World toilet day – Supporting Communities With No Toilets

Having good sanitation is as important as the air we breathe! Imagine building a beautiful house with no toilet in it, or working in one of the biggest companies in the world with no toilet in it.

Lack of toilets at work and at home has severe impacts upon businesses through problems in the workforce: poor health, absenteeism, attrition, reduced concentration, exhaustion, and decreased productivity (Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) 2010)

It is safe to say that environments lacking good sanitation are not fit for living or working!

Do you know that many local communities do not have access to good toilets? Even in urban settings, and big cities, it might take you quite a while to find a toilet and possibly a longer while to find a GOOD toilet.

Today, 2.4 billion people are struggling to stay well, keep their children alive and work their way to a better future (WTD.org). This is a clear indication that it has become a global sanitation crisis! Unfortunately, it is one out of many that is often ignored and pushed aside as ‘irrelevant’.

This year, in celebration of World Toilet Day, the focus is on: How Lack Of Sanitation Impacts People’s Livelihood. “Toilets play a crucial role in creating a strong economy. A lack of toilets at work and at home has severe consequences, including poor health leading to absenteeism, reduced concentration, exhaustion, and decreased productivity,” UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon

UN estimates that in many countries, poor sanitation creates a five per cent loss in gross domestic product (GDP)!

 

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Top 5 Facts About Global Sanitation Crisis

  1. 2.4 billion People live without improved sanitation (World Health Organization (WHO)/UNICEF 2015).
  2. One in ten people has no choice but to defecate in the open (WHO/UNICEF 2015).
  3. Diarrhoea caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water kills 315,000 children every year (WAS-Hwatch 2016).
  4. Disease transmission at work mostly caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices, causes 17% of all workplace deaths (International Labour Organization (ILO) 2003).
  5. Loss of productivity due to illnesses caused by lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices is estimated to cost many countries up to 5% of GDP (Hutton 2012)

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This implies that:

  • Toilets have the power to transform economies (Globally, approximately $260 billion is lost each year to the effects of poor sanitation and unsafe water on many aspects of the economy, but most significantly on healthcare (Hutton 2012)
  • Toilets in the workplace increase productivity (According to the International Labour Organization (2003), disease transmission accounts for approximately 17% of workplace deaths each year and most of these are a result of poor sanitation and unsafe hygiene practices. )
  • Providing toilets and other sanitation services creates jobs (In the EU, there are more than 2.5 million jobs in the wastewater and solid waste management sectors (Ernst and Young 2006) )
  • We need to place more value and respect for those who do this job and remove the stigmas associated with such an important job
  • Encourage more people to go into sanitation business who can also employ more people there by reducing unemployment rates ( The global demand for water and sanitation services is worth over $50 billion (Freedonia 2013), so there is a massive demand waiting to be met. )

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Good sanitation should be the priority of everyone!  And, Today being World toilet day, you should look out for ways to support communities that do not have access to sanitation and let’s make our world a better place for everyone to live in.

Resources:

WTD.org http://www.worldtoiletday.info/

Top 5 Facts http://www.un.org