'Transformational benefits' of ending outdoor defecation

  • FrancescaNava
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  • Corporate Communications and Advocacy at the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
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'Transformational benefits' of ending outdoor defecation

How are people’s lives improved once they have a toilet to use?

On a day-to-day basis, the ability to use a toilet – at home and work, and in public places such as schools, health centres and markets – is a basic human right. Sanitation has transformational benefits supporting aspects of quality of life, equity and dignity for all people.



Open defecation is an affront to the dignity, health and well-being, especially of girls and women. For example, hundreds of millions of girls and women around the world lack privacy when they are menstruating. Open defecation also risks exposing them to increased sexual exploitation and personal safety and is a risk to public health.

Still, today UN agencies report that of the 673 million people practicing open defecation, 91 per cent live in rural areas. An increase in population in countries including Nigeria, Tanzania, Madagascar and Niger, but also in some Oceania states, is leading to localized growth in open defecation.

Ahead of World Toilet Day, which is marked annually on 19 November, WSSCC’s acting Executive Director, Sue Coates, has been speaking to UN News about how to end open defecation.

Check out the full interview 👉 here and share your thoughts!
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