Sanitation is Serious!
By admin July 1, 2014

Water and sanitation systems are as crucial as ever to avoid infectious diarrhea-spread diseases, such as cholera and salmonellosis. Last year, the U.N. declared the first formally recognized World Toilet Day to increase knowledge of the issue, break taboos and make sanitation a global development priority, as 2.5 billion people globally still do not have basic toilet access. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched a Call to Action on Sanitation to end open defecation by 2025 and build on existing efforts, such as Sanitation and Water for All and the Sanitation Drive to 2015, the date to reach the MDGs. Every dollar spent on sanitation brings a return of $5.50, in the form of lower health costs and improved productivity, according to the World Health Organisation. In addition to the health dividends from sanitation investment, experts believe that it can prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence. The terrible Badaun gang rape in May exposed the vulnerability of women and children, as tradition often dictates that women and minors wait until nightfall to relieve themselves.

Outdoor morning toilet in the river scenes from Kolkatam India Photo: Alamy

Outdoor morning toilet in the river scenes from Kolkatam India Photo: Alamy

About 14% of the world still practices “open defecation.” In poor countries, 21% of the population defecate in the open and in lower-middle income countries that figure is even higher at 32%. India and China each have more than a billion people, but the World Health Organization notes that in China, 1 out of every 100 people defecate out in the open; while in India, it’s 1 out of every 2 people –  the highest rate in the world. The practice of open defecation contaminates food and water, and transmits diarrhea-related diseases that kill 700,000 children every year worldwide – 200,000 of them are in India, says Brian Arbogast, director of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Many Indians look to their new Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make good on his recent election campaign promise: “toilets first, temples later.” That increase in access to toilets in India will hopefully factor into the fight against the spread of diseases, as well as rape and violence.


For more information:

Thanks for sharing !

Comments are disabled.