Poor countries rarely have adequate sewage systems. In Nicaragua for example 80% of people live on less than £1.10 each day, and unsurprisingly, cholera and malaria are rife. Worst affected are the densely populated shanty towns, where sewage often runs unprotected at the side of streets.
By buying the charity gift of a toilet you can make a concrete improvement to the everyday lives of poor people. Quite simply, by helping to control disease, latrines save lives. As charity gifts go, this may not be the most glamorous, but it is nonetheless absolutely vital. It also makes a fun and unique gift for an anniversary, Christmas or birthday.
The charity gift of a toilet can be purchased from a variety of aid agencies, for a variety of prices:
• Christian Aid is working with partner organisations in El Tambor, Nicaragua. Their particular focus is the shanty towns, and the many children needlessly affected by diarrhoea and parasites.
• Oxfam will ‘build a bog’ on your behalf for as little as £50. This charity gift comes with a free educational DVD.
• Practical Presents, the charity gift scheme run by Practical Action, will construct a ‘lovely latrine’ in the slums outside Nairobi, Kenya, where people are most affected by diseases such as typhoid, dysentery and cholera.
• For as little as £34 you can buy the charity gift of a toilet from Must Have Gifts, World Vision’s charity gift scheme. Their particular focus is to provide sanitation in schools. Buying this charity will gift will enable children to enjoy the classroom environment without running the risk of catching a disease from polluted water.
• Or why not buy your charity toilet gift from Gifts in Action, Action Aid’s charity gift scheme? For as little as £75 you will can help World Vision provide sufficient toilets for overcrowded Vietnamese schools.