Friday, November 02, 2007

Better toilets for all

The 2007 World Toilet Summit has opened in the Indian capital, Delhi, with more than 40 countries taking part.

The four-day meeting will examine solutions and technologies that can be used to provide a basic need for nearly half the world's population.

According to estimates, 2.6 billion people around the world lack access to a hygienic toilet. The U.N. hopes to halve this figure by 2015 as part of its millennium development goals. In India alone, more than 700 million people have no access to proper waste disposal systems.

While hygienic toilet facilities are seen as a normal facility in developed countries, anyone who has worked or lived in developing regions knows of many horror stories about using a toilet. After the event, it may become a funny story.........but the reality is that it is really not a joke!

With a wide range of composting, low water use, waterless, biological, sewered, and various other toilet facilities available at modest cost, a major improvement in poor country facilities is needed. The effect that improved hygiene has on overall well being of the population is enormous, but seems to have often been forgotten or ignored.


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