My brain feels a need to complain about toilet and shower being dysfunctional in the house where I live.

But, as a reminder, toilets are a relatively recent invention and most people still don’t have access to them.

A reminder that there’s still a long way to go with our civilization’s implementation capacity.

Past efforts to improve water and sanitation have seen some success, with 2.1 billion people gaining access to better sanitation facilities since 1990, according to the report. But another 2.4 billion people have seen no improvement, including 946 million people still relieving themselves outdoors – the vast majority among the rural poor.

Some questions :

How exactly does a toilet work?

How much does it cost to produce?

Where does the stuff go after flushing?

What is the effect of a toilet / sanitation system on health?

What is the functional form of sanitation vs number % people not having toilet? Is there a strong effect of going from 99% to 100% coverage?

Some numbers :

  • Diarrhoeal diseases kill 700,000 children every year, most of which could have been prevented with better sanitation.
  • Sustainable development goals” that are expected to focus on how $2.5tn in development funds will be spent through 2030.
  • That’s a lot of money. In comparison, the Gates foundation holds some $50B and the Open Philanthropy Project some $10B

Some facts

The Great Stink was an event in central London in July and August 1858 during which the hot weather exacerbated the smell of untreated human waste and industrial effluent that was present on the banks of the River Thames. The problem had been mounting for some years, with an ageing and inadequate sewer system that emptied directly into the Thames. The miasma from the effluent was thought to transmit contagious diseases, and three outbreaks of cholera before the Great Stink were blamed on the ongoing problems with the river.

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