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    Toilets more accessible in Wallonia but cleaner in Flanders

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Toilets in shops, restaurants, cafes or other locations are more often available to passers-by in their hour of need in Wallonia than in Flanders. On the other hand, they tend to be cleaner in the north of the country. This emerges from a field survey carried out in December 2015, in nearly 600 premises across the entire country.

    The survey was completed in parallel with a mobile app WC ASapp, which makes it possible to both locate and evaluate accessible toilets in tourist and commercial premises and hotel, restaurant and cafe establishments. The survey was presented on Thursday by the organisations that prepared it. These include two patient associations for chronic inflammatory intestinal illnesses (Crohn en Colitis ulcerosa Vereniging – an organisation helping those with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – and the Association Crohn-RCUH – assisting those with chronic intestinal illnesses). The pharmaceutical firm Abbvie, which financed the survey is the third party involved the survey.

    The pollsters randomly went to 573 premises with the aim of accessing a toilet as quickly as possible. They mainly visited shops (45.9%), restaurants (25.65%) and cafes (15.36%). Only in 56% of cases did the proprietors agree to show them the establishment’s throne. This percentage is considered to be too low by patients involved in the development of the WC Asapp.

    Moreover, the latter stressed that the “carte ‘Urgence toilettes’” (a card giving priority access to those with Crohn;’s disease and colitis) was all too often not recognised. The card may be obtained by any individual suffering from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis via a patient association. It reflects, in a manner of speaking, the needs of individuals to be able to access toilets quickly – these illnesses being distinguished, when at their most acute, by such uncontrollable and very frequent needs.

    The survey, carried out within the country’s ten provinces also revealed that the access to toilets was most readily given in the French-speaking areas (65,36% of cases). The WCs considered “from good to very good quality”, on the basis of facilities and cleanlinless, on the other hand, are most frequently found in Flanders.

    Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)