Skip to cookie consent
Tearfund home
Donate

Lack of toilets is out of order

Tearfund | 16 Nov 2018

Over two billion people around the world lack access to a safe, clean toilet of their own. It’s bad news for every one of those people. However it has the greatest impact on the 1.25 billion women and girls.

To mark World Toilet Day (19 November), here are two short stories of how life is shaped for women by access to (or lack of) a simple latrine.

Dreaming of different
In Bridget’s village in Rukungiri, Uganda, education is highly prized. ‘When I finish school, I want to become a nurse,’ says Bridget aged 14. ‘I need to stay healthy.’ Until recently, teenage girls watched their ambitions wither when they started their period.

Old toilets at the local primary school were virtually unusable, so teenage girls missed class for a week each month – many left school altogether. Early marriage was a more realistic prospect than a medical career. ‘If we felt sick, we’d miss class and that would affect our performance in exams,’ says Bridget.

Bridget’s prospects were transformed by a new toilet block with girls’ changing rooms built by a Tearfund partner. Within three months, 65 girls re-enrolled in class.

A flush of excitement
Without a toilet, Purna from Sikre in Nepal almost died of diarrhoea. It took a day to reach hospital: her son, Bishwo, carried her on his back. ‘The doctor told us if we’d waited, we’d have lost our mother,’ he says.

When he attended Tearfund partner’s sanitation workshops, Bishwo realised his latrine was contaminating a stream used for drinking water.

He used savings and sold two goats to pay for a new, non-polluting toilet – and invited neighbours to his Toilet Open Day. He told them they should build loos too and thankfully many more in his village have.

PLEASE PRAY

To mark World Toilet Day, Toilet Twinning is inviting women and girls to join their Big Squat on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday 19 November – in solidarity with the 1 billion women and girls worldwide who still don’t have a safe, proper toilet. Find out more at www.toilettwinning.org.

Tearfund

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.