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Everybody Poops.

February 17, 2022

Here in North America it sounds like the punchline to a bad joke, but World Toilet Day is real. And we’ll be celebrating it along with the rest of the world next week!

1 in 3 people around the world lack toilets, which means they lack access to necessary sanitation to avoid disease in their homes, communities and water systems.
It means that they struggle to avoid illness when they go out to relieve themselves, and if they’re sick they struggle even more to get well. It means that women risk violence every time they look for a quiet, private place to go.

Maybe if we forced our government leaders to dig their own latrines — and use and clean them — they’d develop the political will to solve the simple problem of lack of access to sanitation. Until that happens, we can equip people with the knowledge to build and maintain healthy sanitation systems.

In fact, one of the most popular sections of our Community Guide to Environmental Health is the chapter Building Toilets, which contains basic instructions on how to construct several different types of toilets, from latrines to ecological toilets. Ecological toilets convert feces and urine into soil conditioner and fertilizer which improve people’s health and the environment by preventing the spread of germs and turning harmful waste into a valuable resource.

The print version of A Community Guide to Environmental Health is available in Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and English. Whether you need to strategize to build toilets or beat back a mining company from polluting your waterways, we have 617 pages of environmental health resources to help you take on improving the conditions needed everywhere for good health.