development poverty

Twin your toilet

Two toilet related links today, neither of them particularly serious, but it’s friday after all. First up is Toilet Twinning, an innovative way of raising funds for improving sanitation in poor countries.

Around the UK, you often enter a town and find a sign declaring it to be a twin of some roughly equivalent place somewhere in Europe. I’m not sure how meaningful the connection is, other than providing schoolchildren with exchange programmes and local councillors an excuse for jollies fact-finding missions on the continent. But if you can twin a town, then you can twin your toilet, or at least that’s the theory here.

When you donate to the programme, you are assigned a twin toilet in either Burundi or Cambodia. You get a framed picture of it, and an exact reference for looking it up on Google Maps if you’re so inclined. More to the point, your donation also pays for a proper latrine to be dug, and the project has provided 1,600 latrines in Burundi in the last couple of years.

Gimmicky? Sure, but it seems like a good way to raise awareness of sanitation. 40% of the world’s people lack safe and hygienic toilet facilities, and that’s a major cause of disease from polluted water. Diarrhoea is still the biggest killer of under fives, something easily prevented and treated.

For more on Toilet Twinning or to twin yours, visit

On a related note, do you give a shit about poverty? Or climate change? Let your friends know through, and see how many shits have been given towards your favourite causes.

Okay, it’s silly, but as an irreverent satire on campaign websites, I think it’s pretty well done. If it is a satire. I hope it is.

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