Magazine article New Internationalist

A Load of Shit

Magazine article New Internationalist

A Load of Shit

Article excerpt

Every day, everyone on the planet emits from their body a certain quantity of waste. This process is physiologically unavoidable. Even the perfect saint - as was believed in ancient India - cannot absorb every morsel he or she consumes. But because the subject is taboo in virtually every culture, it is ignored.

Maybe that doesn't matter where a simple push or pull on a porcelain contraption flushes excreta away into a septic tank or sewer, and its subsequent confinement or treatment protects soil and waterways from pollution. But 2.6 billion people around the world don't have a WC or any other kind of decent toilet. Because'faecal perils' land up on hands, feet and lips, two million of them - mostly children - die of diarrhoeal disease every year. The toll in indignity and distress, especially among women, is less measurable but arguably far worse. …

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