Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Toilet Summit Opens in Beijing

BBC - The fourth world toilet summit has opened in Beijing with declarations that having a loo is a human right. Four hundred delegates from around the world are spending three days discussing the humble water closet... Organisers say it is an attempt to break the taboo surrounding toilets, which is preventing developing countries from tackling the issue.

The founder of the World Toilet Organisation, Jack Sim, said that when it came to sanitation, people ought to demand more. "In the past, there were women's liberation, leprosy, Aids, the sexual revolution. All these are taboos that have been broken. The toilet problem is probably the last one," he noted.

"The entire toilet movement is taking on the world scale. People are saying, 'We want good toilets'....because you see a toilet is a basic human right and this basic human right has been neglected. So the world deserves better toilets," he said.


At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just curious what your thoughts are about the toliet being a basic right for everyone. I think I know already, but just want to confirm.


At 11:11 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Umm... well, toilets aren't exactly on my list of "super important things to be worried about," but I do believe that a basic level of sanitation is necessary in every society. The concept of a World Toilet Summit may sound silly, but this really is a pretty serious issue. The ramifications of our country neglecting things such as this are fairly considerable, both in terms of human lives lost as a result of our inaction and in the continuing erosion of our standing as a moral leader in the international community. Mind you, I don't know if the U.S. has contributed much to this particular area, but it's easy to weigh the amount of money we're spending on "protecting" Iraq versus the potential good such an enormous investment could have done elsewhere. Stories like this, while somewhat amusing, also cause me to wonder if our priorites are in order.

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Rodney said...

Timely conference, my name is Rodney Garrard and I am researching ways in which we can achieve zero-waste mountaineering activities in Aotearoa/New Zealand. There is currently anecdotal evidence of over-use and lack of ones consequences when needing to go.. I would be grateful on what the latest device is for mountain related activities.


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