This is a rerun (sort of).
And it’s dedicated to Kevin, whose long-time blogging has been inspirational, and who loves this Tommy Toilet poster, back in the days when a poster was something you hung in your apartment, not somebody who hung out in one.
Here’s a lid heads up: World Toilet Day this year is November 19.
Of course, you knew that: it’s November 19th EVERY year.
Sounds kind of silly, if no longer naughty as it might have been in the Victorian era (which lasted through the 1950’s in the US), but there are some dedicated people involved in this. And I wouldn’t necessary call them assholes.
According to the World Health Organization, 40 percent of the globe, or 2.6 billion people, have no access to hygienic toilets. They must use latrines, outhouses or buckets – or simply the bushes or rivers nearby.
The World Toilet Summit, which just took place in New Delhi, is an attempt to improve that situation by drawing attention to the problem and pushing for better sanitation technologies. It is the brainchild of Jack Sim, a Singapore real estate mogul who grew up in poverty and remembers seeing children in his neighborhood shedding worms as they ran around diaperless In 2001, he founded the World Toilet Organization, which has a blue toilet seat for its logo.
Despite the silly name, he means serious business.
Diarrhea kills 1.6 million children each year – more, even, than malaria – and the pollution of drinking water with waste is a principal cause. Also, about 160 million people have intestinal worms, which can cause malnutrition and anemia. Worms competing for the nutrition that their hosts eat can leave their victims too weak to farm or go to school and prone to other infections. – NY Times
You can find out even more if you visit the World Toilet Organization’s website. I looked closely at the World Toilet College page (“There is presently no school or institution that addresses both urban and rural toilet needs in a holistic approach.”) thinking that with my degree in philosophy, I might qualify for a scholarship, or at least get credits toward another BS (sorry). And make sure you check out their merchandise page, still in development. They’re working on a logo and a perforated tee shirt for tearing into strips to wipe your butt. Great for hikers.
Evidently the movement (!) is here to stay, backed by some wealthy stakeholders. “We’re flush with funds,” a spokesman told me.
Alright, I made that up.