892 million people worldwide defecate in the open, and this untreated faeces contaminates the water soil that sustains human life. The impact of exposure to human faeces on this scale has a devastating impact upon public health, living conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world.
Sometimes rural communities such as in the Gorkha region in Nepal (where Raleigh have been working for the past two years) may have toilets, but more often than not they can be overflowing or badly damaged from the earthquake. Because of this, locals don’t want to use them and their only option is to practice open defecation. Part of Raleigh’s WASH (water and sanitation hygiene) work in this region is to dig toilet pits for households that need them, enabling them to build new, clean and safe toilets with our partner NGO Goreto Gorkha. The pits we build will last for 25 years, at which point the faeces is used as manure.
Sadly, globally we are currently not on track to reach the sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG); to ensure availability, and sustainable management, of sanitation and water for all by 2030. The aim is to make sure everyone has a safe toilet and nobody need practice open defecation. Raleigh volunteers are part of a group of Active Global Citizens who are working to inspire change across the world. We are hoping to do our bit to help achieve the sixth SDG, and provide access to appropriate sanitation facilities to make their lives that little bit easier.