World Toilet Day 2017
Have you ever considered where your poo goes? That’s the theme of World Toilet Day 2017!
Some of us are lucky enough to never have had to. What happens after we flush can remain another of life’s great mysteries. But for 60% of the world’s population there is no magical flush to safely carry their waste away. For these people their waste is a threat to their health and their lives.
Though most of you will have flushed many times without realising, the 19th of November marked the 5th official World Toilet Day. It was a day dedicated to remembering the importance of toilets. It is an annual reminder of the global sanitation crisis, aimed to inspire action and awareness for the 4.5 billion people that live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste.
This year’s theme is wastewater; designed to educate people on ‘where does human waste go?’ and figure out effective disposal treatment methods. The reality is a flush takes waste on a long journey necessary to ensure the prevention of deadly diseases, which if not properly contained can spread, undermining and any progress of sanitation and clean water.
The journey of your waste entails safe containment from human contact, transportation by pipes or latrine to a treatment centre and transformation in to waste products. It is only then that our waste can be safely returned to the environment. In fact, far from being something to simply dispose of, we now know treated waste water has huge potential as an affordable and sustainable source of energy.
The implications of having a toilet are far reaching. It dramatically reduces the risk of disease and enhances safety, dignity and self-esteem. These issues are particularly pertinent for women and children risk sexual harassment and assault when defecating at night and in secluded areas.
By 2030, the United Nations aims to reach everyone with sanitation, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and increasing recycling and safe reuse. The safe removal of human waste is not a mystery it is a necessity, offering safety to billions and a potential solution to the world’s energy problems.