Investing in good toilets
As we celebrate the world toilet day yesterday, a strong need for a clean and affordable toilet as felt. World Toilet Day is a day to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis – a topic often neglected and shrouded in taboos.
About 2.4 billion people round the world do not have access to proper sanitation and about 1 billion people still defecate in the open. Lack of proper sanitation increases the risk of disease and malnutrition especially for the children and women.
The world toilet day which was observed on the 19th of November this year was to focus the link between sanitation and nutrition, drawing the world’s attention to the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and improved health. Lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, along with the absence of good hygiene practices, are among the underlying causes of poor nutrition.
The aim of World Toilet Day is to raise awareness about the people in the world who don’t have access to a toilet, despite the fact that it is a human right to have clean water and sanitation.
On this day people are encouraged to take action and help promote the idea that more needs to be done. People can host an exhibition, write a toilet song, host a dinner or draw a cartoon – anything that shows we cannot wait any longer and that everyone worldwide must have access to a toilet.
In Bhutan on this day a non profit organization Bhutan Toilet Organization, which was formed in 2014 carried out the photo exhibition of the condition of the public toilets in Bhutan in the clock tower square in Thimphu. The organization also carried out the cleaning of public toilets on the particular day by its volunteers in order to create awareness about the clean toilets and sanitation in all the other Dzongkhags.
Toilet plays an important role in the health and hygiene of our population and as we appreciate the efforts taken by the Bhutan Toilet Organization for cleaning the public toilets and making best use of whatever resources are available. With about 40% of the Bhutanese population not having access to the improved sanitation, it becomes a daunting task on the part of the government alone to provide sanitation to the rest of the population.
Taking the above fact into consideration and as estimated by the Ministry of Health that 50% of the child death in Bhutan can be prevented by improved water, sanitation and hygiene practices. As in Dzongkhags like Paro, Pema Gatshel and Lhuentse having the highest numbers of flush toilets in the country, can’t other Dzongkhags follow the suit.
We must invest in clean toilets as clean toilets saves lives.