World Toilet Day event by Gramalaya
Report on World Toilet Day, WaterCredit Campaign and AWASH Meet
November 19th is World Toilet Day. A day to celebrate the importance of sanitation and raise awareness for the 2.6 billion people (nearly half of the world's population) who don't have access to toilets and proper sanitation. Globally, diarrhea is the leading cause of illness and death. Poor sanitation is the main cause.
World Toilet Day event by Gramalaya:
1. 2.6 billion People worldwide are without access to proper sanitation which risks their health, strips their dignity and kills 1.8 million people mostly children a year.
2. Diarrheal diseases kill five times as many children in the developing countries as HIV/AIDS. That’s 5000 children dying every single day. Not only that, but the disease kills more children than either malaria or AIDS stunts growth and forces millions-adults and children alike-to spend weeks at a time off work or school, which hits both a country’s economy and its citizen’s chances of a better future. The majority of the illness in the world is caused by fecal matter.
3. Lack of sanitation is the world’s biggest cause of infection.
4. One gram feces contain 10 million viruses, one million bacteria, 1000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs.
5. Safe disposal of children feces leads to a reduction of nearly 40 % in childhood diarrhea.
World Toilet Day event by Gramalaya:
Increasing concern on the sanitation needs of rural and urban communities was stressed at the World Toilet Day celebrations organized by Gramalaya at Tiruchirappalli with the support of Water.org and Arghyam.The World Toilet Day procession was flagged off by the Mr.Mahesan Kasirajan, District Collector of Tiruchirappalli in the presided by Mr.T.T.Balsamy, Commissioner of Tiruchirappalli City Corporation. The procession organized by Gramalaya with the support of Arghyam and Water.org was intended to sensitize people to toilet importance and usage, fecal and waterborne diseases and ecological sanitation. The rally started from Kalaignar Arivalayam via Chathiram bus stand to Ravi Mini hall and the distance covered 1 k.m. 436 representatives of AWASH – Association for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene participated in the procession with placards carrying message on toilet habits, fecal-waterborne diseases with different toilet options and cost estimates that would suit different economic sectors of people.
Singapore is the country which gives more importance for sanitation and toilet habits though they are well ahead of the water and sanitation facilities. Countries like India are lagging behind in toilet coverage compared to the neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia and Philippines far better than India in terms of toilet coverage and awareness about hygiene habits. People should come forward to construct toilets at their homes without expecting subsidies or loans from other sources. Like building a home with kitchen facilities, each household should construct a toilet and bathroom which give more privacy for women and children and prevent fecal and water borne diseases, said S.Damodaran, Country Director of Water.org, India office during his key-note address. Eco-san is one of the best options for people living in the water logging, water starving areas where technical problems are faced for construction of conventional leach-pit toilets or high cost septic tank models which are polluting our water sources. The public toilet should be maintained by the users considering the next users so that it would be washed and cleaned properly and made user friendly. The community based organizations like women self-help groups and AWASH should come forward to take up water and sanitation improvement activities in their own slums and villages so that the environmental sanitation of the areas would be maintained.
Mrs.J. Geetha, Executive Director of Gramalaya mentioned that during the last five years more than 50,000 household toilets were built through the motivation from Gramalaya without using subsidy from the Government at a total outlay of Rs.24 crores but with loan linkages with banks, Microfinance Institutions to the women self-help groups and to the women group federations. The funds for construction of the toilets are locally mobilized wherein the self-help groups and borrowers are repaying the loans without default. AWASH committees are taking up the works of fund mobilization, arranging materials and constructing toilets with technical inputs. This has significantly improved the overall toilet coverage in the District especially in Thottiyam, Thathaiengarpet and Thuraiyur blocks. AWASH committee leaders were shared their successful works during the meeting. Best performance awards to AWASH committees are given. During this campaign, IEC materials such as pamphlets, notices are distributed to public. In continuation of the World Toilet Day inauguration, World Toilet Day hygiene awareness meetings will be held in the women managed community toilets in different slums in the City. Mr.Mohan Raj, Faculty member of Bharathidasan University, Mr.Balu, Councillor, Madhurapuri,Thuraiyur, Mr.Paul Sathiyanathan, CEO, Guardian MFI, Mrs.Vijayalakshmi, Project Officer, Mahalir Thittam participated in the meeting. Mr.M.Elangovan, Project Officer, Gramalaya gave the vote of thanks.