‘Toilets’ shouldn’t be a dirty word

Girish Menon, WaterAid’s Director of International Programmes, writing on WaterAid’s blog:

“I spent this morning talking toilets at the UN.

Of all the potential topics of conversation with global decision-makers, needing the toilet might not be high on your list. We all do it on a daily basis but in polite conversation, it appears we’d prefer not to talk about it.

Whether we like it or not, the silence surrounding how we dispose of our bodily waste has to be broken. The health, prosperity and wellbeing of 2.5 billion people rests on it – 2.5 billion people who right now have nowhere to go to the toilet.


So it’s been encouraging to hear key decision-makers in the UN acknowledging this today. Sitting next to me this morning was the President of the General Assembly His Excellency John Ashe who said that sanitation is one of “the pre-eminent development challenges of our world”. Minutes later, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon added, ‘Access to water, sanitation and hygiene must feature prominently in the post-2015 agenda.’”

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