‘Over 25 per cent schools will have proper sanitary facilities soon’

The World Toilet Day was marked on November 19 worldwide. The Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Ministry in Sri Lanka will ensure that every family in the country gets proper sanitary facilities. Under this year’s World Toilet Day theme ‘When Nature Calls’, over 25 per cent of schools in Sri Lanka will be facilitated with proper toilets in the near future.

The United Nations sources say an estimated 4.5 billion live without a safe toilet and 892 million people still practise open defecation.

The Health Promotion Bureau said that in Sri Lanka 0.7 per cent of schools have no toilets and 25.1 per cent of schools do not have enough toilet facilities. According to Health Ministry statistics, 2,182 cases of dysentery and 432 cases of enteric fever have been reported to its Communicable Diseases Unit.

The resolution declaring World Toilet Day titled, ‘Sanitation for All’ (A/RES/67/291), was adopted on July 24, 2013. It urges UN Member States and stakeholders to encourage behavioural change and to implement policies to increase access to sanitation among the poor, along with a call to end the practice of open-air defecation, which is extremely harmful to public health.

This year’s World Toilet Day campaign is on the narrative, “When nature calls, we need a toilet. But billions of people do not have one. This means human faeces, on a massive scale, are not captured or treated – contaminating water and soil that sustain human life. We are turning our environment into an open sewer. We must build toilets and sanitation systems that work in harmony with ecosystems.” CHW

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