers rep.
"One very dangerous time for a woman in a developing country, and one of the main times she may get sexually assaulted, is when she is going to the washroom. When there is no toilet to go to, she is vulnerable and exposed when she is going outdoors or in a public space, often late at night and away from people."
From the two-story toilet-shaped toilet museum (the former home of a toilet-obsessed congressman and mayor in South Korea) to weird and wacky toilet-themed restaurants (yes, restaurants) from London to Beiing, check out our gallery for where to celebrate World Toilet Day.