Thank you BBC for these photos. My other favourite topic of all time – toilet issue.
I am still hoping for a day when it will be written into Nigeria law that all houses must have a working toilet, here I am not talking about water cistern, pit outside the house with its own roof would do just fine.
I remember my friend and I wanted a room at Garage Olode, Osun State a while ago. We were so excited to be away from home for the first time. When we finally found a room to rent, the first thing we really cared about was the house to have a toilet. When asked our landlord if there was a toilet in his house. Alhaji said to us “Ga? You can do ga anywhere!” With Kemi and I totally mesmerised with Alhaji’s animation pointing to everywhere around the house as potential toilets we could use. We took the house for ₦20/month. Kemi and I spent much of the afternoon just laughing about our experience with Alhaji mostly because the old man gave no qualm about it.
Kemi and I had plenty of years’ of ‘shut put’ experience, we just wanted something different especially that we were renting away from home. Oh well, we gave in thinking w’ll survive – we always do. Needless to say Alhaji’s name to us remained ‘Baba Ga’ till today.
The first in these BBC photos is what I hope rural Nigeria could adopt, community toilets for those who can not afford to have one in their house. Pay a small fee for usage, it is well worth it for us all.
The second photo reminds me of a house my family lived in the late 1980’s, faeces thrown into a swampy area (akuro)on one side and on the opposite side were women working on their vegetable lots (akuro). I always try not to ‘go’ during the day, amazing what human body is capable of.
The sixth photo with the Ethiopian lady shows that it is true that most African poor could not afford to dig toilet in their homes however, lack of toilet in homes now is beyond being poor alone – it has become way of life, and people have failed to see the relationship between lack of hygiene and poor health. More education in this area will do us well and of course landlords receiving rent should be made by law to provide a working toilet close enough to the property so no excuses for not using the them.
The last photo of a disabled Zambian woman is inspiring, bless her.
The toilet looked like one of my neighbours in the mid 1990’s without the lock so I’d sneaked in very early in the morning to do my business – I’ve been caught before.