THE hardest place in the world to find a toilet and the developed nations which are among the surprising offenders are all revealed in WaterAid’s first It’s No Joke – State of the World’s Toilets report for World Toilet Day.
An analysis of rates of access to sanitation for the world’s 193 countries has revealed some surprising figures. The world’s youngest country, South Sudan, has the worst household access to sanitation in the world, followed closely by Niger, Togo and Madagascar. Papua New Guinea is also in the list.
The report highlights the plight of more than 2.3 billion people in the world who do not have access to a safe, private toilet. Of these, nearly one billion have no choice but to defecate in the open – in fields, at roadsides or in bushes.
The result is a polluted environment in which diseases spread fast. About 314,000 children under five die each year of diarrhoeal illness which could be prevented with safe water, good sanitation and good hygiene. Many more have their physical and cognitive development stunted through repeated bouts of diarrhoea; half of malnutrition is attributed to dirty water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene.
Among the other findings:
- India, the world’s second-most populous country, holds the record for the most people waiting for sanitation (774 million) and the most people per square kilometre (173) practising open defecation.
- Papua New Guinea is the only country outside Sub-Saharan Africa to fall in the world’s hardest 12 countries in which to find a toilet, by percentage of population. Some 81 per cent of people do not have a safe, private toilet to use.
- The tiny South Pacific island of Tokelau has made the most progress on delivering sanitation since 1990; impressively, Nepal and Cambodia come in the top 5 in this category.
- Nigeria has seen a dramatic slide in the number of people with access to toilets since 1990.
- Not everyone in the developed world has toilets. Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Sweden are among nations with measurable numbers still without safe, private household toilets; Russia has the lowest percentage of household toilets of all developed nations. In Australia it is reported that just about every single household in the country has a safe, private toilet.
- Source: wateraid.org