Tag Archives: England

A not-really-open-defecation-free district, Celtic and Rangers go to the loo, used toilet roll postage and a poetic toilet

As India’s campaign to end open defecation rolls on, The Indian Express reports that not all the reported successes of the programme have achieved what they claim to have. In a story about the district of Dhamtari, which the regional government has declared to be “open-defecation-free” or ODF, the reality doesn’t exactly reflect the official status. The story details a school playground that is full of little brown smelly mounds when the children arrive every morning because it’s where locals go to defecate at night. There is also a description of the newly installed toilets, most of which do not have water tanks and which must be cleared by hand. The report mentions one toilet bowl that has been filled with cement and many which are nowhere near pipes. One farmer said that his toilet is the room where he dries his crops as there’s nothing else he can do with the room. This campaign has a long way to go.

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A man from Dhamtari standing in front of the pond he uses as a toilet – from the Indian Express

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Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers’ rivalry is legendary. In September this extended to Rangers’ fans damaging the toilets in Celtic’s Parkhead stadium after they were defeated by five goals to one. The Scottish Sun reports that some Celtic fans decided to get lighthearted and fragrant revenge by lighting green and white scented candles in the toilets in Rangers’ Ibrox stadium at the New Year’s Eve derby match between the two teams. Aww!

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Toilet candles in Ibrox stadium – from the Scottish Sun

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Another sports story now, this time a gross one, involving a cricket commentator and a football commentator. The Mirror carries a story about Jonathan Agnew, who commentates on cricket for the BBC. He has been awarded an MBE and he tweeted, “Can I ask the charming individual who for 10 years has sent me a soiled piece of toilet paper every Test now address the envelope correctly?” Apparently, he’s been getting dirty toilet paper in the post for over 10 years. On seeing the tweet, football commentator, Gary Lineker tweeted back, “Let me guess; sent from a Bath postcode?” Somebody out there is posting their used toilet roll to BBC sports personalities, weekly, for years on end. Take comfort in how normal you are by comparison.

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Finally today, an important tweet from @xssyharvey.

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Trumpy Toilets, Floods of Sewage, a Condomberg and a Charity Toilet Sit-in

I don’t know why journalists are looking for new angles on Donald Trump. He’s providing more than enough to report on anyway. The Indian news site, http://www.inuth.com, nonetheless dug out an old story about the President elect working in his own Chicago hotel. The headline proclaims that he cleaned the toilets. Unfortunately, the only picture they provide is one of him cleaning a sink.

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Trump in rubber gloves – from inuth.com

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In an “informal settlement” in Capetown, South Africa, News 24 reports that residents’ homes are being flooded by overflowing communal toilets.  The local council has spent a week trying to clear the blockage and have been unsuccessful. Locals say that the toilets are getting blocked more often due to the lack of sufficient toilet facilities for the population. People are also using the toilets to get rid of domestic and food waste.

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The flooded toilets in Cape Town – by Ashraf Hendricks on GroundUp

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English authorities also struggle with people flushing things they shouldn’t. The Sun is reporting on Anglia Water’s problems removing a 21-tonne “fatberg” from the sewers in Lincoln, which has also been christened a “Johnnyberg” because one of the items (along with wet wipes, tampons and fat) that blocks up the sewers is condoms. Stop flushing condoms, you guys.

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The  Lincoln Johnnyberg that took a week to clear – from The Sun

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Finally today, a charity event in Idaho that I don’t really understand, where students will be sponsored to sit on toilets for poor and homeless families.

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From the Idaho Press

Indian teachers, Ghanaian latrines, English toilets for English voters and a sexist door

You can’t be a toilet-blogger in 2015 and not write about India, where a sanitation revolution is happening at the moment. As the government there battles to install indoor toilets and to persuade people of the value of indoor sanitation, my daily toilet newsfeed is thronged with stories of India, and the new toilet policy’s successes and failures.

In today’s The Hindu, a story reports on teachers and toilets in the Vijayapura district. Of the 16,000 teachers in the district, 2,000 do not have a toilet in their home. The district-in-charge minister is worried by this news. Apparently, teachers are responsible for encouraging students to build indoor toilets and they cannot do this if they are not building their own toilets. Apparently, the fact that the government grant for installing indoor toilets is smaller in urban areas (about 5,000 rupees) than in rural districts (about 15,000 rupees) and so the take-up in cities is not as good as was hoped.

According to Graphic Online, measures are being taken in Ghana to address the same problem. A story there outlines the scale of the problem in a country where only 15% of people use “improved household toilet facilities” and “open defecation” is a frequent problem. The government has instructed district assemblies to deal with the problem on a local level and apparently this has led to many communities deciding to build “communal latrines”, rather than toilets in individual houses “following on from our traditions”. It is reported that this has led to little improvement in the open defecation situation as people are unwilling to walk to the communal facilities at night time and provision is rarely being made to keep these latrines clean.

The article does have a bright side, however, describing “fecal entrepreneurs” who are like the alchemists of old, turning shit into gold, by building and servicing communal and household toilets all over the country.

On a lighter note, Wrexham.com, reports on the situation in the Westminster parliament, where the devolution of power to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies means that for the first time, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs are excluded from Westminster votes on matters that only effect England. One such vote was occurring on Thursday evening, when a Welsh MP ventured to use the parliamentary toilets. He tweeted:

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Finally today, a photo of some sexist toilet doors that were causing a storm on reddit today. Feel the rage.

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