World Habitat Day
Falling on the first Monday of October every year, World Habitat Day emphasizes the importance of everyone having the right to shelter over their heads at night. Although a basic right, shelter is something not everyone is fortunate enough to enjoy. And those who do could be guilty of taking it for granted. Hence, this day is celebrated around the world.
A Few Facts About World Habitat Day
- It was established in 1985 by the UN in response to the housing crisis in urban areas and puts a focus on finding shelter for those in need.
- Serves as a reminder to future generations that we have a responsibility to look after one another.
- First celebrated in 1986.
- Each year focuses on a different theme (e.g., in 2018, it was Municipal Solid Waste Management).
- The UN awards those who have made significant contributions to related areas such as the provision of housing, providing a greater understanding of impoverished communities, and improving the quality of life in human settlements, among others.
- A focus on sustainable housing ensures projects are also eco-friendly.
- The Habitat Scroll of Honor Award is given to governments, countries, individuals, and organizations making key contributions and differences in developing and improving housing.
- Kenya was the first country to observe World Habitat Day.
Why Is World Habitat Day Important?
Housing around the world has become unaffordable for many. World Habitat Day puts a focus on trying to make it accessible for all members of the community. A lot of housing for those in poverty does not provide an adequate standard of living.
This is another area where World Habitat Day can help improve the lives of others by raising the standards of the conditions in which people live. It is estimated that approximately 150 million people are living homeless around the world.
This statistic is shocking, but not enough people are aware. The UN devised World Habitat Day to bring attention to this issue.
Observing World Habitat Day
One thing that can be done is to raise awareness with local representatives and find out what the community is doing in a local area to observe this day. Just spreading the word can be enough to make a difference.
Since many people turn a blind eye or aren’t even aware of the housing crisis around the world, acknowledging World Habitat Day can be half the battle. Everyone has a right to proper shelter and to feel safe, and initiatives like this can go a long way toward making a permanent change.
So, on the first Monday of October, be sure to spare a thought for those who don’t have the shelter every human deserves, and see where you can make a difference in your community.