Lets Talk Dirty

Good Essays
Topics: Feces, Water, Sanitation
Let's talk dirty. A few years ago, oddly enough, I needed the bathroom, and I found one, a public bathroom, and I went into the stall, life: use instead, I and it was, where does this stuff go? And with that question, I found myself plunged into the world of sanitation -- there's more coming -- (Laughter) —sanitation, toilets and poop, and I have yet to emerge. And that's because it's such an enraging, yet engaging place to be.
To go back to that toilet, it wasn't a particularly fancy toilet, one from that’s the other WTO. (Laughter) But it had a lockable door, it had privacy, it had water, it had soap so I could wash my hands, and I did because I'm a woman, and we do that.
(Laughter) (Applause)
But that day, when I asked that question, I learned something, and that was that I'd grown up thinking that a toilet like that was my right, when in fact it's a privilege. 2.5 billion People worldwide have no adequate toilet. They don't have a bucket or a box. Forty precent of the world with no adequate toilet. And they have to do what this little boy is doing by the side of the Mumbai Airport expressway, which is called open defecation, open. And every day, probably, that guy in the picture walks on by, because he sees that little boy, but he doesn't see him.
But he should, because the problem with all that poop lying around is that poop carries passengers. Fifty communicable diseases like to travel in human shit. All those things, the eggs, the cysts, the bacteria, the viruses, all those can travel in one gram of human feces.How? Well, that little boy will not have washed his hands. He's barefoot. He'll run back into his house, and he will contaminate his drinking water and his food and his environment with whatever diseases he may be carrying by fecal particles that are on his fingers and feet. In what I call the flushed-and-plumbed world that most of us in this room are lucky to live in,the most common symptoms associated with those diseases, diarrhoea, is now a

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