Toilets may be the butt of many a joke, but World Toilet Day aims to promote more serious discussion surrounding these staple bathroom items.

The event, which takes place on 19 November, is intended to prompt discourse and debate on important issues such as sanitation. Since its inception in 2001, the day is celebrated globally by NGOs, UN agencies, the private sector, civil society organisations and the international community, and on 24 July 2013, World Toilet Day became an official UN day.

“We take so much for granted in the UK when it comes to the basics,” said Kevin Wellman, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering. “When you look at the number of people in the world who do not have access to clean water and good sanitation, it is alarming.”

Mr Wellman, who is also on the executive board of the World Plumbing Council, believes World Toilet Day is a good opportunity to raise awareness of the problem. “By acknowledging the problem exists, it is the first step in helping to resolve it,” he said.

Visit to find out how you can get involved in spreading the word.