Many of you know that I am not a big fan of 'days' - World Kumquat Day or whatever. Even World Water Day is no exception. Every day should be World Water Day!
But World Toilet Day is different; far more people are in need of access to sanitation than clean water, and you can't do clean water without considering sanitation. But sanitation is a sensitive topic that most people do not like to discuss. It's about...well, poop and pee, for crying out loud! We don't discuss that stuff in such company!
Consider this quote:
"...politicians and leaders worldwide don’t like to be associated with toilets, even state-of-the-art toilets. This sanitation stigma distorts international and national development agendas.” - Prince of Orange
And lest you think I am being a smart-ass with the title of this post, consider that WTD itself says 'I give a shit' but if I said that, Texas A&M might ban my post.
Why should we care about WTD? Let me count the ways. Care about women and girls, don't you? Human rights? Clean water?
Emily Green sent me this link to a great Guardian photo essay celebrating WTD: World toilet day: public poo, crap compost and a golden turd – in pictures.
Here is the introduction:
A can-do attitude is needed for people working in sanitation – which is often not a priority for governments. Some 57 countries are seriously off-track to meet the target within millennium development goal seven to halve by 2015 the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation; around 2.5 billion people lack access to a clean toilet. World toilet day aims to break the taboo around loos and basic hygiene.
So now - where are all those A-listers who might like to promote causes for PR or other purposes? Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio do water. How about some others? Lady Gaga. Madonna. Daniel Craig. Justin Timberlake. George Clooney. Hope Solo. Some testosterone-soaked jock?
There must be someone out there looking for a cause who's got a ton of self-confidence. Ray Lewis? Oprah! Time to man-up or woman-up, folks!
But I can just hear his/her agent:
"You wanna support what? Crappers for the world? F**king great! I'll tell you whose career will be in the toilet - YOURS! What the f**k were you thinking?"
I can just see the Texas A&M filters now!
Maybe we can get Helene Traasavik? She's done it for toilet paper.
Perfect spokesperson: Larry David!
And if you think the Gates Foundation has the answer, read Lloyd Alter's Crapping On Bill Gates' "Reinvent the Toilet" Winner. Here is the video of the winning entry.
Today's quote is from Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization.
There are 2.6 billion people in the world who have no toilets, ... They are toilet-less and what we are trying to do is to build capacity for field engineers to go down to the farms, to the rural areas, to build ecological sanitation.