I have always been interested in the topic of sanitation and its link to clean drinking water, but today as I read through a chapter in my Global Health class about how many people lack access to proper toilets and how it impacts the lives of those people I am feeling overwhelmingly grateful that I am one of the lucky few who has access to her own private(well I do have to share with Jack) flushing toilet. I constantly overlook the luxury I experience every time I use the toilet and a stream of sparkling fresh water carries my unhygienic waste far far away. Dont even get me started on the luxury of running water….
Food for thought:
The average woman in a under developed country spends several hours a day just fetching clean-ish water .. and here I am feeling stressed out about how much I have to get done in a day.
3.4 million people a year die from waterborne and diarrheal illnesses, related to poor sanitation, and most of them are children. Imagine if I had to worry about my nephews dying from something as simple as lack of a toilet.
Not having a toilet increases your risk of being raped, did you know that? While statisitcs are hard to gather on sensitive topics such as rape, many women who lack access to toilets report being sexually assaulted while practicing open defecation. Makes sense, go out in the dark looking for a secluded spot to go… perfect conditions for a rapist…
Its crazy how something so simple and basic can make such a difference in my life. I will try never to take my toilet for granted again.
Ps. Please consider making a donation to an organization that provides sanitation in developing countries such as water.org. A clean water supply benefits us all. Also for further reading on such a fascinating topic pick up a copy of The Big Necessity:The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George. One of my favorite books of all time.