Gospel for Asia (GFA) News, Wills Point, Texas
One of the first questions that real estate agents broach upon meeting a potential buyer or seller is “How many bathrooms do you need” or “… do you have,” as the case may be.
As commonplace as that may be for most reading this article, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4.5 billion people “either have no toilet at home or (have) one that doesn’t safely manage excreta.”
Think for a moment. Let that number sink in. That is about 60% of the total global population. While Americans and most of the western world are flush with adequate, even fancy commodes and sanitary wastewater systems, nearly two-thirds of the people on this planet do not have access to the convenience of a proper toilet facility.
It is estimated that nearly a billion of those with limited or no access to private or public toilet facilities practice open defecation. That is, they must find a place to go, whether it is in an open field, near a bush, along roadsides and railways, or in some corner away from the crowd.
It is not a matter of people not desiring or feeling a need for privacy. It is simply that facilities do not exist for the safe disposal of human excrement. Nor do the impoverished have the means to build a private facility whether inside or outside of their home.
Gospel for Asia Strives to Improve Sanitation
Think of this not merely as a problem but as a daily problem for 60 percent of the world. GFA is participating with the likes of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, national, regional and local governments, and non-governmental agencies to work toward eliminating this demoralizing, demeaning, and dangerous sanitary problem.
Gospel for Asia just recently released a nearly 4,000-word Special Report entitled Saving Lives at Risk from Open Defecation Using Outdoor Toilets to Improve Sanitation. In it we research and detail many of the problems that are being addressed by various organizations, including GFA, with solutions aimed at resolving this primary concern for so many people.
In 2016 alone, Gospel for Asia helped to construct more than 10,500 toilets, providing healthier, more sanitary conditions for those previously exposed to the menace of open defecation. But we have no time to rest on our laurels or give ourselves a pat on the back. Ten thousand toilets is not enough to make a serious dent in the problem. We have helped but we need to continue to help and we need to do more to rescue families from poverty and bring Christ’s love to them. Toilets provide dignity, safety, health, enable education and empower communities.
The Need Is Greater than the Perception
The problem is simple to understand. The ramifications are far deeper. Diseases caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water kill 1.4 million children per year. That is more than measles, malaria, and AIDS combined.
Open defecation is a primary source of or contributor to widespread illness and death. Insects attracted to the feces become carriers of diseases that are unheard of where sanitation systems are in place.
Like the cycle of poverty that we pray to be able to eradicate, these diseases cycle through individuals, families, and communities, adding to their collective debilitation as one disease after another is transmitted, driving the impoverished into yet more dire circumstances.
Gospel for Asia is determined to stand in the gap and to minister “unto the least of these” who have no apparent help or hope. For them, a toilet is a both a necessity and an unaffordable luxury. God’s people doing God’s work can supply the sanitary needs of countless hurting people who have no other way.
Diseases caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water kill 1.4 million children per year.
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