Oh toilets, you get rid of our waste so quickly, so efficiently and never with complaint or backlash. You are always there when we need you and you don’t mind our disloyalty as we switch and swap, letting anybody and everyone use you. We are so used to you being around that we rarely stop and consider what a mess our life would be without you. You really do deserve a day of appreciation, a day to not only remind those who have you what a keeper you are, but also to raise awareness that there are still others that do not have such a steady and trustworthy friend in their lives.
Approximately 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to a safe, clean toilet despite access to clean water and sanitation; that is shockingly 1 in 3 people. 900 million of those have no basic facilities whatsoever and have to practice open defecation. Poor sanitation increases the risk of disease and malnutrition; 1000 children per day die unnecessarily from diseases related to poor hygiene. These figures are unacceptable seeing as the first flushing toilet was invented over 500 years ago; BLAH says the progression of toilets is 150 years behind where it is supposed to be. In the year 2000 the UN set up goals - sanitation is most behind target. Why has this happened and why has the sanitation crisis stayed so silent?
The Simukai Progressio team are ensuring World Toilet Day gets its voice by incorporating toilet fun into all the sessions this week. This involves workshops with children at the Simukai Child Protection Centre, Lowden Lodge Rehabilitation Centre, two after-school clubs and a school for delinquent children. Sessions start by discussing with the children the importance of a clean, safe toilet, followed by a range of activities. Poems and a song were performed by the lovely Lowdon girls but unfortunately we could not get their video or pictures because of the nature of the institution. Children created the most glittery and sparkly chambers you will ever see during arts and crafts, and others took part in a quiz with chocolate prizes. Questions revealed that the total amount of time the average person spends on the loo in their lifetime is three years, and seven million phones were accidentally dropped down the hole last year!
We also made some posters for the toilets at Simukai and the different institutions mentioned above to remind people of the importance of toilets, as well as keeping them hygienic at all times.
Sessions in pictures
We shouted, sang and even drew the message for all of you to hear. So spread the word and help us raise awareness that this is still a prominent issue for a third of the world.
Written by ICS volunteers Tafadzwa Chirara and Charlotte Reeves