We call it by many names: The loo, the porcelain throne, the john, the crapper, the turd tube. The toilet doesn’t get the respect it deserves. We take it for granted, yet according to Water.org, “No other invention has saved more lives than a toilet.”
The United Nations observes November 19th, as World Toilet Day, to highlight the 2.5 billion people in the world that don’t have access to a toilet.
Poo is a crappy subject, and while everyone does it, no one wants to talk about it. “This lack of access is a ‘silent crisis’ that has claimed more casualties through illness than any conflict.”(United Nations 2015)
Sanitation is a human right.
Yet, 893 million people practice open defecation, which is emptying the bowels outside in fields, forests, bushes, and bodies of water rather than into a toilet.
The practice poses serious risk to human health and the environment.
It contaminates water sources and spreads diseases including cholera, typhoid, hepatitis and diarrhea.
Every 20 seconds a child dies from diseases caused by fecal contamination.
And not having a toilet at home is dangerous for women since each time a woman uses the outdoors to relieve herself, she is vulnerable to physical or sexual assault.
Providing everyone with access to a toilet saves lives, dignity and protects the environment.
I will end with this slogan from the World Toilet Organization:
I give a shit, do you?