Loos Save Lives: How Sanitation And Clean Water Help Prevent Poverty, Disease And Death by Seren Boyd

The Blurb On The Back:

The humble loo is a lifesaver.  Over two billion people in the world don’t have access to a proper toilet or clean water to drink or to wash their hands – and that stinks!  Access to sanitation and clean water literally saves lives.  Loos also help schools.  When children have access to a safe, clean loo at school, they are more likely to stay in education, get better jobs and escape poverty.

Toilet Twinning is a charity that empowers people in low-income countries to build proper toilets and help make their communities healthier, safer and more prosperous.  This book visits some of the places Toilet Twinning have worked in, across Africa, Asia and Central America, and reveals the stories of the people they have helped.  It’s packed with stats, facts and lots of information all about water and waste.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

This book for children aged 9+ by Seren Boyd with the charity Toilet Twinning is a matter of fact look at an important and yet still socially taboo topic of the importance of toilet and sanitation facilities and although it was interesting to read the case studies setting out the transformative work being done by Toilet Twinning, I wasn’t completely comfortable with the way it exists to promote the charity and encourage fund raising for it.

I liked the fact that the book is written in easy to understand language (with a useful glossary at the back) and tackles difficult subjects such as the dangers of poor sanitation but also the need for girls to have access to facilities for sanitary towels and the impact this has on gender inequality.  I also liked the case studies from people based in the various countries where Toilet Twinning operates because it shows the difference that such a simple item can have for people and how it can drastically improve lives.

However, there are times when I thought that the graphics were a little misjudged (notably the ‘stinking stats’ depicted in a poo emoji shape, which was used to convey the number of people who died from Ebola and just seemed, to me, to trivialise it).  I can also see that the role of Toilet Twinning in this book may be divisive, not because I object to their work (which I believe to be important) but because this is a book aimed at children and because there is an open invitation for readers to raise money on their behalf.

Ultimately, I think that children need to know about this topic and this book is a good introduction to it but if you’re going to get it for your child, be aware that it is produced for a charity and it is part of their fundraising efforts.

LOOS SAVE LIVES was released in the United Kingdom on 9th November 2017.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

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