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.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.