Did you know that more people have a mobile phone than have access to a toilet?
Last week saw the annual World Water Week event take place in Stockholm, Sweden, 31st August – 5th September. The yearly conference brings together over 200 organisations to discuss the world’s water issues and aims to highlight the on-going crisis. While the main theme of the event was ‘Water and Energy’ another topic that was highly talked about was sanitation.
The UN estimate that around 2.5 billion people around the world don’t have access to improved sanitation – which is defined as those which “hygienically separate human excreta from human contact”. There are also over 1 billion people who practice open defecation, and this figure is rising in sub-Saharan Africa. This leads to 1.8 billion people drinking water that is contaminated with faeces, spreading diseases and causing thousands of deaths every day.
Here at WellFound we do more than just build wells. We can see that water and sanitation go hand in hand and that is why we are dedicated to supplying toilet facilities in all the areas we work in.
Recently the United Nations highlighted that one of the main concerns that blights sanitation improvement around the world is not the infrastructure but people’s attitudes. We have seen this problem first hand which is why in Guinea-Bissau we have employed Domingas, a local Nurse, to help educate local people about the benefits of using sanitation facilities. We often build latrines close to schools so that we can serve the most vulnerable members of society but also so that we can change the attitudes of the young and in turn have a positive effect on future generations.
The more latrines and wells we build, the more education we can provide to ensure these resources are used effectively to ensure people live healthy lives. Thank you for your support.
- Facts were obtained from the World Health Organisation and United Nations ‘Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2014 Update’ report. A copy is available here: http://www.wssinfo.org/fileadmin/user_upload/resources/JMP_report_2014_webEng.pdf