As part of World Toilet Day 2016 (November 19) Celebration in Liberia, the British Charity WaterAid has released a staggering report on the status of sanitation globally.
The finding by the British charity is contained in a report named and styled Overflowing cities…The State of the World’s Toilets 2016.
The report has revealed that India, the third-biggest economy on Earth-is the worst country in the world for numbers of urban dwellers without safe, private toilets and for open defecation, followed by China and Nigeria.
The report also shows that one third of Liberia’s population still practices open defecation with One million Six hundred Twenty thousand urban population living without improved sanitation which is equivalent to 72 percent, while 500 plus children die from diseases that can be prevented.
According to the report, in Liberia 32 percent of children under 5 are stunted as a result of diseases associated with poor sanitation.
The report examines the state of urban sanitation around the world, an issue that is becoming more pressing as two-thirds of the global population is expected to live in towns and cities by 2050.
Speaking during a press briefing in Gbarnga, Bong County during WTD 2016 celebration, the Team Leader of WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone, Chuchu Selma called on National Government to ensure that everyone living in urban areas, including slums can have toilet.
Mr. Selma wants increased budgets from governments and donors on sanitation, clean water and hygiene for the urban poor and stressed the need for coordination amongst government, partners and the locals to ensure improved sanitation services are provided.
He also urged corporate organizations to play a pivotal role in society by supporting initiatives aimed at raising the profile of slum dwellers when it comes to sanitation.
The British charity Head for Liberia and Sierra Leone used the occasion to admonish Liberians of all works of life to give sanitation workers respect, better incentives and decent salaries.
India ranks top for having the greatest number of urbanites living without a safe, private toilet-157 million-as well as the most urban dwellers practicing open defecation-41 million.
Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, is falling furthest behind in reaching its urban population with a toilet, while China is making some strives in reaching its urban population with sanitation.
From Statistics, around 315,000 children die each year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. That’s almost 900 children each day, or one child every two minutes.
War-ravaged South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, is the worst country in the world for urban sanitation in percentage terms. An estimated 84% of urbanites have no access to a toilet and every other urban-dweller there practices open defecation.
The report examines the problems facing more than 700 million urban dwellers around the world living without decent sanitation.
An estimated 100 million of these have no choice but to defecate in the open-using roadsides, railway tracks and even plastic bags dubbed ‘flying toilets’.
One child dies every two minutes from diarrheal diseases caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and hygiene. Globally 159 million children under five have their physical and cognitive development stunted; many of such cases are caused from repeated bouts of diarrhea attributed to dirty water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene.
The report by the charity has exposed several countries failing to make progress in providing urban sanitation, despite their rapid economic growth.
The report named South Sudan, Madagascar, Congo, Ghana, Sierra Leone , Togo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Dr. Congo and Uganda as top 10 countries topping the list with the greatest percentage of the urban population living without safe toilets.
World Toilet Day 2016 which coincided with the release of the report by WaterAid is about taking action to reach the 2.4 billion people living without a toilet.
The theme of World Toilet Day 2016 is “toilets and jobs”, focusing on how sanitation, or the lack of it, can impact people’s livelihoods.
Toilets play a crucial role in creating a strong economy, as well as improving health an d protecting people’s safety and dignity, particularly women’s and girls’.