Did you know that there are currently more people with mobile phones that those with access to a working, hygienic toilet? This World Toilet Day we are celebrating the unsung hero, the loo, and turning our attention to some 2.3 billion people who currently live without one. That figure is three times the population of Europe.
Could you squat in the street? Head to the local riverbank? Dig a hole alongside a hundred others? We’re grateful for the fact that we can wake up and use a clean and safe toilet every day, and this week we’ll be spreading awareness about how a simple toilet can positively benefit communities in so many ways.
(L) Old toilet blocks and (R) new toilet blocks at Kikoda Primary School, Uganda, which were funded by Project Waterfall in partnership with Wateraid UK. Photo by Eliza Powell.
Toilet facilities play a huge role in limiting the spread of killer diseases including cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid. With 1.4 million children dying from diarrhoeal related illness alone, access to even the most basic sanitation can help limit and lower these figures for the future.
Aside from saving lives and improving community health, a sheltered toilet close to home also helps to keep women and children safe. In India, the construction of toilets is among the top three goals for achieving increased security for women. With a safe toilet near their home, women no longer have to head into the bushes at night where they are at risk of sexual assault or attacks from wild animals.
Toilet blocks in schools provide a respite for young girls, often hindered by menstruation and staying at home for one week out of every month. With toilets that offer privacy and a safe space, these girls receive a full and well-rounded education rather than a part-time one.
One of the focus points of Sustainable Development Goal 6 is to ensure that everyone has access to a safe and clean toilet by 2030. That’s a big goal, but with your help we can make it happen. Every donation you make to Project Waterfall supports both clean water and sanitation facilities in coffee growing communities, as Kengaaju Shakila tells us from our most recent project in Uganda.
“Our school is more enjoyable these days because we also have a new girls’ sanitation block with a bathroom. The latrine blocks we previously used did not have doors…at times we could line up for a long time. The new latrine is good…everyone likes it.” Kengaaju Shakila, Rwenthuua Primary School. Photo by Eliza Powell.
Help us raise awareness for the importance of toilets this Sunday 19 November, World Toilet Day, and find out more about how safe sanitation disposal can change the world through the World Toilet Day website.