Having toilets makes your everyday life better. Globally toilets and sanitation can save millions of lives through disease prevention. Toilets can also prevent rapes. According to a study, women in India who use open defecation sites are twice as likely to get raped compared to women using a home toilet.
China fixing toilets for tourism and for close quality of life gap
Over the last three years, China has refurbished 68,000 public toilets which is 20 per cent more than the original target. These were mostly around tourist areas.
The overhaul was backed by more than 1 billion yuan (US$152 million) in central government funding and over 20 billion yuan ($US3 billion) from local authorities.
To mark World Toilet Day on November 19, the National Tourism Administration pledged to erect another 47,000 toilets and refurbish 17,000 others over the next two years.
The tourism industry generated about 3.9 trillion yuan (US$600 billion) last year from more than 4.4 billion domestic and foreign visitors.
While building new toilets and upgrading others, China also needed to work on waste treatment, with sewage threatening the country’s vulnerable underground water system.
There has been a toilet paper theft problem from public bathrooms. Tourist authorities in China’s capital have begun using facial recognition technology to limit how much paper a person can take.
50% of India’s population defecates in the open
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made “Clean India” a prominent government campaign. This includes a spree of nationwide toilet building, according to government tallies, roughly 45 million over 3 years.
7.5% of people in India’s cities still relieve themselves in the open.
Toilets Save Lives
Toilets save lives because human waste spreads killer diseases. However, 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste. World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
By 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG #6, aim to reach everyone with sanitation, and halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase recycling and safe reuse.
For that to be achieved, we need everyone’s poo to be contained, transported, treated and disposed of in a safe and sustainable way. Today, for billions of people around the world, sanitation systems are either non-existent or ineffective and, consequently, progress in health and child survival is seriously undermined.
Also, poor water and sanitation cost developing countries around $260 billion a year, 1.5 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP), while every dollar invested could bring a five-fold return by keeping people healthy and productive.
* 1.8 billion people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from faeces.
* Globally, 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.
* Only 39% of the global population (2.9 billion people) use a safely-managed sanitation service, that is, excreta safely disposed of in situ or treated off-site.
* Combined with safe water and good hygiene, improved sanitation could prevent around 842,000 deaths each year.
We need everyone’s poo to take a 4-step journey:
* Containment. Poo must be deposited into a hygienic toilet and stored in a sealed pit or tank, separated from human contact.
* Transport. Pipes or latrine emptying services must move the poo to the treatment stage.
* Treatment. Poo must be processed into treated wastewater and waste products that can be safely returned to the environment.
* Disposal or reuse. Safely treated poo can be used for energy generation or as fertilizer in food production.
Where are toilets lacking ?
Darker colors have fewer toilets per capita. In 2015, 23% of people in China did not access to an improved toilet. 60.4% of people in India did not have access to an improved toilet.
In India, 173 people defecating in the open for every square kilometre in the country. According to World Health Organisation data, more than 140,000 children in India die from diarrhea each year before they reach the age of five.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.