Approximately 2.5 billion people do not have access to a clean and safe toilet, to put that in some perspective that is 37% of the world’s population. Sanitation would make the lives of these 2.5 billion people safer and healthier, which this issue is so important.
On the day the Gates Foundation tweeted, “The annual gain in economic productivity if everyone had a toilet is $225B”. I’m not sure how they work that out, but it is an impressive figure. The Gates are not the only ones who see the importance of this issue, Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org, has pointed out that “Six billion people have cell phones, but only 4.5 billion have access to improved sanitation”.
It was Jim Sim (aka “Mr. Toilet”), who founded the World Toilet Organization and the annual World Toilet Day back in 2001. He was named a TIME Hero of the Environment in 2008, and alas he died in 2009. He was described as “frank and entertaining” when it came to discussing the need for better sanitation. As he once said “No invention has saved more lives than a toilet. More than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated, polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas”, think about this next time you sit on a loo….