Today we have some results of a rather alarming study courtesy of the United Nations. Seems more people have access to a cell phone than a toilet that works.
Here’s the break down:
The study’s numbers claim that of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones. However, only 4.5 billion have access to a toilet.
The organization is hoping to half that number by 2015. Considering sanitation is a key aspect of good health and a clean environment, this news is shocking.
In August 2012, the Bill Gates Foundation began its own effort to “reinvent the toilet” as a way to help curb the number of people around the world without access to sanitary waste disposal.
Interestingly, the report states that India alone is responsible for 60 percent of the world’s population that does not use a toilet, an estimated 626 million individuals. Yet, at the same time, there are an estimated 1 billion cellphones in India.
Another important aspect of this problem? Physical, not just medical, safety.
“This can also improve the safety of women and girls, who are often targeted when they are alone outdoors,” said Martin Mogwanja, deputy executive director of the U.N. Children’s Fund. “And providing safe and private toilets may also help girls to stay in school, which we know can increase their future earnings and help break the cycle of poverty.”