Mr. Toilet Starts Worldwide Sanitation Revolution
- WHO: Nearly 2 million people die every year from diseases related to bad sanitation
- World Toilet Association aims to provide toilet facilities to impoverished nations
- South Korea’s “Mr. Toilet” unanimously elected association’s first president
- 2.6 billion people worldwide lack access to proper restrooms
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The World Toilet Association kicked off its inaugural conference Thursday, hoping to spark a sanitation revolution that will save lives through better hygiene and break taboos about what happens behind closed bathroom doors.
2.6 billion people worldwide lack access to proper restroom facilities.
To the celebratory rhythms of a percussionist beating on toilets, dozens of government delegates and U.N. representatives began two days of discussions on improving bathroom facilities for the 2.6 billion people worldwide who lack access to proper restrooms.
Dr. Shigeru Omi, western Pacific director of the World Health Organization, said 1.8 million people die annually due to diseases related to inadequate sanitation, 90 percent of them children younger than 5.
Providing healthy bathroom facilities worldwide would cost some $10 billion a year — equal to 1 percent of world military spending or what Europeans annually spend on ice cream, he said. The new association aims to provide toilet facilities to impoverished countries, provide for urgent sanitation needs after natural disasters and spread information and technology for improving toilets.
The South Korean government has given strong backing to the World Toilet Association, which has been spearheaded by the country’s “Mr. Toilet” — parliament member Sim Jae-duck. He earned his nickname for improving public restrooms for the 2002 World Cup as mayor of Suwon city.
“The restroom revolution will provide hope and happiness to mankind,” Sim told delegates.
Its all about hygiene. Its all about education. Too many of today’s youth are not taught the consequences. Spreading biological material between humans is one of the greatest threats to world health, besides war. BossKitty applauds all efforts to teach the basics of hygiene. It is alarming how many people in supposedly technologically advanced countries are careless or oblivious to the consequences of poor personal hygiene.