World Toilet Day, 2018

By Micheala Chan

 

Today (Monday 19 November) is World Toilet Day!

 

World Toilet Day was established by the World Toilet Organization in 2001 and declared an official UN day in 2013 by the UN General Assembly.

 

This day aims to address Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. At the rate we are working, we are far behind where we need to be to ensure this achievement. Currently, around the world, 4.5 billion people are still without safely managed sanitation and 892 million people still practise open defecation [1].

 

Exposure to human faeces and the lack of toilets means that problems in public health, living conditions, education and economic productivity still persist. Waterborne diarrhoeal diseases are still responsible for 2 million deaths annually [2] and cholera is still a major problem in many developing countries. A lack of toilets and handwashing facilities also has a large impact on girls’ access to education, with many dropping out of school when they start menstruating.

 

Working in Vingunguti, an informal settlement in the Mjimpya ward of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this is a mission CDI’s WaSH Project has become highly aware of and also wholly dedicated to. 70% of the city’s residents live in informal settlements like Vingunguti [3] and 97% of them are users of pit latrines, with only 6% connected to the modern sewerage system [4].

 

To date, CDI has constructed 54 accessible toilets connected to the sewerage network, serving an estimated 375 people, since 2014. The latrines have been funded either by the community themselves or by DAWASA (Dar es Salaam Water and Sanitation Authority). The construction has been facilitated by local technicians and workers, and designed mainly by the KITE Dar es Salaam team, giving Tanzanian students the opportunity to apply practically the knowledge learned in university. Further, these toilets have enabled women in the community to take on a leading role, for example, as household representatives and Chairpeople of the Sanitation Users Authorities (see https://cambridgedevelopment.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/wash-spotlight-community-engagement/ for more information).

Toilet 1

To date, CDI has constructed 54 accessible toilets connected to the sewerage network, serving an estimated 375 people, since 2014.

When Nature calls, CDI answers.

References

[1] WHO/UNICEF (2017): http://www.who.int/en/news-room/detail/12-07-2017-2-1-billion-people-lack-safe-drinking-water-at-home-more-than-twice-as-many-lack-safe-sanitation

[2] WHO. http://www.who.int/sustainable-development/housing/health-risks/waterborne-disease/en/

[3] Jenkins, M. W. (2015). Pit Latrine Emptying Behaviour and Demand for Sanitation Services in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 12(3), pp. 2588-2611

[4] Chaggu, E. et al (2002) . Excreta Disposal in Dar es Salaam. Environmental Management. Nov 30 (5), pp. 609-620

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