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This past Thursday, 19 NOV, was World Toilet Day

This past Thursday, 19 NOV, was World Toilet Day

I realize that the idea of a commemoration, such as a World Toilet Day, is a bit humorous and I can hear just about everyone who comes across this story and its title snickering from half way across the continent. But honestly, it’s no laughing matter. Its deadly serious. A child dies every two minutes from the diarrhea caused by poor sanitation. That’s 315,000 a year.

WTD-POSTER-THINKERS-RGB-61-724x1024One third of the world’s population do not have access to convenient, private sanitary facilities. India is the 2nd most populous nation in the world and if you lined up everyone who has to wait in line for sanitary facilities into one line, it would stretch beyond the moon’s orbit. Because they don’t have access to private toilet facilities, many people must seek privacy out doors prior to sunup and after sundown, for toileting. It is uncomfortable, inconvenient and dangerous, especially for women and children. It makes them susceptible to rape and abduction.

Additionally, poor sanitation effects the health and economic welfare of underdeveloped and developing nations. Without proper waste disposal there is greater risk of the diarrheal diseases; typhoid, dysentery and cholera. Almost $260 billion, double the amount invested in development aid, is lost annually due to the illnesses caused by poor waste sanitation and the lack of clean drinking water. Sadly, in some poor nations, larger numbers do not have access to toilet facilities today, than in the 1990s.

If you were moved by what you have learned here, you can learn more, including how you may help, at where I gathered the facts in this story.

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Ann Fontaine

Thanks David – for the context and the importance of this issue.

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