Daugavpils set to tackle its public toilet problem

Daugavpils City Council has launched a tender for the construction of two improved public toilets in the city's Central Park and Andrejs Pumpurs Square. As procured, toilets must be state-of-the-art, accessible, and start operating early summer next year, Latvian Radio reported November 23.

Thus, the City of Daugavpils plans, at least in part, to solve the a problem that has ballooned over the years and affects Daugavpilians and visitors of the city alike, including tourist groups.

Four days ago, on November 19, it was World Toilet Day. It has its foundations at an international conference in Singapore in 2001, when 200 national toilet business experts set up the World Toilet Organization. The public restroom problem in Daugavpils worsened around the same time as the only official public restroom in the center of the city was closed nearly two decades ago.

In recent years, portable plastic toilets housed in parks and streets have partly addressed the problem, but not to the full extent as these toilets are not comfortable. Public establishments – cafes, restaurants, shopping centers with their own amenities were closed during the time of the Covid restrictions and are only available to customers today.

“Tourism and culture workers in the city are further confused by this because this is about the city's image,” said Diana Soldāne, acting head of the Unity house in Daugavpils.

“When there are large cultural events in the outer space – urban environment, we try to provide this service, at least in the form of portable toilets, to make it as convenient as possible for visitors. But every day admittedly, visitors travel to Daugavpils and the number of tourists is increasing, and that's a problem. We hope to resolve this next year finally,” Soldāne said.

The lowest amount offered by businesses to create two toilets in Daugavpils will be included in next year's municipal budget, but it should not stop there as residents need the facilities in other districts of the city too.

As reported earlier, this seems to be a nationwide issue as Rīga is deemed to be the worst European city to find a public toilet in.

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