Welcome to the URGENT RUN 2017


In 2013, the UN designated 19 November as the UN World Toilet Day.

In the same year, World Toilet Organization launched the inaugural Global Urgent Run

as a call to action for urgent action to end the sanitation crisis.

The flagship event organised by WTO was held in Singapore’s picturesque East Coast Park.

Over the two years, more than 50 Urgent Run events were organised in over 30 countries

such as India, China, Pakistan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, the United States,

Germany, Italy, Cameroon, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Benin, the Gambia, and Mozambique.

Thousands of participants around the world were engaged through these Urgent Run events in the first year,

and many more were engaged through social media, advocacy and media activities.

A wide range of fun and inclusive Urgent Run events were organised –

from fun runs to competitive runs, community events, relays, games for children,

motorbike processions and parades. Here are some highlights of Urgent Run events that took place across the world.



In Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums, residents suffer from a lack of access to job opportunities, adequate sanitation, quality education and linkages to the rest of Mumbai, and there is only one toilet for every 1,400 inhabitants. An educational run event organised by Reality Gives involved children and youth in fun, educational games and sanitation training sessions. Activities included running to find the nearest public toilet!


A 5km charity fun run organised by PT. Spektra Smartindo and Asosiasi Toilet Indonesia in Jakarta featured a speech by the guest of honour, the Vice Governor of Jakarta, and musical performances.


In Iringa, Tanzania, a walk event organised by ACRA-CCS to Kleruu Sports Grounds conveyed messages to the public through banners, t-shirts and megaphones. At the sports grounds the WASH – Cup: Football and netball tournament was held with four schools from four wards.


A motorbike parade organised by Cameroon Toilet Organisation, involved more than 100 motorbike riders distributing information on toilet and sanitation issues. The parade led to an event in a public grandstand where the Mayor and government delegates spoke.


An Urgent Run event on 15th November organised by ACRA-CCS included individual competitive races or relay races on treadmills in the gym and comedy performances.


An educational fun run event involved children from Tondo, Manila to promote the importance of health and sanitation in the areas that need it most. The event, organised by Smokey Tours, was open to the public, and participants donated their old shoes. The money raised will be spent on building toilets in the poorer districts of Manila.


A sanitation sensitisation program organised by Famedev was held at Bakau Upper Basic School with more than 700 students. The event focused on the theme of ‘Sanitation for sustainability, human health, dignity and social change’, and discussed the importance of toilets in society, the effects of sanitation on girls, proper hand washing, and the importance of keeping toilets clean.


The flagship Urgent Run event organised by World Toilet Organization, was a 5km fun run event in East Coast Park. WTO founder Jack Sim led participants in a ‘big squat’ before the run – to symbolise solidarity with the 1 billion people who face the indignity of defecating in the open. The event featured a giant inflatable toilet, toilet-roll shaped medals, toilet-themed games and musical performances.



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