2.5 billion people – that’s 40% of the world’s population – don’t have somewhere safe, clean and hygienic to go to the loo. The human impact of this scandalous stat is enormous: nearly one in five child deaths each year is due to diarrhoea.
Lack of access to clean water and effective sanitation impacts the health of a community as well as their ability to develop economically. Here are some of the hard facts:
• 2.5 billion people across the world don’t have somewhere safe to go to the toilet (WHO / UNICEF)
• Bad sanitation is one of the world’s biggest killers: it hits women, children, old and sick people hardest
• Every minute, three children under the age of five die because of dirty water and poor sanitation (WHO)
• Right now, more than 50 per cent of hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people who have an illness caused by poor sanitation or dirty water
• In Africa, half of young girls who drop out of school do so because they need to collect water – often from many miles away – or because the school hasn’t got a basic toilet.
• The lack of a loo makes women and girls a target for sexual assault as they go to the toilet in the open, late at night
• Many women get bitten by snakes as they squat in the grass to go to the toilet
• For every £1 spent on a water and sanitation programme, £8 is returned through saved time, increased productivity and reduced health costs. (UNDP)
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Twin our toilets! Toilet Twinning is a quirky and rather personal way of helping the 2.5 billion people in the world who don’t have access to a safe, private and hygienic loo. It is a partnership between development agencies Cord and Tearfund to raise funds to help provide access to better sanitation, clean water and hygiene education
For £60 people can twin a toilet at home, work or school with a latrine in a variety of countries overseas. The exact location of the twin latrine can be pinpointed using Google maps. Each toilet twinned is awarded a Toilet Twinning certificate, with a photo of its twin latrine and exact GPS coordinates.
Poor sanitation causes more than bad smells and embarrassment; it is one of the world’s biggest killers, hitting women, children, the elderly and sick people hardest. More than 433 million school days are lost each year because of water-borne disease.
WHAT’S THE PLAN?
We want everyone in the local community to think about twinning their toilet – in their home, school, cafe, pub. The cost is £60, which is not cheap, but not impossible. We want people to give up something in Lent which will save them £60 over the 40 day period. That’s just over £1 per day. The goal is to save or make £60 during Lent – so you could give something up, or you could wash cars, sell jam… doesn’t matter – the focus is on making £60, so you have the dosh to twin your toilet with a toilet in a developing country and help them to complete a toilet building project.
NOT A BOG-STANDARD SERVICE on Sunday April 6th, 10am on Festival Sunday, during the Telegraph Hill Festival, we will hold a special service called “Not a bog-standard service” and at this service we’ll celebrate how many people have twinned their toilet. Our target is 50 toilets! Can you be part of the dream to help 50 villages in developing countries have their own toilet?
So what do you need to do?
• Decide what you’re going to give up as an individual, household, organisation, that will save you £60.00 over Lent
• Start saving the money and get ready to come to the “Not a Bog-Standard Service” with your pledge.
• Visit www.toilettwinning.org for more information
• This will make a difference if we commit to it and believe our little loo could help change the world
Revd Sheridan James, Vicar at St Catherine’s