Your home likely contains at least one bathroom. For many people, not having a private toilet would be unthinkable. Yet more than 2 billion people worldwide do not have access to basic sanitation facilities.1 As a result, nearly 892 million must relieve themselves in fields, streams or other outdoor common areas, which leads to disease and other dangers.2 When people defecate near rivers and streams, the water—which some people use for drinking—becomes contaminated.3 In addition, human waste can collect in heaps and attract flies, which then carry disease-laden microbes wherever they land.4
Providing toilets and education on proper sanitation is a key part of GFA World’s clean water and sanitation efforts. In 2019, GFA workers installed 5,428 outdoor toilets in needy communities. Sisters of Compassion and other GFA workers have also raised awareness and conducted training on proper hygiene practices to help people improve their overall health. But many are still in need—and may die from diseases linked to their lack.
Please join us in praying this month for GFA World’s sanitation initiative and for those without proper sanitation facilities.
1 “Sanitation: Key facts.” World Health Organization. June 14, 2019 . https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sanitation
2 Saleem, Mahrukh; Burdett, Teresa; Heaslip, Vanessa. “Health and social impacts of open defecation on women: a systematic review.” BMC Public Health. February 6, 2019. . https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-019-6423-z
3 Rinkesh. “What is Open Defecation?” Conserve Energy Future. Accessed March 8, 2021. . https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/how-open-defecation-affect-human-health-environment-and-solutions.php