Toilets and sanitation systems are rarely topics of public discussion and remain taboo subjects in most cultures.

The perecentage of the world's population without access to adequate toilets and sanitation systems has been reduced from 51% in 1990 to 38% in 2008, however, the number of people that continue to live without access to adequate sanitation is still extremely high. As a result, the UN Millennium Development Goal No. 7  includes the target to halve the proportion of people without access by 2015.

There is a need to raise awareness that safe, sustainable sanitation is one of the most effective preventive medicines.

Politicians love to be photographed next to a new well, but not next to a toilet. Most donors still prefer to provide finances to water projects over those for sanitation. In reaction to this situation, the UN declared 2008 as the "International Year of Sanitation" (IYS 2008).

The Hell of Having to Go....
  • 2.5 billion people worldwide (about 38% of the world population) live without adequate sanitation
  • the results of poor sanitation kill more people per year than armed conflicts
  • polluted drinking water and insufficient sanitation are the second most important reason for child mortality; as a result around 5000 children worldwide die each day
  • waterborne diseases lead to 433 million missed school days every year
  • people that have no access to toilets are forced to defecate openly in fields or in ditches (often in darkness). This is particularly dangerous for children and women who are at risk of harrassment