A study recently conducted by the United Nations reveals that there are in fact more cellphones than there are toilets in the world today. The study claims that more people have access to cellphones than to a proper toilet. In a report submitted by the United Nation’s Deputy Secretary-General, the study claims that out of the estimated 7 billion in the world, about 6 billion have access to cell phones. Of this number, only about 4.5 million have access to a working toilet.
Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the U announced last week that the organization is working towards reducing the number of people in the world without access to a toilet. This he said will take place by the end of 2015. At a press conference, Eliasson said that having a good and decent environment will go a long way in restoring the dignity of billions of people worldwide.
Way back in August 2012, it could be recalled that the Bill Gate foundation launched an effort aimed at reinventing the toilet. This according to the foundation was to help people around the world have access to a sanitized waste disposal system.
It is interesting to note that India accounts for 60% of the world’s population who doesn’t have access to a toilet. This percentage takes care of an estimated 626 million people. Even more interesting is the fact that India has the largest number of cell phone users in the world estimated at 1 billion.
On the other hand, China with the largest population in the world has only 14 million people without access to a toilet. This goes along with the fact that there are fewer cell phones in China which according to Daily Mall is around 986 million.
The menace caused by using unhygienic sanitary systems is a huge one. There are more than 750,000 deaths each year as a result of diarrhea. One of the primary causes of diarrhea is unsafe sanitary systems in areas without access to portable and hygienic toilets. The chances of infection are high as a result.
Furthermore, there are other reasons why having an improved and accessible toilet system is important; having easy access to toilets will help reduce the incidence of targeted attacks on women and children who most times come outside to relieve themselves. Again, provision of a safe and healthy toilet system may help the girl child stay in school. This will not only break the cycle of poverty, it will also improve their standards of living of their families.
Perhaps, this is a time when nations need to look inward and device a means of improving the public healthcare system already in place. A probable way to do this would be through the provision of accessible and portable toilets. In areas where there already are existing public toilets, measures should be taken to renovate them and inculcate the culture of cleanliness and personal hygiene.