Hyderus and Toilet Twinning
Hyderus has recently twinned its toilets with those in Bihar, India, establishing two separate toilets through the Tearfund and Cord charities as part of their drive to build more toilets in countries with poor hygiene and sanitation. When twinning toilets, there are several countries to choose from, mostly in Africa and Asia, but due to Hyderus’ strong links with India, it seems appropriate that the company should choose this country for their donation. Hyderus employs several staff in India and senior staff visit the country several times a year. We have two certificates from Tearfund which include a picture of our twinned toilets including details of their exact location (see below).
A little background to the whole twinning concept wouldn’t go amiss here since it is a relatively recent concept.
A little background
The charity, Cord, which is an international peace-building organisation working both in conflict and post-conflict societies, is mainly responsible for the idea of toilet twinning. It all happened in such a bizarre way with the idea originating in someone’s bathroom!! When the wife of one of Cord’s managers sponsored a toilet in Burundi as a Christmas present to her husband, she taped a picture of a latrine onto the loo seat at home and stuck a note onto the seat bearing the words : “I’ve twinned your loo”. Inspired by this, her husband helped to develop the concept and after several months, Toilet Twinning was launched by Cord and its initial target – of twinning 500 toilets in Burundi – was reached within just three months. Recognising the global potential of the Toilet Twinning concept, Cord joined forces with Tearfund in 2010 in order to increase the number of countries where toilets could be twinned. Cord then handed over the Toilet Twinning baton to Tearfund in 2015 to enable Cord to concentrate on its peace-building work. By 2015, Toilet Twinning had raised more than £2.3 million and twinned about 35, 000 toilets in more than 40 countries.
Why toilet twinning?
It’s just unacceptable – one in three people in the world is without a suitable toilet – we take our toilets for granted and even have several in one house alone resulting in some people having their own personal toilet. This is not just the case for the very rich – most houses in Britain these days are being built with an ensuite on a master bedroom, even in smaller houses. Of course, the opposite is true of many poor countries where communities are lucky to have one toilet for every rural village – if that. As a result, standards of sanitation and hygiene are very low and disease and poor health rife, leading to death in some cases, with children, women, the elderly and the sick being the most likely to suffer. Every minute, three children under the age of five die as a result of poor hygiene and sanitation.
Girls and women suffer the most since, due to cultural tradition, they are required to go to the toilet very early in the morning or late at night when they will not be seen. They sometimes have to walk far from their homes just to relieve themselves and, as a result, are prey to predatory sexual attacks. There was outrage in May, earlier this year, when two young girls were found hanging from trees in the Uttar Pradesh province in India, having been savagely raped and murdered whilst out in search of somewhere suitable to relieve themselves. Not only are there threats of sexually-motivated attacks on girls and women but there are other menaces lurking in the countryside like snakes which have the potential to bite and poison their prey. The lack of toilets has consequences for all of the population and the implications reach far and wide.
The Good News about toilet twinning!
Toilet Twinning provides people in the poorest communities on the planet with a decent toilet, clean water and all the information they need to stay healthy. It’s the key to helping whole communities break free of the poverty trap.
How does it work?
In their work to improve hygiene and sanitation, teams from Tearfund work alongside communities in order to access decent toilets especially in rural areas. When a latrine/toilet is built, a picture is taken and sent back to Head Office including such details as their longitude and latitude coordinates. You then make your donation and receive a certificate showing you the toilet you have donated towards along with its GPS coordinates so that you can actually view the toilet on google maps. Toilets are twinned after they have been built, resulting in the funds raised also being used for water and sanitation projects. You can twin your loo in a country of your choice and you then received a personalised certificate (see below) complete with a colour photo of its twin and GPS coordinates so you can look up your twin on Google Maps.
Your donation helps families to access clean water and toilets. This vital combination works together to prevent the spread of disease which, in turn, results in better health for everyone, renewed confidence and optimism in people’s lives and stronger and safer communities – stronger because families are now healthy enough to work the land and provide for their families, and – safer because girls and women no longer have to put themselves at risk by going out late at night to find somewhere appropriate to relieve themselves. All in all, toilet twinning is a winner!!