Can the Netherlands be more toilet-friendly?

It is World Toilet Day and the Netherlands could be a little bit more toilet-friendly: there is a huge shortage of public toilets in the country, according to Maag Lever Bowel Foundation’s (MLDS) director. Alkmaar, Amersfoort, and Leeuwarden are said to be the best while Oss, Roosendaal, and Nissewaard are said to be down on the list.

This was concluded because of the study carried out by MLDS and the inventors of the HogeNood app, the largest database that provides information on toilets and sanitation in the Netherlands. Their aim was to find out which of the 50 largest municipalities is the most toilet-friendly.

Knowing where to go in case of a “toilet emergency” in the Netherlands

According to MLDS, four in ten people who live with digestive and bowel problems have been denied to use the toilets in hotels, supermarkets, government buildings, restaurants, and bars. For some people, it is more than needing to have a quick wee because they drank too much beer and broke the seal.

More than 1500 toilets were registered in the database, but we don’t know if these plans were actually followed through or if they were already there for some time. But this also means that people will be able to find a place to relieve themselves more easily. Is there anything more reassuring than knowing where your nearest toilet is when diarrhea unexpectedly hits you?

How to make a municipality more toilet-friendly

“What you see is that there are really active policies in cities such as Alkmaar and Amersfoort. Sometimes volunteers go to work to make the toilets easier to find. But it is also possible that a motion is passed through the city council and that municipalities also make a real policy and release a budget to realize more public toilets,” says the director.

According to him, a municipality can improve in two ways: add more toilets or get local business owners to be a little bit more flexible. He says that it should be up to them whether they charge for it but he also went to state that “research also shows that your turnover is going up. If you do not request a fee, you are a more attractive hospitality entrepreneur or a more attractive shopping area, so there will be more people off.”

Where were you the last time diarrhea unexpectedly hit you? Could you find a toilet easily? Let us know your toilet emergency stories in the comments below!

Feature Image: lumpi/Pixabay 

Kavana Desai
Kavana Desai
Coping with the aftermath of her 3-year stint in the Netherlands, Kavana is a writer, content creator and editor for DutchReview. Hailing from India, she frequently blogs about the Netherlands, being Indian in the Netherlands, and everything in between. She envisions herself to one day be the youngest person to win that Nobel Prize for Literature (she is also not very humble but welcomes only constructive criticism). In the meantime, she fills her days with writing for DutchReview, writing her master's thesis on art theft, and writing fiction that will hopefully see the light of day soon.


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