Aotearoa's capital city is getting a new mascot... a big ol' piece of poop!
A giant inflatable poo emoji named ‘Poo-nelope’ will be going up in Wellington. Let’s hope if Poo-nelope and Quasi (the creepy, giant hand with a face) ever meet there’s also a giant roll of toilet paper nearby.
Poo-nelope was pushed out by the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) to help bring awareness to the very real fact that Wellingtonians’ sewer system could go down the toilet if an earthquake or other disaster hits.
WREMO’s community resilience and recovery manager Dan Neely said that the hope for Poo-nelope is to bring more awareness to the under-discussed but important topic of how to use the toilet when there is no toilet.
“We want to reach as many people as possible with this campaign,” he said, as reported by Newshub. “Emergency sanitation is a niche subject and not something many people think of as part of their emergency preparedness.”
WREMO’s lifeline utilities coordinator Richard Mowll warns that Pōneke’s precarious position on a fault line could mean people’s shitter will be out of action for at least a month.
“The 2011 Christchurch earthquake highlighted the vulnerability of sewerage systems to disruption during an earthquake,” he said. “It showed how vital it is that we plan for this and that communities are prepared to manage their own wee and poo following a large earthquake."
With the Wellington region’s nine councils, they’ve formulated an emergency sanitation plan so residents can live their life without having to worry about where their poop and pee will go.
“Either making a long-drop or a two-bucket toilet system – one for wee and one for poo,” Mowll shared. “The plan also includes an option for those with accessibility needs or limited mobility."
Poo-nelope will be floating around the Wellington region until the end of May, leaving her mark for a great cause.