A brief history of toilets - Francis de los Reyes
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So having a toilet is not enough- there is an entire infrastructure behind safe management of human wastes. In many places around the world, this infrastructure is not present. Sanitation, while a basic human right, is often not high up on the list of government priorities. This has led to the dismal state of sanitation globally: about 670 million people still practice open defecation (where they “go” behind bushes, on riverbanks, near railroad tracks). As shown in the video, almost 2 out of three people in the world don’t have access to toilets at home that fully manage excreta.
In addition, how societies view toilets and sanitation are affected by religious beliefs, culture, government policies, costs, education, and behavior. Thus, solving the global sanitation crisis is not just having the right technology, or enough money: it needs to include changing government policies, addressing culture, changing behavior- making this a multi-faceted challenge. The goal should be sustainable sanitation for all- access to functional, affordable, reliable, safe, and equitable sanitation that protects public health and the environment.
Francis de los Reyes has a TED talk on sanitation.The Reinvent the Toilet Challenge by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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