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Blogs Address World Toilet Day

The following is a summary of blog posts addressing World Toilet Day, which was observed November 19.

  • Alex Gordon, Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End The Neglect” blog: “Without a toilet, people are forced to defecate outside — an act that compromises a person’s dignity, privacy and safety, and leaves billions susceptible to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs),” Gordon, a contributor to the blog, writes. “By combining NTD treatment, hygiene education and creative solutions for the 2.5 billion people without access to toilets, we can tackle this problem,” he states (11/19).
  • Carl Hensman, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog: Noting “40 percent of the planet’s population does not have access to safe sanitation, impacting their health and prosperity,” Hensman, a program officer in the water, sanitation, and hygiene program at the foundation, writes, “So on November 19th, while you perch on your porcelain pedestal, as we all do, please celebrate the luxury under you, a luxury that is regarded as one of the greatest health benefits in history and only costs the average household $40-50 per month.” He adds, “Then ask yourself, what makes us so special that we should have a functioning sanitation system while 40 percent of the planet is forced to make do with something completely inadequate and completely dangerous?” (11/19).
  • Shankar Narayanan, PSI’s “Impact” blog: “Over 60 percent of India’s population does not have access to a toilet, meaning they are forced to defecate outside, a practice which causes the spread of diarrheal disease and contamination of the environment,” Narayanan, director of programs at PSI India, writes. “PSI partnered with the [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)] Monitor Group, PATH and Water For People to answer the question: ‘Why don’t households have toilets?'” he notes, adding, “We found that the supply chain is fragmented.” He writes, “To address these issues, PSI is applying its expertise in social franchising, the use of commercial franchising strategies in the non-profit sector to expand access to products and services for underserved communities” (11/19).
  • Jaehyang So, Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog: “In any given country, when we talk about securing food, water and health, as a development community we need to look the problem square in the eye and ask ourselves, have we at least covered basic human sanitation and hygiene?” So, manager of the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, writes. She highlights “three things we can do differently,” including ensuring various ministries within governments “work together to fix sanitation in countries where it is needed most,” “talk[ing] about sanitation on a global scale,” and “innovat[ing] ways to ensure basic water and sanitation services reach the poorest people” (11/19).