Recently, I have been reminded of a program that I watched last year. Its called Kenny's World and is a sort of travel program featuring toilets around the world. It was there that I heard about the other WTO, the World Toilet Organisation. Did you know that there is actually an annual World Toilet Summit?
If you live in the developed world, this may not be something that you need to think about. But let me assure you, when you're in the developing world, you must make plans when you leave the house. In addition, the situation is exacerbated in the developing countries because it is more likely that you'll eat something your body doesn't agree with.
Take Palembang for example. If you're on the road, on the way somewhere, there would be almost NOWHERE to stop if you needed to go. There aren't a whole lot of petrol stations around and even if there was, they aren't pleasant. There are only 3 malls and they are probably the place that you're on your way to. And even if you were IN the mall, the toilets there usually have a queue a mile long.
The other day, I saw my first public toilet by the road and it just adds to my fears. As it is, my anxiety levels have already reached the stage where I try not to have a drink for an hour before we leave.
My family and I have a whole collection of hilarious toilet stories from our travels around Asia but really, its a very serious problem. It is estimated that 2.6 billion people in the world do not have access to basic sanitation. Thats nearly 40%!
I don't have to drive very far from our home in Palembang to see that there are plenty of houses here that still use an outhouse. I just hope I won't have to try one out someday.