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'Toilet revolution' targets squat stools

The Public Health Ministry's third-phase master plan for its 'toilet revolution', which aims to have 90 per cent of Thai households using Western-style seated toilets by 2016, was approved by the Cabinet yesterday.

The proposal was raised out of concerns that squat toilets are to blame for a rise in osteoarthritis of the knee among Thais.

Deputy government spokesman Pakdihans Himathongkham said the Cabinet also set up a public toilet committee and sub-panels.

By 2016, the plan would see 10 per cent of public places having at least one seated toilet.

The plan also calls for 90 per cent of public toilets in tourist attractions, restaurants, fresh markets, airports, bus stations, petrol stations, schools, hospitals and state offices to meet international health, accessibility and safety standards.

The ministry also seeks to have 90 per cent of Thais using public toilets with good hygiene and 50 per cent of local administrative organisations to manage household waste according to the international hygiene principles.

Pakdihans said that by the end of 2011, 55.47 per cent of standard public toilets met health, accessibility and safety standards - missing the target of 60 per cent because of a lack of funding.




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