By Vamien McKalin | Mar 26, 2013 01:49 PM EDT
The world is a strange place, with strange priorities: and so it happens that more people have cellphones than clean toilets or no toilets whatsoever.
According to a recent UN report, 6 of 7 billion people on the planet are owners of a cellphone; however, only 4.5 billion have access to toilets.
The prices of basic cellphone these days are so cheap that almost anyone possesses the cash to purchase one, but not so when it comes down to toiletry. If you check Indonesia for example, you'll find more people in that country browsing Facebook and other social networks on a mobile phone, yet, they do not have a toilet for themselves. One has to wonder where the Indonesian government is in all this.
Because so many people lack a toilet for themselves, over 1.1 billion are still defecating in public, something we don't need to tell you is not healthy practice, it's a thing that causes widespread illness and the deaths of 4,500 children from illness per day.
Over 1.8 billion people were given access to clean toilets since 1990, but obviously, that is not enough, but it is progress nonetheless.
"We strongly support this effort to increase the focus on sanitation," said the Deputy Executive Director of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), Martin Mogwanja, who noted that ending open defecation will contribute to a 36 per cent reduction in diarrhea, which kills three quarters of a million children under age 5 each year.
"We can reduce the cases of diarrhea in children under five by a third simply by expanding the access of communities to sanitation and eliminating open defecation," he told reporters at the launch of the call to action at UN Headquarters. "In fact, diarrhea is the second largest killer of children under 5 in the developing world and this is caused largely by poor sanitation and inadequate hygiene."
The UN is working overtime to end this crisis, but we feel it will take a very long time before everyone can say, "I have access to clean sanitation."
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