It’s official. More people in the world have mobile phones than access to toilets.
It’s an incredible fact that comes to us from a new UN report showing that 6 billion people in the world now have cell phones.
Just 4.5 billion, however, have access to a traditional toilet or latrine.
Although this amusing statistic has generated chuckles from some, the underlying report is no laughing matter.
In fact, the UN and some of the most powerful names in technology – including Bill Gates – are working to solve the “sanitation crisis” playing out in many parts of the world today.
This week, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson launched a call for urgent action to end the crisis of 2.5 billion people without basic sanitation, “and to change a situation in which more people worldwide have mobile phones than toilets.
“I am determined to energize action that will lead to results,” said Mr. Eliasson. “I am calling on all actors – government, civil society, business and international organizations – to commit to measurable action and to mobilize the resources to rapidly increase access to basic sanitation.”
The call to action will not set up any new structures or funding mechanisms, the UN report says, but focus on generating action at the community level – one community at a time.