Posted by Phoenix West Rotary "West Side Story"


A delightful picture book by Taro Gomi, Everyone Poops, gives straight talk to children for all things “number two.” An elephant makes a big poop, a mouse makes a tiny poop. Everyone eats, so of course, everyone poops! What you ask does “pooping” have to do with Rotary?  Well, the very fact that everybody poops—all 7.8 million of us world-wide, creates a “waste management” problem and Rotary believes that when people have access to clean water and sanitation, waterborne diseases decrease, children stay healthier and attend school more regular- ly, and mothers can spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families.

The fact is, not everyone has the needed access.  An interesting article from the January issue of Rotary “One Step at a Time” deals with something that most of us have never heard of and likely would not have thought about had we not read this article—the sanitation ladder, a graphic representation of levels of sanitation service that might exist in a community. Obviously, our community is at the top of the ladder—Safely Managed, but other places are far down on the rungs, even at the bottom—Open Defecation. This chart summarizes the five rungs on the ladder discussed in the article and the impact that sanitation at that level has on the health and wellbeing of indi- viduals as well as the percentage of people at that particular rung. It also shows the gradual steps that communi- ties will likely need to take in improving their facilities, because as the article points out, you can’t leap from one rung to the other without taking into consideration the cultural appropriateness of the particular rung. Best to read from the bottom to the top of the ladder.


So what can we do with this information?   The easiest way to make a BIG impact is to donate to the Rotary Foundation (TRF)—our $100 Every Rotarian Every Year contribution or our $1,000 PHF contribution will be com- bined with funds from other Rotarians world-wide so that TRF can fund projects in needed areas to help move communities up the Sanitation Ladder. The life of millions of people around the world depend on our generosity