Poor toilet facilities cause 1.8 million to die yearly

Posted by Puteri | 11/22/2007 11:19:00 PM | | 2 comments »

SEOUL (Reuters) - Lack of proper toilet facilities and sanitation kills almost two million people a year, most of them children, the World Toilet Association said at its first meeting on Thursday.

"It is regrettable that the matter of defecation is not given as much attention as food or housing," Sim Jae-duck, the association's South Korean head, told the meeting at its recently opened lavatory-shaped headquarters south of Seoul.

Full story here.

We take our clean sit down flushable toilets for granted. But for many in the world, a toilet is just a pit dug on the ground.

When I was working in Vietnam ten years ago, one of my students took me to his village during the Tet celebrations. The family was very welcoming and the food served was delicious.

When I asked to use their toilet, I think they were quite embarrassed. It was outside, drafty and it was not the kind of toilet I was used to. It was a hole dug in the ground and it wasn't particularly clean. There was no water nearby where you can wash your hands with. I don't think their toilet was any different from the other villagers'.

I can see how the lack of proper toilet facilities can be a health hazard. It is amazing to discover as many as "1.8 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases that are mainly blamed on inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene."

I don't know if governments, especially in third world countries, are motivated enough to improve the sanitation and hygiene problem faced by the poor people in their countries. People's mindset also need to be changed. Teaching them to take care of their hygiene and observe clean sanitary habits takes time.

But I am glad though that awareness about good sanitation and proper hygiene through World Toilet Day, is being raised, and that charities are also taking part in that effort.


  1. pat // 11:27 PM, November 26, 2007  

    It is sad to hear children being the victim of inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.Especially enti kitai meda baka kitai iban,usually they used to take things for granted enti anak muntah birak laban ngumbai ulih di ubat ngena ubat kampung.Baka sida mentua aku suba,sidak iya bisi ngangkat anak ari menyadi sidak iya before laki aku ada.About 2-3 months later,anak nyak sakit muntah birak but they delayed nganjung ngagai klinik laban masa nyak agik ngena perahu so sida iya ka nguji ubat kampung..A day later anak nyak mati laban dehydration bai iya mala mutah sereta birak.How sad!Now they regret enti ngenang pasal anak nyak..Enti iya idup,he'll be older than my husband.

  2. Puteri // 10:52 AM, November 27, 2007  

    Nya lah kasih endar. Mayoh kitai Iban enda mereti pasal dehydration .. cirit mutah enda badu badu tau munoh anak mit.

    Issh, ubat kampung .. enti ubat gatal , sengat utai tau lah, cirit birit, nama ti kena ubat esp enti anak mit?!