2.4 billion People do not have adequate sanitation. 1 billion people still defecate in the open. Poor sanitation increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children. Women and girls risk rape and abuse, because they have no toilet that offers privacy – UN
Can you imagine not having a toilet in your home? It is unthinkable for a woman. Imagine having to go to the bathroom in the bushes. What happens when you need to go in the night? I wouldn’t be able to cope. At night, I get up a couple of times to go to the bathroom which is conveniently next door to the bedroom. In fact, there are three toilets in our home. Many people have more than one toilet in their homes but in some parts of the world there are people who don’t even have access to a toilet.
I cringed as I read stories of people having to use woody areas as their toilets. Read Piya’s story and try to imagine being in her shoes. Unable to afford a proper bathroom you and your children have to hide yourselves in the woods to relieve yourselves. Imagine how humiliating this would be for you. If you have daughters, imagine how they would feel. There is always that element of danger due to lack of privacy. Then, think of how fortunate you are that you have a toilet in your home with a door you can lock when you want your privacy.
This year’s World Toilet Day will focus on the link between sanitation and nutrition. The aim is to make the world aware of the important role that toilets play in better nutrition and improved health. According to the UN, lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, along with the absence of good hygiene practices, are among the underlying causes of poor nutrition.
The aim of World Toilet Day is to raise awareness about the people in the world who don’t have access to a toilet, despite the fact that it is a human right to have clean water and sanitation – UN
On World Toilet Day, I encourage you to take action. Talk to your children. Tell them how important toilets are in protecting people from poor sanitation and health risks. Talk to your friends, co-workers, neighbors, church members. Raise awareness. Get on social media and call for action by using the hashtags #WorldToiletDay and #UrgentRun.
You can join an Urgent Run. Find an activity near where you live or work. Get the word out that everyone, everywhere should have access to a clean, safe toilet and proper sanitation. For women and children, having a clean toilet means better health, safety and dignity and so much more.
Your toilet is more important than you think – World Toilet Organization