World Food Day in Berlin

Pupils from Berlin celebrated World Food Day, connecting nutrition with sanitation, water and hygiene.

Pupils from Berlin celebrated World Food Day, connecting nutrition with sanitation, water and hygiene.

Together with pupils from Berlin, the German Toilet Organization celebrated World Food Day at the symbolic Worldtime Clock at Alexanderplatz, connecting nutrition with sanitation, water and hygiene. The pupils exhibited their crafts to the public, showing the serious influence of missing toilets on global hunger. 795 million people in the world are still suffering from hunger. One third of the world’s population does not have access to basic sanitation and good hygiene. Children under 5 years of age in particular suffer from chronic and life-threatening diarrheal diseases, which lead to deficiency of nutrition and permanent impairment of the mental and physical development. The World Health Organization estimates that 50% of all malnutrition goes to the account of poor sanitation, unclean water and poor hygiene. Thus, access to good toilets can make a significant contribution to eliminating hunger and malnutrition worldwide.

(guest post by German Toilet Org)

Toilet flash mob in Berlin on International Women’s Day

students in front of a toilet in Berlin during  International Women's Day

Toilet flash mob in Berlin, via German Toilet Organization

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Berlin pupils and the German Toilet Organization (GTO) staged an unexpected scene at the Washington Square in front of Berlin Central Station. In the focus of the flash mob were two toilet stalls, one for women, one for men. With a disproportionately long queue in front of the ladies – a well-known image – the pupils called attention to the lack of equality between the sexes in front of the loo.

According to the World Health Organization, one in three women worldwide have no access to safe and clean sanitation. In poor neighborhoods of urban areas the only existing public toilets are rarely gender-separated. More than 500 million women and girls therefore do their business outdoors. Many go only at night, in order to protect their privacy. This is not only unhealthy, but also makes them prone to harassment and sexual assaults.

“Good sanitation is not only a key to development, but also to equal rights for women and girls,” says Thilo Panzerbieter, Executive Director of GTO. Especially in the field of education, access to an adequate school toilet plays a crucial role in school attendances. “About half of all girls in least developed countries attend schools with none or only very inadequate sanitation,” adds Panzerbieter. The lack of privacy and poor hygiene conditions lead to school dropouts as soon as the girls reach puberty. These problems can be greatly reduced by improving sanitation in schools. According to a study by UNICEF in Bangladesh improved school toilets led to an increase of 11% in girl attendances.

Defecation postures #SquattyPotty

With the release of this “behind-the-scenes”-video of the #SquattyPotty-commercial, it’s probably safe to call this the BEST COMMERCIAL EVER. On WASH products, at least.

And here’s the result:

What I really like about the SquattyPotty and similar products is that it helps to combine both squatting vs. sitting worlds which we’ve covered here on the forum of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance a few years ago. Toilet cultures may differ around the world, but if a cute unicorn muppet and poop = ice cream help in conveying the message of healthier defecation, then I am instantly sold for such a product.

Now, where do I get this SquattyPotty here in Germany? Edit: found a similar solution.

(When this video hit the interwebz a month ago, some of my friends instantly asked me via FB where they could buy this product. Unicorns, man. Works.)

International World Refugee Day 2015

On the occasion of the International World Refugee Day 2015, 150 Berlin students demonstrated against the inhumane sanitary situation in wars and crisis regions.

Students in Berlin who demonstrated against the inhumane sanitary situation in wars and crisis regions.

Students in Berlin who demonstrated against the inhumane sanitary situation in wars and crisis regions.

The students raised awareness of the situation of refugees with posters and slogans! Some students were selected as “toilet-woman” and “toilet-man” and guided the demonstration as toilet-super-heros!

After a press conference and the demonstration, Frank Heinrich, member of the German parliament, acknlowledged the commitment and effort of the students.




Members of the German WASH Network wrote in to inform us about their activities for World Water Day 2015:

“Under the slogan #WasserMarsch we will walk 4 km through Cologne starting at the Aachener Weiher and ending with a final announcement at the Bahnhofsvorplatz. Together we will fetch water at the Aachener Weiher with buckets and jerrycans (please bring something!) which are used in many countries to collect water. With a 4 km march through Cologne`s inner city we want to solidarise with the 780 million people worldwide who still do not have access to clean drinking water and have to walk this distance every day to get water. Water and sanitation are human rights and should be available for everybody – here in Europe and in the so-called developing countries as well as in crises, wars and catastrophes.”

The event will take place on March 21, 2015 at 2pm in Cologne, Germany. For more details, pls visit the Facebook event page!

P.S.: World Water Day 2015 is on March 22!