Three Things Thursday… down the pan

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Today – 19 November 2015 – is World Toilet Day!


So, I’m grateful that…

  • I’m not one of the 2.4 billion people who lack access to improved sanitation (source: World Toilet Day)
  • I’m not one of the women and girls living without a toilet who, in total, spend 266 million hours each day finding a place to go (source:
  • I don’t live in one of the many countries in which it is not acceptable for a woman to relieve herself during the day. Where women wait hours for nightfall, just to have privacy, thus impacting on health and putting them alone and in danger just to relieve themselves (source:

There are lots of solutions and there are great charities out there doing sterling work to ensure that everybody, worldwide has access to toilets – providing privacy, improving health, treating human waste as a resource and freeing up time. My personal favourite is Practical Action, who do great work all year helping communities to build toilets using appropriate technology… and are also supporting World Toilet Day.


Leave a comment


  1. I’m grateful, given the state of my anti-gluten tummy, that my home and community are blessed with a generous proportions of loos; that I can remember where most of the public ones are despite my sieve-like memory; and that Australian local authorities are pretty meticulous about replacing empty rolls of paper so that you never sit there in the sudden dreadful realisation that you have one square left for a 15 square job… 🙂

  2. First, I have to say that Kate just cracked me up. She’s hilarious in her dry wit. Second, I have indoor plumbing on my gratitude list daily. Seems a simple thing that we here in the US take for granted, but I have lived in many places where that is not the case. I also have clean, running water on the list. The fact that there are those stuck so far in the dark ages that they would make women wait to use a bathroom, sends shivers down my spine. I guess the contrast makes me even more grateful. I did not know about world toilet day and am a day late but still eternally grateful. I’m with Kate on knowing where all the good public toilets are and who keeps theirs clean. When you get older and after having children, the body doesn’t like to wait. I would love to see the entire world have good access to indoor plumbing.

    • It’s hard to believe, isn’t it, that there is anywhere that this natural function is not, at least, acknowledged. Apparently, many girls in some areas withdraw from school when they reach puberty because of the lack of toilet facilities . It astounds me that so much potential is lost because we do not cater to this most basic of all human needs.

  3. Hate it when on a dog walk I need the toilet!

    • I can remember how, at school, we were not allowed to leave lessons to go to the toilet. Now I think about it, it’s simply cruel, but at the time it was acceptable. However, the memory of this restriction helps me to appreciate just a little bit what some women suffer.

  4. Quite takes the breath away doesn’t it! What we in our western entitlement take for granted and give no thought to……. There is it seems a ‘day’ for everything nowadays, most of them banal and or ludicrous. This is one of the few ‘days’ that makes sense to me. Thanks for raising my consciousness this morning!

    • Yes, I’m forever seeing reference to this day and that day, most of which I completely ignore. However, clean water and sanitation are such basic needs, which it’s so easy to take for granted in our access to them… and so when I became aware of this particular ‘day’ I decided it was one that I did want to mark. Let’s hope as a result, some of those 2.4 billion people get access to appropriate facilities.

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