When Nature Calls: World Toilet Day 2018

We’ve all been there.

Dealing with the toddler that swore he didn’t need to potty before the long road trip.. and suddenly needs to make an emergency pitstop, because he just can’t hold it anymore.

The day the commute from work took twice as long… and all you could think about was finally being able to relieve yourself in the comfort of your own home.

The uncomfortable feeling of knowing you started menstruating… and need to find a restroom ASAP.

For the majority of us, not having immediate access to a toilet is at most, an inconvenience.  We may not equate the lack of a restroom to be life threatening, yet for 4.5 billion people, it is.

Today on November 19, we celebrate World Toilet Day and see how something as simple as having a toilet can change a family’s life.

According to the UN, over 862 million people practice open defecation, contaminating the same waters used for cleaning and cooking with fecal matter. Deadly diseases are transferred through human waste, and when not disposed of properly, can put the most vulnerable at risk. More than 2 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases. Poor hygiene and unsafe water are responsible for nearly 90 per cent of these deaths and mostly affect children.

The illnesses contracted from fecal-contaminated water can leave children drastically behind in school, making it even harder to be successful. Girls are especially affected by lack of sanitary bathroom facilities once they begin to menstruate. Having an adequate, hygienic facility is not just a matter of health, it’s a matter of human dignity.

Dignity Through A Toilet

In our effort to end poverty worldwide, FH is committed to providing tools to families to make hygiene a reality.

When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013, Evangelita Boso and her family were left with nothing. After moving back to her hometown, she and her husband were able to build a small home without a latrine. Evangelita knew the importance of a latrine, but their income barely covered their food. They were lucky enough to have a family member willing to share their latrine.  Every time she knocked on their door to the use their latrine, she felt shame at expressing her need to defecate. With the help of FH Philippines, Evangelita and her family obtained the materials they needed to build a latrine.

“At last, our dream of having a toilet is now a reality. I feel very proud and happy because our problem is resolved,” Evangelita said. “There’s no need for us to disturb my cousin; no need to use a urinal bucket at night. I can now welcome visitors which I tried to evade before. We now believe that good health primarily comes from good hygiene and sanitation. That is our responsibility to ourselves.”

This Christmas, you can provide a gift that will help end poverty and provide a children the dignity of sanitary living conditions.

For more information on World Toilet Day, check out the UN’s plan to ensure everyone has access to a toilet by 2030.