World Toilet Day


Toilet in train display at Steamtown National Historic Site
Toilet in train display at Steamtown National Historic Site

Celebrate World Toilet Day with a potty | PBS NewsHour

Of the world”s 7 billion people, about 6 billion have mobile phones, but only 4.5 billion have access to toilets or latrines, according to the United Nations. That leaves about 2.5 billion people without basic sanitation, making them vulnerable to disease.

A day to raise awareness about the importance of human waste technology to human health in civilization.

Toilet in train display at Steamtown National Historic Site
Toilet in train display at Steamtown National Historic Site

Yes, I took a photo of every toilet I found in the Steamtown National Historic Site exhibits.

The toilet is a much under-appreciated technology, in my opinion. So I wholeheartedly agree that the world could use a more awareness about the deprivation of this most useful simple luxury of daily life for much of the world”s population.

We’ve been putting toilets on moving, traveling trains for over a hundred years, (and we have toilets in space), and yet people in some impoverished communities can”t even get a community lavatory, let alone a private toilet, forcing them to defecate in the open.

Who in the developed world doesn’t, at some point in their life, have a weird dream about going to a restroom, to discover that the toilets are open to public view? In fact, I”ve heard that this is a common “anxiety dream”. Yet it”s a reality for a awful lot of people.

Amartya Sen: India”s dirty fighter

What”s the purpose of a development model that produces luxury shopping malls rather than sanitation systems that ensure millions of healthy lives, ask Drèze and Sen, accusing India of “unaimed opulence”. India is caught in the absurd paradox of people having mobile phones but no toilets.

Even more stark is the comparison with Bangladesh. “Our hope is that India”s public policymakers will be embarrassed by the comparison with Bangladesh. On a range of development indicators such as life expectancy, child immunisation and child mortality, Bangladesh has pulled ahead of India despite being poorer.”


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