05 July 2011

You Have to Provide Toilets

One of the sidebars in Hungry Planet was about the lack of indoor toilets in India and the problem it causes.  Yes, there is a significant middle class in India, as large almost as the population of the US, but there are also twice as many people as that who are very poor.  China is similar; there are hundreds of millions of people in China who can afford a reasonable standard of living, but it's not a great idea for anyone to have to use the toilets most people use in China. 

Toilets are just one example of decent, reliable, and affordable infrastructures not being available to so many people on this planet.  Throughout post-Soviet Central Asia, countries derived from a nation that was supposed to provide for its people, you find significant numbers of people without decent sanitation or indoor plumbing.  It's not just a result of crumbling pipes because most people in Central Asia didn't have those things during the Soviet years either, although the ensuing 20 years haven't done much for any of the 5 countries' infrastructure, except Kazakhstan.

There is no doubt in my mind that no nation can truly be a world power unless its people are provided with basic services.  Sanitary toilets and indoor plumbing with both hot and cold water and reliable, clean, and safe energy sources should be a basic human right.

1 comment:

  1. Found your blog from Segullah. Thanks for reminding me of what I need to be grateful for and to stop whining about what I don't have.