Category Archives: Water

[Photos] Communal Toilets + New Study About Women, Girls and Sanitation

Yesterday World Toilet Day was recognized to bring global awareness about the millions of people worldwide who do not have access to a toilet. In fact, 40% of the world’s population has to use the bathroom in the open and spends billions of hours searching for a place to relieve themselves.

WaterAid, along with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council recently published a new report, We can’t wait, that shows the effects of low sanitation and hygiene on women and girls. According to the report women and girls are exposed to harrasement, shame, disease, and attacks when they need to use the bathroom. That is what I also heard from a visit to communal toilets (photos below) in New Delhi and Johannesburg. For women and girls going to the bathroom is a harrowing experience.

“One in three [people] lack access to adequate sanitation,” noted UN Deputy-Secretary General, Jan Eliasson and Unilever Chief Executive Officer, Paul Polman in the report. “The result is widespread death and disease and social marginalization. Poor sanitation exposes women and girls to the risk of assault and, when schools cannot provide clean, safe toilets, girls’ attendance drops.”

Communal Toilet in a Slum in New Delhi

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Communal Toilets in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, South Africa

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The Best NGO Video of the Year

I know it’s a little too early to crown a NGO video the best of the year, but this one from Water is Life will be hard to top.

Water is Life created a short film that shows a four-year-old Kenyan boy fulfilling a bucket list from staying at a hotel to flying in an airplane to seeing the beach for the first time. No child should have a bucket list at the age of four. This film put the problem of under 5 child mortality in the world’s face by using the voice of a small child to drive awareness. It’s absurd for a four-year-old child to have a bucket life just as the rate of under five child mortality from bad water and preventable causes is equally as absurd. The video is brilliantly done, which is very hard to do.