Everybody poops; a universal human reality. But almost a billion people have no choice but to do so in the open, in fields and streets. Aside from the lack of dignity, this places women at risk of violence as they seek the cover of darkness alone. Such lack of sanitation also leads to widespread contamination of drinking water, and incalculable death and disease.
Many schools have no toilets and again, this places young woman at risk and bars them from attending classes when they are menstruating.
Nobody likes to talk about poop, and maybe that’s why World Toilet Day has come and gone with little acknowledgement in the media. Perhaps that’s also why only one per cent of Canada’s foreign aid goes towards sanitation, but squeamishness about a necessary life function is no reason to ignore sanitation as a critical focus for aid.