About one-third of the global human population does not have access to an effective toilet. As a result, disease-carrying feces contaminate the human environment causing more than seven hundred thousand child deaths each year from diarrhea, poor child development as a result of worm infestations, and numerous other disastrous health impacts. But, particularly for women and girls, the social impacts—including violence encountered while seeking a place to defecate and the gross indignity of defecating in the open—are equally significant and horrifying. For the nearly one billion people living in overcrowded urban slums, these impacts are especially severe. A massive global effort is needed to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal of providing sanitation for all by 2030, particularly in the slums, which are expected to double in population over the same period.
Ben Fawcett; Shit in Developing Cities: A World of Ill Health, Indignity, Violence, and Death. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2016; 115 (4): 763–770. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-3656169
Download citation file: