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How a hole in the ground can help poor countries recover $260 billion a year

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Floating toilets. Toilets on wheels pulled by bikes. Toilets that compost. In his 30 years of worrying about human waste, there’s probably not a variation on this most fundamental of fixtures that Andy Bastable, head of water and sanitation for Oxfam Great Britain, hasn’t seen. On our increasingly crowded planet where experts predict that 66 percent of the population will be living in urban areas by 2050, the simple latrine is more essential than ever. But today, an estimated 1.1 billion people still make do without—relieving themselves in the open where their wastes can contaminate drinking water and spread disease. That’s why, in 2013, the UN General Assembly decided to set aside one day each year to raise awareness about the undeniable link between decent sanitation and the fight against poverty. That day is November 19—the one day all taboos against bathroom talk can be forgotten in favor of frank discussion on how to solve a public health problem that menaces rural and urban communities around the world.

Read more of this article on Oxfam America, 19th November 2014

Date: 24 November 2014