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This November we are donating to Toilet Twinning, a charity focusing on hygiene education and latrine building in communities without ready access to safe water, sanitation and healthcare. As part of World Toilet Day this Thursday 19th November, they are running a focused campaign to raise funds and awareness. You can learn more about their work and see a map of twinned facilities, including our Cambridge office here.

We all know how vital hygiene and handwashing is, and that importance has been emphasised this year in efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19. However, according to UNICEF and the World Health Organisation 2.3 billion people do not have somewhere safe and hygienic to go to the toilet, whilst 663 million people live without access to safe water.

Our Cambridge office toilets have been “twinned” with latrines in South Kivu, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Dolo in Indonesia. In many countries like the DRC, factors such as humidity and high rainfall leave communities especially vulnerable to epidemics.

Thousands of latrines have now been built in the South Kivu area, as tooling and expertise is delivered to communities and households to build latrines. Meanwhile, educators are working with the community to raise awareness about the benefits of sanitation and hygiene. Statistics from the Local Health Centre indicate that malaria rates in this area have since decreased by 78%.

There are knock-on effects to this sanitation crisis, such as missing work and education. If farmers cannot work due to illness, they may grow less food or earn less money. Children may also miss school if they are busy collecting water or are too ill to travel. Women and girls may be particularly vulnerable in cultures that dictate that they must go out at night alone.

2020 has been a particularly challenging year for people around the globe, and many of us will be reassessing what is important, and how we can have a positive impact on local and global communities. At 1Spatial we are striving to make the world safer, smarter and more sustainable for the future. As we work with many innovative Utility companies with exceptional standards, it is easy to take for granted the facilities we so readily have to hand – clean running water and safe sanitation. By supporting Toilet Twinning and their important work, we can all help to improve many lives around the globe.

1Community is our internal group focusing on sustainability, environmental aspects and charitable work. Previously, we’ve worked with Map Action and held Missing Maps events, and we have this year we hosted a series of blogs around Earth Day and our ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System.

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