1 in 2 People Can’t Celebrate World Toilet Day

A Dalit woman is standing outside a dry toilet located in the home of a villager of upper caste in Mainpuri, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Credit: Shai Venkatraman / IPS
  • by Baher Kamal (madrid)
  • Inter Press Service

“Who cares toilets? The UN raises this question as the starting point of this 2021 Campaign for the World I need it Day, marked annually on November 19th.

World Day raises awareness of all these 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation, which presents dangerous health problems.

It’s as simple as hesitation: when some people in a community don’t have a safe toilets, everyone’s health is threatened as poor sanitation pollutes drinking water sources, rivers, beaches and food crops, spreading deadly diseases among the wider population.

Devastating consequences

This year’s theme is about evaluation toilets. The campaign draws attention to that toilets – and the sewerage systems that support them – are underfunded, poorly managed or neglected in many parts of the world, with dire consequences for health, the economy and the environment, especially in the poorest and most marginalized communities.

On the other hand, the benefits of investing in a proper health care system are huge, says the UN. For example, every $ 1 invested in basic sanitation returns up to $ 5 in saved medical costs and increased productivity, and jobs are created across the entire service chain.

For women and girls, toilets at home, school and workplace help them fulfill their potential and play their full role in society, especially during menstruation and pregnancy, reports the world body.

Although sanitation is a human right recognized by the United Nations, mass investment and innovation are urgently needed to quadruple progress along the “sanitation chain” of toilets to the transportation, collection and treatment of human waste.

“As part of a human rights-based approach, governments need to listen to the people who are left behind without access to toilets and allocate specific funding to include them in planning and decision-making processes. “

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According to World Toilet Day, about 673 million people have no toilets overall and practice open defecation since 2017, while nearly 698 million school-age children lacked basic sanitation services at their school.

“At the current rate of progress, it will be the twenty-second century before sanitation for all will become a reality.”

But there is another additional problem: the difficulties of sewer workers. In fact, countless sewers in the developing world work in conditions that endanger their lives and health, and violate their dignity and rights.

To mark a World I need it On the day, the International Labor Organization (ILO), World Bank, World Health Organization and WaterAid launched a joint report highlighting the unsafe and unworthy working conditions of sewage workers around the world.

Healing workers involved in cleaning toilets, emptying ditches and sewers, cleaning sewers and sewers, and operating pumping stations and treatment plants, are typically at high risk of fecal pathogens in their daily work. They may also be exposed to chemical and physical risks, the report adds.

“Manual scavengers, for example, are exposed to serious health hazards such as cholera, typhus and hepatitis, as well as toxic gases such as ammonia and carbon monoxide.”

In South Asian countries, manual scavenger is widespread.

Tim Wainwright, CEO of WaterAid, on this issue said it is shocking that sewer workers are forced to work in conditions that endanger their health and lives and have to endure stigma and marginalization, rather than having adequate equipment and recognition of the life-saver. work they do.

“People are dying every day from poor sanitation and dangerous working conditions – we can’t allow that to continue.”

Alarm off the road

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns that the world is alarmingly underway to deliver sanitation for all by 2030.

In its State of the World’s Sanitation Report, it also warns that despite progress in global sanitation coverage in recent years, “more than half of the world’s population, 4.2 billion people, use sanitation services that leave human waste untreated, threatening human and median health. “

Obviously, this drama hits the poorest in the world the most. While in rich societies people provide two or even three toilets –one of them as a guest toilet – and has an automatic heater toilets who warm up while sitting, half the world’s population does not have some or at least some suitable. It’s much, much more than about just a I need.

© Inter Press Service (2021) – All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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