World Toilet Day, which is celebrated on 19th November every year, was created to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. This year, the theme is “leave no one behind” which means “paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.” Sanitation access is fundamental for helping people to rise up out of poverty.
Poorly managed sanitation not only leads to the spread of diarrheal diseases, which is a significant cause of death for children under the age of five. Finding a place to relieve oneself outside also leaves women and girls vulnerable to harassment or assault.
The rate of open defecation in India has been reduced by 47% between 2000 and 2017, but many people still go outside. This is partly because of existing social norms and partly because of a lack of infrastructure. Through the Community Development Program, SAFP has helped 406 families to complete the construction of sanitary latrines.
The type of latrines built by SAFP (called dry toilets) also benefit the environment by reducing open defecation and the pollution of local water. They require minimum water usage. These toilets also provide economic benefit for the communities by producing fertilizer that can be used in the fields.
Now with the help of amazing donors, our goal is to build 500 dry toilets in two communities in Maharashtra, which will provide villagers with a safe and secure way to go to the bathroom.