Category Archives: Europe & Central Asia

My toilet: global stories from women and girls

You are invited to view an exciting new exhibition by WSUP, launched to mark World Toilet Day.

My Toilet documents women and girls and their toilets to build a visual representation of the day to day reality and the effect this has on their lives, both positive and negative.

Keyla, 4, by her toilet in Bolivar, Ecuador. Photography Karla Gachet. Panos Pictures for WSUP.

Keyla, 4, by her toilet in Bolivar, Ecuador. Photo: Karla Gachet, Panos Pictures for WSUP.

The images and stories show that, although the type of toilet changes from country to country, the impacts have recurring themes. Having can mean a better chance of education, employment, dignity, safety, status and more. Wherever you are in the world, a toilet equals far more than just a toilet.

Get involved on social media!
Help spread this message by sharing a picture of yourself holding up a sign with the hashtag #ToiletEquals followed by a word, or a few words, to describe what having a toilet equals for you and for millions of others around the world. All the tweets and pictures will be shown on the My Toilet website.

Visit the exhibition!
Images from 20 countries, spanning every continent, will be exhibited at The Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, London SW1Y 4UY. The gallery is open to the public from 17 – 22 November 2014, 10am – 5pm daily. Entry is free. We hope to see you there!

Turning sweat into drinking water for Unicef

Unicef Sweden is using a “Sweat Machine” to help raise awareness and funds for drinking water projects.

Visitors at the Gothia Cup youth soccer tournament in Gothenburg in July handed in their sweaty shirt after a workout on an exercise bike and got a cup of clean drinking water in return.

For every kilometer cycled and glass of purified water that was drunk, sponsors Apothek Hjärtat (a pharmacy chain) and the Swedish Postcode Lottery donated money to Unicef.

Photo: Deportivo / Unicef

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Prince of Orange sets royal record for toilet bowl throwing

HRH Willem-Alexander The Prince of Orange, Rhenen, 30 April 2012 Photo: NOS

A Dutch royal record for toilet bowl throwing was set today during the Queen’s Day celebrations in Rhenen. HRH Willem-Alexander threw an orange toilet bowl further than his fellow princes to clinch the royal title.

Willem-Alexander attributed his success to his experience in the sanitation sector. The Prince of Orange is Chair of UNSGAB, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.

An annual toilet bowl throwing competition started in 2000 in the village of Achterberg, part of the municipality of Rhenen. The Prince of Orange’s throw was well short of the competition record of 10.56 m set in 2007.

Watch a video of the Prince’s toilet bowl throw here and a video of the 2008 toilet bowl competition below.

Senior Programme Officer, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist Asia, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, The Netherlands [deadline 01 April]

Germany: Metalheads get their own personal toilet

The personal Metal Mobil WC, 2012 model. Photo: Wacken.com

Nowadays some (older?) fans of black metal, death metal, gothic metal and the like are not averse to a bit of luxury. Since 2007, the organisers of Wacken Open Air (W:O:A), an annual heavy metal festival in Germany, offer attendees the chance to rent a personal mobile toilet. Costing 120 Euros each, there are 150 MMWCs (Metal Mobil WCs) on offer. The MMWC provider will clean your toilet too, for an additional 25 Euros.

In 2011 all 150 personal toilets were booked within 4 hours, according to the festival web site.

The vast majority of the 80,000 festival goers will still have to queue, as usual, in front of the public mobile toilets available for free on the festival site.

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Caganers: Sarah Palin and FC Barcelona defecating figurines in 2011 Christmas collection

Sarah Palin. "Made by hand". Photo: Caganer.com

Sarah Palin and the Barcelona football team are among the new figurines in the 2011 Caganer.com collection. Hiding Caganers in nativity scenes is a strong Christmas tradition in Catalonia, Spain, dating back to the 18th century. The defecating figurines symbolise fertilisation, hope and prosperity for the coming year.

The traditional Caganer is portrayed as a Catalan peasant, but since the 1940s figurines of nuns, devils, the Pope, celebrities, historical figures, politicians, and both Spanish and British royalty have been introduced. In 2011, the first moving Caganers were launched.

FC Barcelona. Photo: Caganer.com

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International hygiene study: scores for personal and household hygiene in 12 countries presented

In the wake of Global Handwashing Day, the Hygiene Council has released more findings from its international HABIT Study (Hygiene: Attitudes, Behavior, Insight and Traits). Below are charts comparing handwashing and household hygiene scores for 12 countries.

Percentage of respondents who wash hands 5+ times daily

Percentage with High Household Hygiene Score

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