Friday, November 18, 2016

A pissing shitty world

A WaterAid report reveals dire state of urban sanitation, as globally one child dies every two minutes from diarrhoeal disease. The practice of open defecation is also linked to stunting or malnutrition, which affects 161 million children globally.

Close to one in five people living in towns, cities and megacities across the world do not have access to a safe, basic toilet, according to WaterAid.

Some 600 million urban dwellers globally rely on a humiliating and haphazard array of the only services available to them in slums: filthy and crowded communal toilets, or rudimentary pit or bucket latrines that fail to meet minimum standards of hygiene, safety or privacy.

A further 100 million people in cities do not even have access to these services and are forced to defecate in the open, using railway tracks, roadsides and even plastic bags dubbed “flying toilets.

India comes top of WaterAid’s list of countries with the largest number of urban dwellers without adequate toilets – some 157 million people in total, 41 million of whom defecate in the open. As a result, the country has 68,000 preventable child deaths a year from diarrhoeal diseases.
China, which also has a massive rate of rural to urban migration, is the second worst, with 104 million people without safe sanitation.
Liberia, one of the three west African countries at the heart of the Ebola epidemic, is ranked fourth worst in the world for the high proportion – 27% – of city dwellers practising open defecation. Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, is falling furthest behind in providing its rapidly growing urban population with toilets. For every city dweller reached with sanitation since 2000, two were left without, an increase of 31 million people in the last 15 years. The report ranks South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, as the worst country in the world for urban sanitation. An estimated 84% of those living in the war-ravaged country’s urban areas have no safe toilets, one in two urbanites practising open defecation. Ghana, despite making great advances in development, and with one of the highest GDPs in west Africa, still has 80% of its urban population with poor sanitation.

Barbara Frost, WaterAid’s chief executive, said: “Not only does this lead to a lack of dignity for women and girls and health risks to poor families, this lack of sanitation also threatens the health and security of all city dwellers and leads to pollution of rivers and water sources. This World Toilet Day, we are calling on national leaders to deliver on their promises to meet the UN’s global goal six to ensure access to safe water and sanitation. Everyone has the right to affordable access to these basic services that will lead to better lives…”


AndrĂ©s Hueso, WaterAid’s senior policy analyst, said: “…Often politicians prefer to invest in roads and other visible infrastructure and neglect the dirty issue of sanitation. But good sanitation is the bedrock of public health. Every town and city in the world needs to prioritise providing safe sanitation services to all the population in order to create a healthier, more sustainable future.”

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