Where do you urinate if there is no lavatory?

Published: May 7, 2012

Yahaan pishaab karna mana hai

(Do not urinate here)

Yahaan ghadda pishaab kar raha hai

(The person urinating here is a donkey)

These warnings are painted on many walls in our cities. Here is a picture:

But these warnings are widely ignored by most people.

One week ago, I decided to go out and talk to some pedestrians near my office about this practice; I asked them if they have ever urinated in a public place and why, and if they were willing to pay Rs5 per visit to a public toilet facility. The responses were varied, but one that stayed with me is that relieving oneself in public is a “majboori” (necessity).

There is a severe lack of public toilets in this bustling city, so the only options in case of an exploding bladder are a mosque lavatory or a wall.

Local government bodies should ensure that a public toilet facility is available in every busy area of the city – a facility that comes with a staff that will be responsible for cleaning the cubicles. If you have ever tried to use the bathrooms at places like the Kemari, you will know that filthy bathrooms are a breeding ground for diseases.

This video contains the views of the average Pakistani pedestrian. Hope you like it!

Read more by Atika here or follow her on Twitter @AtikaRehman


Atika Rehman

Editor of the Life & Style pages of The Express Tribune and an LLB graduate from the University of London.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://rorolia.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/bcb-blames-zaid-hamids-deceptive-propaganda-for-asia-cup-loss/ Xain Gardezi

    There are washrooms at every petrol pump and CNG station. Even after that, ppl still choose these walls than they really are an ass (gadhay)Recommend

  • Jamshed

    Look for TO LET billboard call the number and ask for the TOILET Recommend

  • aliza awais

    Yukhh ArticleRecommend

  • BlackJack

    Five rupees sounds a bit high – well maybe not, around 2.5 Indian rupees. Actually we have had a fairly good experience with the Sulabh Shochalay concept in Bombay and elsewhere. In Bangalore, Infosys does its bit in CSR by paying to maintain some of these public toilets (there is a contribution of Re. 1 – 2 per user as well). There are attendants who collect the money and maintain the hygiene and by normal Indian public toilet standards, these are extremely clean and well-kept. It may be worthwhile to study the business model for implementation in cities in Pak as well. But good to note that these are issues are being raised on such a forum.Recommend

  • Danish

    Like they ignore the wall chalking ,they will also ignore ur blog.but good attempt blog,i must say here.Recommend

  • sultan mirza

    There is a desi system in place on GT road and if you plan to use pit stop then there is a bathroom with charges of no 1 and no 2 respectively and also there is a dog tied outside the door. My friend once used the facility while we were coming back from Lahore and he said he wanted to do no 1 and after some time when he came outside the contractor of the toilet asked him for more money and he said why? The contractor said you told me that you want to do no 1 but the dog has been barking for last fifteen minutes! On top it is written inside the door with a red marker “paani dekh kar naara kholein” check water before you start your engines.Recommend



  • Maulana Dumbledore urf Chulbul Pandey urf Robinhood Pandey

    I think you should have also interviewed the DHA or CDGK personnel and taken their views on wht they make of people doing the pishaab on walls and public and also should ask them whether installing public toilets is prudent. What you should also capture is the already appalling conditions of the existin public toilets. Give a complete picture of the reality. These 6 people gave their views and so will this help you to file a motion to the local government or local authority to setup and install public toilets? Its not going to convince anyone. Make the report more convincing. Also how come we dont see women doing the same in public have you asnwered that question??? Why only men who are seen pissing??Make it look like it something that not only people walking on the street want to change but also what the authorities want. Cheers.Recommend

  • Conan

    I think this could be the solution.


    It’s an automatic public toilet, that’s cleans itself automatically.Recommend

  • Ayesha Pervez
  • ak

    Women hold their pee till they get home or where ever it is that they’re going to. Men should stop whining and pissing in public.Recommend

  • Indian Rationalist

    @Atika Rehman:

    Actually, the best way to prevent people from urinating on walls is just to take the idea straight out of the 3 Idiots movie. Just make sure all Pakistani public walls have spoons attached to electric wires.

    Getting a reliable electric supply would probably be troublesome though.Recommend

  • narayana murthy

    There’s a solution which is practiced here in India to prevent public urination.

    On such walls, people paint the images of Hindu gods, Jesus Christ and the image of the kaaba.

    You should try this in Pakistan. Just paint Kaaba, 786, verses of quran. People wouldn’t dare.Recommend

  • xyz

    Great topic, but, atika rehman, you’re the blogs editor ! Your writing isn’t as hard hitting or impressive as it should be. Recommend

  • Huma

    @ak … agree a 100%. 350 likes! Recommend

  • Shahzad Kazi

    Truly an important topic. There is a sad dearth of public toilets in Pakistan and this needs to be addressed. You typically have to pay something to use public facilities in many countries in Europe, but on the other hand the use of the facilities is free in the US.Recommend

  • Pollack

    “Where do you urinate if there is no lavatory?”

    A very relevant question which has been answered trillions of times by people facing that situation by registering their answer on walls, trees,,good old mother earth and probably a million things I can’t even imagine. You just can’t avoid seeing that answer especially if you live in the subcontinent.Recommend

  • Imran Con

    They should start going in front of the houses of those who are in charge of providing such facilities.


  • drenched in deep thots

    White walls tend to increase the kidney and bladder working in Pakistan…. Now on a serious note, I have seen a public toilet and probably those few seconds inside it are among top 5 worst moments of my life. Yes i agree lack of public toilets is a problem but leack of general rest room etiquettes is an equally bigger problem. I usually prefer using all the international chains for the purpose… :)Recommend

  • usman

    As nation we always proud to be torch bearer of islamic and eastern values but when it comes to providing basic facilities to our citizen like rightly pointed out in this aticle we simply close our eyes. We all are human and call of nature can come to anyone at anytime and its disgusting when people find no reasonable place for it. i don’t khow how maps of malls and markets are approved without the basic facility of toilets.Recommend

  • Faisal

    CHOTA/5 rupees aur BARA /10 Rs with Pepsi 250 ml free…New Trend now a days on Public toiletsRecommend

  • Parvez

    A much neglected topic, nicely handled.
    I know this is about public toilets but @ak’s comment was just brilliant. It’s about time men started learning stuff from women.Recommend

  • Noise

    **“Yahaan pishaab karna mana hai“
    (Do not urinate here)
    “Yahaan ghadda pishaab kar raha hai“
    (The person urinating here is a donkey)**

    Those are exactly the proper places to urinate. Writing on the walls be damnedRecommend

  • A. Khan

    Nothing beats the rich individual I saw at an Islamabad green belt. His wealth was apparent from latest model Pajero, the status symbol in those days.

    So picture it if you will…. busy Islamabad road, brand new SUV, owner squatting beside it in his starched shalwar qameez. All this while chatting away on his mobile phone.

    I kid you not. This is not a made up story.Unfortunately, in those days, mobile phones did not have cameras otherwise I would have put that on Youtube.Recommend

  • http://zaheerwaheed.blogspot.com Zaheer

    O Gee…

    Nothing can or will happen…untill the basic municipal necessities are provided to the “tax payer” from the tax collected….

    Once that start to happen… one can start to educate people about the civic sense….

    Tilll then bear that pungent smell….or think positive… one is giving urea to the soil :)Recommend

  • http://www.zealforwriting.blogspot.com Sarah B. Haider

    Good topic but mostly overlooked. Recommend


    this all their fault, they can’t blame govt.Recommend

  • Rabia

    I would agree that women control their pee till they reach home whats wrong with men complaining so much about it … :S Recommend