World Toilet Day
Toilets. Everywhere we go in North America, we easily access toilets. When kids are young, parents sometimes take a potty along in their vehicles in case they can’t get to a washroom quickly enough. Toilets are something we use multiple times a day and often take for granted. If something happens to our toilet, we call a plumber or head down to the hardware store and pick up a new one to install immediately: a toilet is not something we go without – at least not for very long.
This isn’t the reality in all parts of the world, yet the human body still processes what is put in and it needs to come out. Without access to toilets or latrines it is impossible to contain contaminants. In some communities and countries, open defecation is a real issue. Contamination from open defecation runs into water sources, causing sickness – cholera, diarrhea, and dysentery – things mostly unheard of in North America.
“The World Health Organization estimates that inadequate sanitation causes 432,000 diarrheal deaths annually.” Almost a half a million deaths can be avoided yearly, when people have access to latrines and toilets.
At the end of September 2022, in the Bombali District of Sierra Leone, through the CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation) strategy, 49 villages have been declared open defecation free. Household latrines have been built in 1,676 homes benefitting 10,056 people! Access to latrines is decreasing disease within these communities and opening doors of opportunity for people who are no longer getting sick.
On this World Toilet Day, we are thankful for toilets, latrines, and squat toilets. Something we often take for granted, is a luxury and sometimes inaccessible in other parts of the world. One day, we hope everyone will have the opportunity to have access to toilets, latrines, and squat toilets. This is why World Hope International continues to work on sanitation projects like the one in Bombali District – offering dignity and opportunity through access to toilets.