We Can’t Wait
Right now, 2.5 billion people do not have clean toilet facilities. That’s one out of every three people on planet Earth. And that’s unacceptable.
Many of the 4 billion annual cases of diarrhea are a direct result of inadequate sanitation, reports UNICEF. Diarrhea can be deadly. Every year, it kills about 1.8 million people—90 percent of whom are children under five years old. Other diseases linked to poor sanitation include cholera, typhoid, polio, schistosomiasis, hepatitis and more.
The good news is that we can solve this problem. As Sally Edwards, a program officer for the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization, told me:
“The technology exists to provide water and sanitation to all. The materials exist. This is not a problem that we do not have the answers to. What is lacking is commitment and financial resources.”
Today, World Toilet Day, is the day to make that commitment. Here are three simple things you do:
- Visit the official website for World Toilet Day to learn more about the problem.
- Spread the word. Tweet at #WeCantWait or post a link on Facebook or other media.
- Give to Water.org or UNICEF to help get simple, sustainable sanitation to people who need it.
Both Water.org and UNICEF work worldwide. Many Water.org projects are microfinance projects, meaning the money you donate can fund loans for projects. When they get paid back, the money can fund more projects.
All three steps take less than 15 minutes, so please, do them now. If everyone who can help does something, we can save lives and make a difference for billions of people.
After all, as the slogan for World Toilet Day says, “We can’t wait.”