Squat toilets in Thailand are getting replaced due to health problems they can cause.
People who squat to use the toilets on a regular basis have developed sqatting-related arthritis as a result. The government intends to replace these troublesome toilets with sit-down models.
The Public Health Ministry believes that 85 percent of households and public restrooms in the country use squat toilets. Many people have reportedly developed osteoarthritis of the knee after spending years using them.
The Thai government plans to replace 90 percent of the squat toilets by 2016. Officials are also hoping that the replacements will draw tourists back to the country. The Ministry of Sports and Tourism stated that 22 million people visited Thailand last year.
“Prolonged periods of squatting have been found to cause arthritis. It is hoped the new toilets will save a few more knees and boost tourism,” a source explained.
While government officials believe the replacement of these toilets is for the greater good, many people are very unhappy about the proposed change. In addition to being “difficult to maintain due to complicated flushing system,” many folks have complained about the cost of these new commodes.
Some people in Thailand believe that these proposed replacements are more unsanitary than the squat toilet since people are forced to share a seat.
“I spend only one minute cleaning the squat loo and need over three minutes to clean the seated one,” one individual said of the new models.
This isn’t the first time the Ministry of Public Health has attempted to swap the squats for the sit-down version. However, previous efforts were derailed due to a lack of interest from stakeholders.
Since the government estimates that roughly 14 percent of the population will be over the age of 60 by 2015, officials only have a short amount of time to make the necessary changes.
The move to scrap these squat toilets is currently on the national agenda. Officials are hoping public and private agencies will help make these changes a reality.
Do you think Thailand should replace squat toilets with sit-down models?
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