Why toilets matter
Without proper toilets and clean water, people are trapped in a vicious cycle:
- They’re likely to become sick through sanitation-related diseases
- Illness means they cannot work or farm their land, so they earn less or grow less food
- Children often miss school, because they are sick or because they’re busy collecting water
- Girls often drop out of school altogether when they start their periods if there are no toilets or changing rooms
- Parents have to pay for medicines or food, so they may fall into debt
- Women and girls risk being attacked or bitten by snakes as they go to the toilet in the open, especially if the culture dictates that they have to go out at night
Water and sanitation projects enable families to build a toilet, have access to clean water, and to learn about handwashing and other hygiene principles.
Dignity is restored when the whole family can use a private, hygienic toilet at their home and no longer have to squat in the bush.
I saw a twinned toilet on a visit to a Bedfordshire school, and I thought it was one of the best ideas ever! It’s simple, it’s fun, but it’s also really, really important.
I take it for granted that I have somewhere to go to the loo. But one in three people in the world don’t. Imagine seeing your children die because your family's drinking water is contaminated by human waste. My toilet and I are proud to be twinned with a long drop in Bihar, north India. It’s time for a sanitation revolution, and every toilet counts!