Wednesday, November 20, 2013
World Sanitation Day
Yesterday, November 19 was the "celebration" of what is known as World Toilet Day. This is a day to acknowledge the crisis of lack of sanitation for 2.5 billion people on our planet and the 1.1. billion who still defecate in the open because of no sanitation facilities. It is also a call for a global response to provide hygiene and sanitation to decrease water borne diseases. Research states 2,000 children a day die from diarrhea related diseases. Two thousand children a day dying from something that is absolutely preventable by us. However, you don't see that on your local nightly news.
Sanitation is so important in having a world of health and progress. In many areas of the developing world young girls especially cannot attain an education simply because there is no sanitation (especially young women who reach menstruating age) or water access. Women are also in danger without sanitation access as they become targets of sexual attacks and women are more prone to infections. Lack of sanitation causes major health problems, contaminated water sources, food sources and contributes to economic losses in the developing world totaling 260 billion dollars a year.
For many however, this topic is something they do not wish to discuss because well, it discusses poo. We need to get over the barriers we put up in discussing these problems however, if we are to ever solve them. In the 21st Century when more people in the developing world own a cell phone than have sanitation/hygiene access we must realize that something has gone very askew with our priorities. Here in the US we take this for granted, but remember there was also a time when sanitation systems were something we in the "developed" world did not have either:
Cholera Comes To Victorian London
A major engineering operation occurred as a result of this then- public sanitation systems and yet we cannot do it today? Actually, even in ancient Rome they had plumbing and sewerage. Granted, the world has come a long way in providing sanitation access to two thirds of the world's population, but why does it seem to always be the world's poorest who continue to be left out of this progress?
This isn't just about access to a place to defecate. This is about health, jobs, education, CLEAN WATER, safe food, preservation of rivers and other waterways- and DIGNITY. In this the 21st Century if we cannot provide that to ALL people on this planet then how can we say we have progressed? Having a cell phone doesn't mean you have progressed. Having true equality and humanity however does.
This is no joke. Your toilet is a lifesaver. Thank it today and be grateful you have one.
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