Thailand's health ministry has introduced a new programme to replace squat toilets with the sit-down version at all public facilities, officials said Tuesday.
Deputy Public Health Minsiter Surawit Khonsomboon said the new loo policy was necessary to prepare for the country's increasingly aged population.
The number of people over 60 years old will reach 14 per cent of the population in 2015, compared with 10 per cent in 2005, according to the United Nations Population Fund.
"We will start by replacing squat loos this month at government buildings, public schools and other public places such as national parks," Public Health Ministry spokeswoman Suchada Salaboon said.
All houses and buildings in Thailand must include toilets, according to an Interior Ministry order dating back decades. Squat toilets are popular, particularly in the rural areas, because they are cheaper that sit-down, flush toilets.
"Now we need to upgrade our toilets a bit," Suchada said.