Approximately 2.5 billion people across our planet do not have access to a good toilet or adequate sanitation. This is a major contributor to widespread sickness and poor health in developing countries.

It also has huge societal implications for education, safety and economic prosperity.

The absence of a good and safe toilet linked to an efficient and safe sanitation system causes spread of disease and water borne pathogens. This leads to many social and economic problems.

For women in particular the lack of access to a safe toilet compromises privacy, ability to move freely within a community and safety.

Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Women are forced to spend large parts of their day fetching water. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer.

The world community has been working toward resolving this crisis. In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals were established by the United Nations to address major world social and environmental problems. Goal Number 7 is: To ensure environmental sustainability. Target 7C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

For a detailed explanation of the global sanitation crisis, click this link to the United Nations Secretary General Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.