Ithaca Blog

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sanitation Vs. Disease: "World Toilet Day"

Yesterday was World Toilet Day, as decreed by the U.N. General Assembly in this, its International Year of Sanitation.

It sounds jokey, but it is dead serious.

2.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation, causing millions of deaths every year from cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, and other preventable diseases.

The economic costs are over 1.5% of gross national product in Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and other countries.

The campaign promotes the toilet as a "health technology," and encourages governments to set sanitation goals, and communities to mobilize to improve sanitation and hygiene practices.

More information is available from the Natural Resources Defense Council, at

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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