World Toilet Day recognized by UN: US network spreading word.

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Today – 19 November 2013 – is World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day is being officially recognized by the United Nations this year, and a host of organizations are simultaneously working on sanitation efforts worldwide. Why is World Toilet Day important? Many people both in the United States and around the world have no safe […]

Empowerment and Gender Equality in Water and Sanitation: What does it mean? What does it matter?

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If you know of work done by non-profit or governmental organizations globally, you have likely heard the words -  empowerment and gender equality. Groups worldwide use these terms in apparent pursuit of more equitable water and sanitation projects ranging from entrepreneurship to provision. When first exposed to these terms during my master’s studies in 2010, I […]

Open letter in support of all-gender restroom demand by UC Student-Worker Union

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[Forgive my dearth of  Water for the Ages posts. I have been studying water and sanitation issues in a sociology program at University of California Santa Cruz. I am a teaching assistant and taking courses there. Our current student worker contract expired November 2013. One of our demands – besides calling for a living-wage, etc. […]

Talking Poo with You: World Toilet Summit 2012

PHLUSH World Toilet Day 2010

It seems a little progress is being made in getting the world to talk poo. Some people know that 2.5 billion humans lack safe access to toilets and over 4,000 kids die each day from diarrhea illnesses linked with poor sanitation. Fewer people understand toilet issues affect everybody either in natural disasters or through types […]

Celebrating World Toilet Day 2012 Locally and Globally

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Water and toilets are inextricably linked, but toilets sometimes take a backseat to water problems occurring worldwide. But if you don’t have water, you can’t have some styles of toilets or proper hygiene and around 200 million tons of human defecation pollutes waterways each year causing illnesses. Even though over 800 million people do not […]

Water and Toilets for Humans w/o Homes

Without a Home

On a recent trip to my hometown, I traveled two hours north to visit a close family member living on the streets. He is chronically homeless, and it deeply saddens me he is unable to accept housing assistance. Someone chronically homeless is an “individual with a disabling condition who has either been continually homeless for […]

#wwweek Talk Brief: Gender, Water, and Food Security

Empowerment Measurement Meinsen-Dick

The second event I tuned to was the Concrete Actions: Advancing the Integration of Gender, Water, Food Security talk. The theme of this seminar was exciting because I had previously grappled with developing a tool for measuring gender equality and empowerment in water and sanitation. And as Hon. Bigombe so eloquently said, “If you want […]

#wwweek Talk Brief: Sanitation and Water for All

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The first event I tuned to was the Sanitation and Water for All: Global Decision-makers Unite on WASH talk. Volunteering with PHLUSH, I wanted to get some info on global sanitation initiatives, and I liked the way this group includes sanitation first in their title. The Sanitation and Water for All partnership is over 80 […]

We all poop. We all live downstream.

We all poop. We all live downstream.

It’s World Toilet Day, and it’s no joke. Around 2.6 billion people worldwide lack toilets and every 15 seconds a child dies from sanitation-related illnesses. But we can smile that World Toilet Day was designated by the World Toilet Organization to organize groups for positive sanitation change. Our local World Toilet Day event in Portland, […]

Don’t Let it Drop – PSA-a-thon Series

Are you ready for your daily dose of H20 packaged into a handy-dandy Public Service Announcement? Well, I hope so. Today’s PSA is from WaterAid. It was created to encourage world leaders to make toilets a priority at the upcoming UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit in September 2010. Musicians playing at Glastonbury Festival were […]

The World Cup, Water, and Sanitation – PSA-a-thon Series

Many around the world have just finished watching the USA vs. Algeria game in South Africa. USA won the match (1-0) and will be able to continue to play in the 2010 World Cup. I’m happy with the final score (sorry, Algeria) but not so happy about something else. During the time of each World […]

Water and Sanitation Crisis at the White House

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“The White House was given a shocking makeover by international charity WaterAid and global campaign group End Water Poverty. The makeover took place to mark the first ever High Level Meeting on Sanitation and Water in Washington on 23 April. Gone are the immaculate White House lawns, in their place a squalid otherworldly scene where […]

Drink Tap Water to Give Kids Clean Water

UNICEF Tap  Project in Corvallis

As the rainy season wanes in the Pacific Northwest, our water-focused student club at Oregon State University has decided to promote the UNICEF Tap Project. The Tap Project, which began in 2007, is held during World Water Week from March 21st to March 27th. The aim is bring awareness to and collect donations for water […]

World Toilet Day 2009

Today is World Toilet Day. And – if you giggle at this funny-sounding name – you might not realize the vital importance of proper sanitation. Over 2.5 billion (about 40 percent of the world population) urinate and defecate outside. Open defecation, or OD as it is commonly known, spreads diseases and results in the poor […]

Gandhian Thoughts on Gender, Water, and Sanitation

An eight-hour overnight train journey leaves me waking up just before arrival to Dindigul Junction as the engine rumbles to a stop. For my final field visit in South India, I have come to Gandhigram Trust to see how their recent water and sanitation interventions, funded by Arghyam, have affected women and men in rural […]

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