It is World Toilet Day today which has been recognized to raise awareness worldwide on the plight of 2.4 billion people who do not have access to a toilet. This absence of a basic need leads to many diseases.
In fact lack of sanitation affects livelihood of people and in a lot of countries it brings a loss in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 5 percent as estimated by United nations. Toilets are an important part for making strong economies. Not having any toilets at home or work place will have grave outcomes which could have a direct effect on health and cause absenteeism, lack of concentration, fatigue and low work efficiency.
Presently, 17 percent of deaths that take place at work are due to disease transmission. So it becomes all the more necessary to provide proper sanitation which would save $260 billion each year that we loose owing to bad sanitation and no access to clean water.
According to a survey that was conducted, it is tough to find a toilet in the cities around the world. As there has been an upsurge of people who are moving to the cities, looking for toilets becomes a matter of public health concern for hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.
As per Britain based WaterAid, almost one in 5 people living in the city or 700 million people approximately in the world have no facility of a proper toilet. Nearly 600 million people have access to dirty or crowded public toilets and pit or bucket latrines, whereas around 100 million have no provision at all, it said.
Some alarming truths about toilet facilities worldwide are highlighted as follows:
- India is the leading country where maximum number of people living in cities have no facility of safe and personal toilets- We are talking about 157 million people
- From the 41 million city dwellers who defecate in public every day, 8 Olympic sized swimming pools can be filled with the excreta
- The top ten countries with their city populace having no provision of safe and private toilets are:
India, China, Nigeria, Indonesia, Russia, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, Ethiopia and Pakistan.
- African continent has 10 countries that have minimum number of safe and personal toilets per capita in urban areas. In descending order, they are South Sudan, Madagascar, the Republic of Congo, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Togo, Ethiopia, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
- Relieving oneself in the public is most commonly practiced in South Sudan , followed by the West African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe, Eritrea, Liberia, Benin, Namibia, the South Pacific island nation of Kiribati, Togo, Madagascar and Nigeria.
- The world’s highest populated country, China is coming out with constructing toilets at a faster rate even more than the demand for them.
- Nigeria on the other hand ranks last country in Africa that is taking any active role in providing proper toilets to its residents. From the year 2000, just 1 in 3 city dwellers in West African countries have had the facility of toilets.
- If hypothetically we make a line of people having no access to proper toilets, then this line would be able to stretch around the earth 29 times.
A survey conducted by Washwatch, an online research agency that collects data on water and sanitation, states that each year 315,000 children lose their lives owing to diarrhea which is the result of poor sanitation from not having enough proper toilets and no access to clean water.
This issue is a global one. We hope that the Government comes out with proper facilities and of clean water and better sanitation facilities to all.