Today is the first ever World Toilet Day and a new report released today Co-published by WaterAid, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, and Unilever’s leading household cleaning brand, Domestos, We can’t wait highlights the stark consequences that the lack of toilets and good hygiene practices have for women and girls. according to this report there are still 2.5 billion people in this world without adequate sanitation. Lack of sanitation directly impacts education, health and safety, especially for women and girls.
“One in three [people] lack access to adequate sanitation,” noted UN Deputy-Secretary General, Jan Eliasson and Unilever Chief Executive Officer, Paul Polman in the report. “The result is widespread death and disease and social marginalization. Poor sanitation exposes women and girls to the risk of assault and, when schools cannot provide clean, safe toilets, girls’ attendance drops.”
In Rhode Island, one man has come up with an innovative solution. Dr Stephen Mecca is a Professor in the department of Engineering-Pysics-Systems at Providence College, and a visiting scholar at the University of Ghana. He co-Invented the micro flush valve and with his research team has created an environmentally sensible , sanitary, and dignified, re-invention of the toilet. Designed for warm weather environments, this toilet takes less than a cup of water to flush, and that comes from the hand washing of the previous user. In the above video Dr. mecca explains how it works.
This Microflush toilet is the type of innovation that can transform lives, and the We Can’t Wait Report shows that strong partnerships between the public and private sectors are key to tackling the sanitation crisis, and that more frequent cross-sector collaboration is essential to improving the lives of women and girls.
WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organization works in 27 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 19 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 15 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @WaterAidAmerica on Twitter or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraidamerica.