Talk Globally, Go Locally: Cellphones Versus Clean Toilets
Mobile phones have become ubiquitous across Africa and Asia, but lowly toilets haven’t.
Right now, 6 billion people around the world have cellphones. But only 4.5 billion people have access to a clean commode, the United Nations said Thursday.
That leaves more than 2.5 billion people without a safe place to use the bathroom and more than a million resorting to going out in the open. Both practices, needless to say, can take a deadly toll on communities by dirtying water supplies and spreading diseases.
“It’s still more risky to go to the bathroom in many countries than any other activity.”Andreas Lindstrom, of the Stockholm International Water Institute, said at a conference in Vina del Mar, Chile, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.
About 1,800 kids die each day from diseases that could be prevented with decent sanitation, The United Nations Children’s Fund, said in a statement Friday.
“If 90 school buses filled with kindergartners were to crash every day, with no survivors, the world would take notice,” Sanjay Wijesekera of UNICEF said in the statement. “But this is precisely what happens every single day because of poor water, sanitation and hygiene.”
Photo by Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images