It’s time to come out of the cubicle everyone!
Next Wednesday 19th November is annual WORLD TOILET DAY, an official UN day promoted by WaterAid to raise awareness of the fact that over a third of the people living on this planet don’t actually get to access safe or clean toilets or urinals. Which I’m sure that those of us who have travelled overseas and caught some stomach bug that has delighted in making a home in our weak, foreign bodies, only to realise that a decent toilet was not in the near vicinity would appreciate (a pretty crap situation to be in).
On a very serious and tragic note, around 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. WaterAid has done an incredible job helping local people and partners in some of the world’s poorest communities to build thousands of toilets that are appropriate to each site, with an emphasis on using local materials and low-cost systems, and campaigning for governments to spend more on sanitation.
In loo of being able to make a direct contribution in such places of need, you should consider doing some of the following on World Toilet Day:
- Form a flush mob – grab your closest workmate/unfortunate family member/friend/pet, wrap some toilet paper around yourself and choreograph a toilet-inspired dance;
- Pay to pee – make a donation every time you need to visit the loo;
- Organise a toilet trivia day/night – did Thomas Crapper REALLY invent the modern flushable dunny? Do more people in the world have a mobile phone than a clean toilet?;
- March down to your local MPs office dressed as a Sanitation Superhero and insist that they take a selfie with you in order to raise awareness;
- DONATE HERE to WaterAid’s campaign to raise money to improve sanitation in places where it is most needed!
While it might not be sexy or nice to talk about, it is known that toilets save lives. Even more than that, spending on sanitation has huge economic benefits – for every dollar invested in sanitation, there’s around a four dollar return as health is improved, fewer days are lost to sickness, and girls stay on at school longer (WaterAid Australia, 2014).
So unleash your full potential, print out and don those superhero eyemasks, and raise awareness and money for the 2.5 billion people living without access to safe, private toilets.