One of the most basic amenities that we take for granted here in the US today, it is difficult to even imagine what life would be like without the toilet. But for much of the developing world, there is no need to imagine, as life without adequate sanitation is both a common and dangerous reality. Often the hidden problems behind high child mortality rates, poor water quality and lack of safe waste disposal are known to cause a host of horrible, life-threatening diseases, including rotavirus, cholera, typhoid and hepatitis.
On the 10th anniversary of World Toilet Day, which takes place on November 19, we all have a chance to help make lack of clean water and adequate sanitation a thing of the past. To help you learn all about sanitation, here are three recommended videos:
Vanguard, a documentary series on Current TV, came out with this awesome 44-minute documentary on sanitation called “The World’s Toilet Crisis.” It’s raw, candid and highly persuasive in the argument that yes — everyone in the world should have a toilet! Watch it here:
All week, Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org, he has been asking people all over the world to donate their Facebook and Twitter updates to “talk sh*t” in the hope that he can provoke a movement toward improved standards of sanitation for people in developing countries.
He shares some of the absurd statistics on the water and sanitation crisis and what you can do to help in his PSA here:
And Damon is not the only famous face looking to drive a fight for safe, hygienic toilet access this year. In July, the Gates Foundation announced their “Reinventing the Toilet Challenge,” an initiative designed to engineer innovative new solutions to sanitation problems that includes funding for research to develop a toilet that can turn waste into energy and clean water.
With a staggering 2.6 billion people lacking access to improved sanitation, showing our support for these and other initiatives planned for World Toilet Day seems the least we can do to help. Looking for some other ways to promote the cause? Check out the World Toilet Day website. And take a moment to read through their toolkit. From an official song, to sending a letter to your local officials and a list of activities you can take part in, there really are opportunities for everyone to get involved.