State of our toilets

In Pakistan alone, unsatisfactory and deplorable sanitary conditions of slums, poorly built and malfunctioning latrines poses a huge risk of prevalence of diseases such as cholera – an acute diarrhoeal disease, Ebola, typhoid and tuberculosis that spread faster due to poor sanitation. Millions of people seem to defecate into open spaces such as roadside, railway tracks, open plots and even plastic bags are being used as flying toilets. In a similar vein, lack of adequate toilet facilities affect women privacy, become a cause of embarrassment and intimidation–find it formidable to defecate in the open. However, stool holding behaviour certainly leads to constipation and other serious psychological problems. At the other site of the spectrum, educational institutes such as schools that have toilets are not cleaned properly at regular intervals nor have soaps. The faecal contamination of hands, attires and other clothing allow numerous infectious diseases to disseminate with ease amongst the children. To contrive this, there is a dire need to nominate committees at school level, which will be responsible to provide soaps and ensure cleanliness of bathrooms on a daily basis. It’s appalling that a country collects millions of dollars of aid annually but abortive to deliver the most fundamental necessity to its people. Lahore is home to over 15 million people devoid of appropriate public toilets and the existing ones depict abhorrent conditions due to lack of funds for maintenance. Every citizen has a fundamental right to have basic decent toilet; something that hygienically separates people from their waste. No country ever enjoys the taste of true modernity and prosperity without proper sanitation.
HAIDER ALI
Lahore

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