I was eating breakfast while surfing the web, and thinking of serious election-aftermath stuff to post in the blog when this news about this week’s ongoing World Toilet Summit in Macau caught my attention.
At first I was amused by the notion of a global toilet expo and all the crappy notions that could be attached to it. Reading the event’s objectives, however, made me realize how the lack of sustainable sanitation worldwide is getting to be one of the biggest problems that every human being should consider and think about.
It is estimated that 2.6 billion people (40% of the global population) are currently without proper sanitation facilities. The United Nations has set a mandate to halve this figure by 2015 as part of its Millennium Development Goals. For those who doesn’t care, just think about viral diseases that could spread in an instant across the globe just because of lack of sanitation in one country.
With this critical issue, businesses and corporations could benefit not only in enhancing their sustainability image by doing humanitarian services (e.g. funding, providing sanitation treatment systems and maybe mass-produced toilets for free??), but this could be a potential breeding ground (pun not intended) for new green technologies.
Think about waterless toilets in countries lacking water or solar-powered self-cleaning commodes. Recyclable systems that convert waste into biogas to provide hot water for bathing and washing purposes was also recommended by the World Toilet Organization (ok, I admit I still find humor with this name).
WTO says the event will also feature innovative showcase of leading edge sanitation solutions which include air quality management, cleaning and maintenance, design and systems, facility management, mobile toilets, sanitary ware and fittings, sewerage management, waste and water treatment, and other related services.