"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Image credit:flickr, recubejim's photostream
World Toilet Day , which happens to be right now, is needed for good reason. Per the WTD website: "2.5 billion people worldwide are without access to proper sanitation, which risks their health, strips their dignity, and kills 1.8 million people, mostly children, a year;" and, "Because even the world's wealthiest people still have toilet problems - from unhygienic public toilets to sewage disposal that destroys our waterways." They are so right. Read on for a disgusting example of why you should be thankful if you have access to a decent one, and if your government keeps the poop works properly operating.Excerpted from Disease Rife As More People Squeeze Into Fewer Toilets, via IRIN Mobile.
A visit to a toilet in West Point [a neighborhood in Monrovia, Liberia] costs 2.5 US cents; the young men running the latrines said there were around 500 users a day. The facilities can be smelled 50 metres away, with the floor of each squalid cubicle 15cm deep in soiled newspaper that residents use to wipe their posteriors. Staff use gloved hands to scoop the used paper into a wheelbarrow, which they lug to the nearby river or beach to dump its contents into the water.Ok, so 'what's the point,' you are probably thinking.
"The situation is just getting worse here. There are more people for fewer toilets; people just openly defecate between their houses - conditions are really bad," West Point community activist Darius Nyante told IRIN.
We often write on this blog that the environmental footprint of urban living is probably the lowest of any residential context, carbon-emissions wise. (As if to rationalize our love of urbane life.) In developing nations, with no money for infrastructure, and the rural poor crowding into a toilet-less abyss, who cares about carbon footprint?
Looking for a way to make the world a better place? Family planning initiatives and World Toilet Day sound good to me.