This post is sponsored by Domestos.

There is a small town on the NSW South Coast called Nelligen. Not to offend the 250 strong population, but there isn’t anything particularly remarkable about Nelligen. But my family has been connected to this place since the 1930’s when my dad’s Uncle Charlie leased the land that held the old ferry master’s cottage from the Crown. In the 1970’s my Grandfather purchased the land and the rest is history.

I know Nelligen is a place that my dad holds close to his heart. He and his brothers still visit the “shack” and have many fond memories of holidays and adventures in the town. But I have only been once. In my thirty-one years, I have made one trip to Nelligen and although there is a yearning in the back of my mind linked to nostalgia and family history, there is one thing holding me back. That is, the legend of the outdoor dunny.

Up until recently our “shack” had an outdoor toilet. If you needed to visit the toilet after nightfall you either held it in or braved the dark and the creepy crawlies while mum held a torch up so you could see what was in front of you. Dad tells the story of when they replaced the original outdoor toilet with a new one, only to be attacked by the nest of huntsmen who were living under the false floor of the toilet. I have visions of scenes akin to Aragog’s colony in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. No jokes.

But the reality is that while our outdoor toilet was clean and safe, I exercised my choice and privilege to stay within my comfort zone and use indoor, running, spider free toilets. Sadly, for 950 million of our fellow citizens of earth, they have no access to sanitation facilities. 950 million with absolutely no access?!

World toilet day

And while lack of access to toilets doesn’t seem like a big deal, the impact on lives goes well beyond having somewhere to do your “business”. In places with no sanitation facilities, diarrhoea runs rife, as human waste contaminates the environment, home, food and water sources. This contributes to the 443 million school days missed each year due to illness.

Women and girls are also at risk of shame, harassment and even attack because they have nowhere safe to go to the toilet. Girls may miss days off school during their period due to lack of sanitation facilities. I think back to my time at high school when my friends and I would often try and get out of things because we had our period, and yet there are young girls all over the globe who have no choice. This shouldn’t be the case.

World toilet day

Domestos is on a mission to change these numbers and to help provide 25 million people with improved access to a toilet by 2020. The global partnership between Unilever and UNICEF has already reached 1,320,000 people, ensuring improved health, safety and dignity, with 655,000 of these people now living in open defecation free communities.

The short video below really hits home.

So what can you do? Every specially marked bottle of Domestos sold contributes directly to UNICEF’s global sanitation programs. You can buy a bottle and help change a life today. I also think educating our own kids is vital. Teaching them that having access to hygienic, running toilets is a privilege that many people in the world don’t have and that life really is lovelier with a loo.

As for me, well maybe I will make a trip back to Nelligen. We now have an indoor toilet so I really have nothing to stop me. Except maybe the thought of hundreds of huntsman spiders coming for me in the middle of the night as retribution for their forefathers. The legend of the outdoor dunny lives on…

 

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