We've shared a few lists this week leading up to World Toilet Day, an effort to draw attention to the 2.5 billion people worldwide who lack access to proper sanitation, and the value we often take for granted. Here are some of the numbers that matter most. More at http://neorsd.org/wtd
  1. 1,000,000,000
    That's how many people still defecate in the open. I'll repeat that. ONE BILLION PEOPLE DON'T USE A TOILET. That alone is a significant contributor to health issues, disease, water contamination, and much more. These challenges go well beyond access to facilities, including social stigma and bad economic policies.
  2. 1,400,000
    The number of child deaths each year caused by diarrhea. Dehydration is a literal killer in poor countries. Even simple things like soap and clean water can go a long way in minimizing the spread of water-borne illnesses.
  3. 5 to 1
    The World Bank estimates that every dollar invested in sanitation globally nets a return of $5.
  4. 1 out of 3
    The UN Secretary General said 1 of 3 women worldwide lack access to safe sanitation. "As a result they face disease, shame and potential violence when they seek a place to defecate," he said.
  5. $1,000,000,000,000
    This stat brings water issues a little closer to home for Americans. The American Water Works Association estimates the U.S. would need to invest one TRILLION dollars over the next 25 years to repair and maintain its water infrastructure. That's not even counting sewer infrastructure. Pipes are in disrepair. While organizations like ours pride themselves on the ability to maintain aging systems, some issues can't be overlooked forever.