Dying For the Loo?
18 November 2010 9:40
In Northern Ireland these words are a simple expression, but for half of the world’s population, 2.5 billion people, they are literally true. Nearly 5,000 children alone die every day due to lack of access to basic sanitation and clean, safe drinking water.
To celebrate World Toilet Day, NI Water is asking customers to reflect on how lucky they are to have access to such a basic human right – sanitation and clean, safe drinking water. In developing countries, the experience of going to the toilet involves having to walk several miles to find somewhere private to dig a hole or squat in the road.
WaterAid, NI Water’s official charity, helps communities in developing countries build hygienic toilet facilities, improve sanitation and provide access to clean, safe drinking water. Frank Stewart, WaterAid’s honorary secretary and NI Water employee explains further:
"We are spoilt with the choice and availability we have when going to the toilet, from a standard WC, to the most luxurious bathroom suite or a basic potty. In communities that don’t have somewhere safe and hygienic to go to the toilet, disease spreads rapidly as people defecate in public areas, water courses and where children play. The resulting water borne diseases kill almost 5,000 children every day. The most tragic aspect of this is that these deaths are so easily preventable.
Through fundraising, WaterAid helps communities build clean, hygienic toilet facilities. Improving sanitation not only improves health, but also people's dignity and livelihoods. The charity also provides water facilities to enable access to clean drinking water and teaches people about ways in which they can limit the spread of disease."
To play a part in improving the sanitation and living conditions for two fifths of the world’s population, consider a donation to WaterAid. To make a donation log on to www.wateraid.org or telephone 0845 6000 433.