It may seem a little unusual to set aside an entire day to focus on such an unseemly thing as toilets. However, the truth is, we all need to use them.
Whilst many of us will be fortunate enough to have one or more toilets in our homes, this is not the case for everyone. Indeed, more people have a mobile phone than a toilet in our world today.1
Decent sanitation, that is access to a loo, and a nearby supply of clean water are fundamental to people’s health and survival. That’s why clean water and sanitation is one of The Salvation Army International Projects Office’s (IPO) focus areas.
One of IPO’s projects involved working with communities in Malawi to share about the importance of hygiene and sanitation, and to improve access to clean water. This meant supporting the construction of 37 boreholes – reducing the distances people need to walk to their local water source, and the queueing time once they arrived – as well as helping communities to build or restore pit latrines, more than 400 in total.
More than 90,000 people have been impacted through this project. Samalani, one of the community members we worked alongside, shared that using unclean water, for washing and cooking etc, had caused many health problems in his community. Water-borne diseases and illness such as diarrhoea were real issues and not having a toilet did not help matters.
Now that his family do have a toilet, Samalani has noted the social impact as well as the health implications. There is no longer embarrassment at not having a toilet and he said, ‘We have realised the importance of having our own toilet. It is shameful for a household not to have a pit latrine, considering that traditionally a visitor will first ask for a toilet when he or she comes to your house.’
GIVE THE GIFT OF SANITATION
By choosing a WATER gift from JUST GIFTS you can help others like Samalani to access clean water and safe sanitation. You can buy a Composting Toilet for just £15 which gives people a safe place to go to the loo and create compost to help their crops grow too.