Thursday, November 19, 2009

Clean toilets are cool

The solution to ending poor sanitation has been found: toilets. Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization makes a very convincing argument for the importance of toilets and how to use them to help reduce poverty, particularly in India. The problem he outlines is that sanitation, and toilets, are not cool. People do not aspire to buy a toilet, but instead a flat-screen. However, the natural response to feces and other insanitary smells and objects is the body's natural defense against diseases. No one likes to be told that they are dirty, however it is necessary to clean up when living conditions are in such close proximity. His goal through WTO is to help fund, make and maintain public toilets in India. Diarrhea is a major killer of the world's poor, but by improving conditions such as toilets, there will be a reduction in those infected and dieing, reducing a factor of poverty. They have a launch program on trains, trading advertising space for maintaining the public restrooms. Harmony between business, poverty reduction and sanitation.

-Sara Frodge

Source: Reuters