Going to the bathroom and sitting on the toilet is a luxury that most take for granted. Yet the latest statistics from the UN indicate that 2 billion people do not have basic access to a toilet. Of that 2 billion, 673 million still use gutters, bodies of water or fields to defecate. The shocking statistic is one of the world’s biggest issues as it is giving people a terrible quality of life and killing many.
Last year nearly 450,000 people died of diarrhea due to inadequate sanitation. The issue contributes to serious malnutrition in developing countries. Not only this but it increases the risk of sexual assault and social anxiety. In a world population of 7.8 billion, 2 billion having no proper access to a toilet is too much. Today over 6 billion people have access to cell phones showing that more people have access to basic technology than they do proper sanitation.
The reason is that toilets aren’t easy to build. Sewage systems and toilet units are expensive to install and when they are broken they are expensive to fix. When you consider the hot weather and flooding that some countries face, standard sewage is not an appropriate solution for developing countries.
Something must be done and one couple is leading the charge, Bill and Melinda Gates. Bill and his wife have spent millions of dollars trying to find an alternative solution that will revolutionize sanitation in the developing world. The latest solution they have backed is the Tiger Toilet. It uses worms to work on the deposits left behind, it has no traditional sewer system and costs $350. To date 4,000 of these toilets have been installed in India. Gates sees it as a stepping stone to a larger solution. He says he is willing to spend hundreds of millions for a proper solution that will put an end to this terrible issue.