Believe It or Not, World Toilet Shortage Is No Joke

The world is suffering from a toilet shortage, and at least one activist wants to do something about it with his non-profit, the World Toilet Organization, or WTO.

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The world is suffering from a toilet shortage, and at least one activist wants to do something about it with his  non-profit, the World Toilet Organization, or WTO. Jack Sim, founder of the WTO, hopes his efforts will bring awareness to the extent to which defecating outdoors is a serious health problem, contributing to the spread of disease through improperly disposed feces. According to Fast Company's Morgan Clendaniel, "[B]etween 1997 to 2000, the World Health Organization subsidized the construction of 1.6 million outhouses in India... Today, only 47% are being used in the intended manner. The rest are used for storage."

Sim isn't afraid to speak frankly about this possibly giggle-inducing topic's importance. "Shit is like fire," Sim says in a documentary about WTO. "If you managed it properly, it cooks your meals. If you don’t manage it properly, it burns down your house."

Fun fact: The toilet in the photo above is inside of Alcatraz!

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.