297 million African women, girls have no access to safe toilets – Survey

Public toilets

As World Toilet Day is marked today November 19, 2012, 297 million African women and girls do not have access to safe and adequate sanitation and of those, 107 million don’t have a toilet at all, according to the results of a survey.

The survey by WaterAid shows that seven out of 10 women in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to safe toilets, and this condition threatens their health, exposing them to shame, fear and even violence.

It also indicated that other studies from Uganda and Kenya show that such experiences of fear, indignity and violence appear to be common in Africa wherever women lack access to safe and adequate sanitation.

The survey commissioned by WaterAid, interviewed women living across five slums in Lagos, Nigeria.

The poll was carried out by international polling and research company GlobeScan in the slums of Lagos, between October 18 and 22, 2012.

500 women were interviewed about their experiences of and around sanitation. The survey was conducted in five slum areas; Ajegunle, Ijora, Badia, Oko Agbon and Otto-Oyingbo, the organisation said.

The survey found that one in five had first or second hand experience of verbal harassment and intimidation, or had been threatened or physically assaulted in the last year when going to the toilet. Anecdotal evidence from other African countries suggests that the scale of the problem may be much larger than this, the NGO said in a release to the media.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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