Every year 19th November is World Toilet Day.
World Toilet Day falls on the day in 1792 when the Toilet that flushes itself at regular intervals was patented. But campaigners say it also a day to celebrate the humble, yet vitally important, toilet and to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis.
Imagine life without a toilet. No toilets in your home or at work, no public toilets, no toilets anywhere. Imagine the mess. Imagine the disease. But this is the daily reality for 2.6 billion people – 40% of the world's population.
Fortunately aid agencies such as World Vision, and Christian Aid are working to build toilets and, you can now support their work by giving a bog to a specific community through their innovative charity gift schemes. It can all be done quickly and easily online, and even as a gift on someone else's behalf for Christmas. You choose the toilet - and then a card is sent to your friend, relative or loved one telling them that a toilet has been given on their behalf - a creative and unusual gift for all concerned! Here are the options:
In Nicaragua, a massive 80 per cent of the population live on less than £1.10 per day. Cholera and malaria are rife, particularly in shanty towns like El Tambor. But Christian Aid partner Community Movement of Matagalpa (MCM) is fighting back with latrines. This helps avoid many illnesses, such as diarrhoea and parasites, which particularly affect children. Gifts like these may not be the most glamorous, but they go a long way to controlling disease and saving lives.
Through World Vision you can help vulnerable families in Sanzukwi, Zimbabwe. World Vision's projects there focus on households whose main income provider is female or elderly, and those who have young children. Without adequate sanitation, these families are at risk from waterborne diseases.
By enabling World Vision to build toilets for these households, families will have improved hygiene and privacy. It will also help prevent waterbourne diseases by stopping water sources being contaminated. Zahida Khatun and her daughter have been involved with a similar World Vision project in Mahinagar, India. She says, “The toilet is a great benefit to us, especially for me and my daughter. My life has been changed.”