2.6 billion people in the world do not have a safe place to poop. Lack of sanitation/toilet counts for much of the world’s social and health problems. Yet, given the gravity of the issue, people are embarrassed to talk about toilets openly. In honor of the World Toilet Day on 19th November, we’ll like to highlight 3 people who’ve been campaigning hard to break the toilet taboo, making toilets sexy and get the world to talk sh*t.
First up, has to be Jack Sim aka Toiletman to the world. 10 years ago (that’s how long World Toilet Day has existed), in 2001 he started World Toilet Organization (WTO) which created World Toilet Day (WTD). Jack is a businessman from Singapore, who left his successful construction business to start crusading for toilets. The man is not ashamed to talk about sh*t – “I want to make toilets sexy and make them attractive to those who need it the most. We are creating a market for toilets, so they are as attractive to own as other things.”
In 2008, Jack was chosen as one of Time magazines Heroes of the Environment. He has also created an annual World Toilet Summit, where some of the main thinkers and doers of the sanitation world, along with various famous individuals, get together to discuss how to tackle sanitation issues.
Good ol’ Bill Gates and his wife have also picked up the toilet cause. While working on its health programs, Gates Foundation realized the need to tackle the problem from its roots.“You can’t save kids just with vaccines. I’d go into the rural villages in India and think o’kay we’ve saved the child. But the people are defecating in the stream coming into the village. There are other things we need to be doing.”- Melinda Gates in a Forbes Interview.
This year the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced the launch of their new sanitation strategy and US$ 42 million in new sanitation grants. In addition to its massive investment in the cause, the Foundation has also been actively campaigning for toilets, around the theme, Reinvent the Toilet.
Matt Damon’s organization, Water.org along with Gates Foundation, Worldtoilet.org and few others have launched Talk Sh*t All Week Campaign in lead up to the World Toilet Day (19th November). Below is the video from Matt Damon’s sh*t talk! Although Matt hasn’t been around from the start, we are going to let him get in on the the sh*t wagon, due to his obvious fearless desire to promote sh*t this year and desire to make toilets more sexy!
Thanks to these people, that the world is now talking sh*t, more than ever before, resulting in more action and money in dealing with the sanitation crisis. If you would like to lend your voice or learn more about the issue, visit, ToiletDay.Org or WorldToilet.Org