The 19th of November is World Toilet Day. This day is commemorated to raise awareness of the fact that more than 3.6 billion people across the globe do not have access to safely managed toilets.
Toilets and human waste are often considered ‘impolite’ subjects and the impact of poor sanitation facilities is seen as a matter of individual or community failing rather than due to systemic discrimination and poverty.
Toilets are vital for human health, safety and dignity. Refugees, displaced persons, urban poor, rural communities and those without homes are often unable to access toilets and the impact on their well- being is significant. We can all understand the importance of a safe and working toilet, even as we are able to take these for granted for most of our lives.
Without access to water and ongoing poverty, many Karen villages are unable to build safe toilets for themselves. They use forests or shared bathrooms, which can cause impact their safety, hygiene and cause conflict amongst neighbours. Improper disposal of human waste can lead to disease and impact ground water sources or farmland. For women and girls, menstruation becomes even more inconvenient and difficult, whilst people with ill health or mobility issues also struggle.
KHT builds latrines for villages alongside providing them with cleaner water in their village. This direct access to water and sanitation is vital in helping improve health and dignity.
KHT has found that after villagers have their own toilets, they stop using any other location and many communities we work with ensure they look after their toilet facilities and benefit from KHT’s additional Hygiene Education sessions.
The villages that KHT has support with WASH Systems report better health and less days missed from work or school. This highlights the importance of sanitation services, and you can help us continue to provide latrines and hygiene education by donating today!