World Toilet Day: Why We Should Give a Shit
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Today is World Toilet Day, an international day of action aiming to break the taboo around toilets and drawing attention to the fact that 37 percent of the world’s population still doesn’t have access to a clean and safe toilet!
Why does it matter? Because people who defecate in the open are contaminating their environment and water sources and spreading diseases likes diarrhea, which, by the way, kills 2,000 children under 5 every day.
Did you even know that the right to sanitation has been recognized by the UN General Assembly in 2010 as a human right?
In Japan, as this article points out, two-third of households have luxury high tech toilets (known as washlets) with “heated seats, posterior shower jets and odor-masking function.” But 2.5 billion people in the developing world don’t even have access to a clean toilet and it is estimated that investing $1 in sanitation generates a return of $5 by keeping people healthy and productive.
According to this article, the Gates foundation has given millions to futuristic-power-generating toilet from Caltech (a prestigious university in California) featuring “solar-powered, self-cleaning toilet that converts into hydrogen and fertilizer.” Fantastic! But at 2,200 apiece, these amazing toilets won’t be saving the world (just yet).
What can WE do in the meantime? Let's all sign this petition which calls on decision makers across the world to stick to their pledges of achieving universal access to safe sanitation. Let's show them that we give a shit. Excuse my language...