Ministry lifts lid on state of the nation's toilets, and it's not pretty

Ministry lifts lid on state of the nation's toilets, and it's not pretty

About 0.2% of the population, or 40,000 households, do not have toilets at home, according to the Public Health Ministry's Department of Health.

Suwanchai: Upgrades needed

The survey findings were unveiled yesterday ahead of World Toilet Day 2022 which falls on Nov 19 to promote hygienic toilets. This year's theme "Making the Invisible Visible" underlines the impacts of sanitation systems and how inadequate sanitation systems pollute water resources.

Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, the department's director-general, said staff have been working with various parties to ensure households have proper toilets.

About 99.8% of households have access to hygienic toilets, he said, noting that most of those without access to toilets live in remote areas. The department will double efforts to ensure all households have hygienic toilets.

The department also assessed a total of 99,814 public toilets during 2019-2022 and of the survey of public opinions toward the sanitation of public toilets during Oct 14-21.

About 67%, or 66,907 of the public toilets, passed the department's assessment known as HAS. It stands for health, emphasised by cleanliness, accessibility, as well as safety standards.

Toilets at wet markets were ranked the worst in terms of hygiene by respondents, followed by toilets in public parks, and roadside standalone public toilets, according to the survey of 3,716 people.

Toilets at shopping malls received the most praise from the respondents, followed by toilets at petrol stations and at hospitals.

Hygiene, safety and convenient access were listed as key factors when choosing whether to use public toilets. The department urged business operators to keep their toilets clean.

Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutechna yesterday emphasised the ministry's policy to ensure that every household has a hygienic toilet.

He also urged people to keep public toilets clean after use especially those in tourist destinations, public transport systems and petrol stations while calling on business operators to provide clean and sufficient toilets now that the country is fully opened to travellers.

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