If you didn’t know, Nov 19 was World Toilet Day. Why, you ask, would we dedicate a day recognized around the world – to a toilet? Because one out of three people on the planet do not have access to one. The lack of safe disposal and treatment of human waste is one of the major causes of biological contamination in water, which spreads diseases like cholera, dysentery, giardia etc. One of the main symptoms of water related disease is diarrhea, which can also lead to malnutrition–the highest cause of death in the world. What does that mean? There is sh*t in the water and people are getting sick from drinking and using dirty water.
But for girls, that isn’t the half of it. Having a toilet could determine a girls future. If there are no toilets in schools, then girls who have started their menstrual cycle can miss school at least one week per month and sometimes drop out entirely.
Global Women’s Water Initiative is dedicated to supporting women and girls to learn the importance of clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and how they are all intricately linked. If we have clean water and toilets, but don’t wash our hands, we can get sick. If we have a water source and people sh*t anywhere, water can get contaminated especially during rainy season. If we wash our hands, but use dirty water and no soap, we are at high risk of disease. You get the picture. Effective water, sanitation AND hygiene practices must be addressed together and in an integrated way.
GWWI provides the tools for women to address these issues deeply and holistically. Women who attend our trainings are able to test water for contamination, share effective WASH practices to improve hygiene practices, offer strategies to protect water sources, treat contaminated water and build appropriate technologies that can reduce the risk of water-related disease.
Can you imagine what kinds of opportunities can arise for women and girls by just having a toilet? GWWI does. Won’t you give a sh*t and join us?