The UN Celebrates World Toilet Day
What is the first thing everyone learns when taking up a second language?
In addition to “My name is…” it’s often “Where’s the bathroom?”
That’s a vital message to communicate when you’re in a foreign country. According to health experts, people need to use the bathroom an average of 4-10 times per day.1 So why all the embarrassment? The United Nations doesn’t think it’s an embarrassing situation, so they established World Toilet Day to bring attention to this much needed resource.
Using the bathroom is something that we all do, and most of us don’t consider what life would be like without a toilet. The fanciest houses have the most bathrooms. There are bathrooms at highway rest stops, on airplanes and in fast food restaurants. Yet there are billions of people – yes, billions – who don’t have access to a sanitary facility.
This can cause all kinds of problems including contamination of groundwater, widespread disease and even assault for women and girls who are unable to lock the door.
Did you know:
There are 3.5 billion people living without safe toilets
419 million people still go to the toilet in the open (‘open defecation’).
2 billion people - a quarter of the world's population - lack basic handwashing facilities at home to wash their hands with soap and water.
Unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene are responsible for the deaths of around 1,000 children under five every day.2
At the current rate, 3 billion people will still be living without safe toilets, 2 billion will be without safe drinking water and 1.4 billion will lack basic hygiene facilities by 2030.3
At HHRD, we support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #6. This states that access to drinking water and sanitation is a human right. Not only are we building wells and establishing rainwater harvesting projects, but we are also providing refugees, schools and families with safe, modern restrooms.
Without a bathroom at school, kids can’t learn. Students, especially girls, can’t make it through the whole day without having to go. This means they must stay home and deprive themselves of the basic education they need to get ahead in life.
Many Syrian and Palestinian refugees are living in the deserts of Jordan. Without safe bathroom facilities, families are forced to go on the ground. They are often bitten by scorpions or snakes, and women are in danger of assault.
There are so many horrible problems in the world today, it can be easy to overlook something as commonplace as the toilet. But for many people, this is an extreme hardship. We are calling on our community to help us fund the construction of Water And Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) projects so that we can help people move on to more important things.
Urinary Frequency | Bladder & Bowel Community (bladderandbowel.org)
World Toilet Day | United Nations
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