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Using Streets as Toilets, Ivory Coast Faces Hygiene Crisis


The lack of public toilets is turning Abidjan, a vibrant city in Ivory Coast, a shade of yellow. Urinating anywhere and everywhere is common practice for many men in this city.

Women of Abidjan don't seem to have the same problem. One female resident told BBC that you don't see women relieving themselves in public because they think about the lack of facilities before they leave the home.

But, the unfortunate reality is that not all residents have the luxury of a suitable toilet in their homes — six out of 10 people living in Africa do not have such access. As you can imagine, public urination not only causes shock and smell — it also is a serious health problem. To see why, read more.

Human feces lead to diarrhea, which is not just an embarrassing and temporary affliction. Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children in the developing world. Concerned citizens are doing what they can to keep their loved ones healthy, posting home-made signs such as "You piss; we'll hit you."

If it's really a matter of toilet access, why aren't as many women answering nature's call in public? Are men just being inconsiderate, or are they left with no choice? Should authorities crack down hard on offenders, or work towards public education, while increasing the number of facilities?

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