On the blog

Monday, 7 March 2011

So squat's it all about?

Last week we wrote a guest blog for DefeatDD.org, a website devoted to raising awareness about diarrheal disease. Aside from a shameless use of puns, there was a serious message to our diarrhoeal diatribe, one that we at Toilet Twinning HQ have been discussing in the lead up to World Water Day 2011.

Did you know that diarrhoeal disease is the second-leading killer of children under five? (UNICEF / WHO)

Given that diarrhoea is a treatable disease – and one that many of us consider a mere inconvenience – this can be pretty difficult to believe.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the most cost effective ways of reducing the risk of diarrheal disease is access to clean water, safe sanitation and hygiene promotion. This is why, along with bog building, we place equal importance on ensuring the communities have access to clean water and understand the importance of things like hand washing.

A mother has just walked past within earshot of the public perch where this blog post is being written. She admonishes her young son, a recent patron of the local public convenience… “Did you wash your hands?‘ she asks. ‘Yes mum…’ he mumbles, embarrassed by the public nature of his mother’s inquisition.

So what might have happened, had the water he’d washed his hands with been laced with cholera or some other deadly disease? Or if the loo had been dirty, with no soap or water to wash with. Or if he fell ill, and his mother didn’t understand the importance of keeping him hydrated, or indeed know how.

Makes you think…

Defeating diarrheal disease isn’t just about preventing needless death, but ensuring the long-term well being of millions of children around the world.

World Water Day is on 22 March 2011. Toilet Twinning, along with thousands of others around the world, will be celebrating water... Why not join in too!

Photos: Nick Wilmot / Cord
Clean water in Rutana, Burundi
Children in Rutana, Burundi

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