Making Progress on Sanitation

No invention has saved more lives than a toilet. More than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated, polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas. All because there is no infrastructure - a toilet, or city utilities - to flush away yesterday's meal. But that's not all. Toilets bring dignity, privacy, safety and health.

Picture the enormity of this problem: The more than 80% of sewage in developing countries that is discharged (untreated) into our rivers, lakes and coastal areas, would entirely fill the Superdome in less than three days. This massive amount of feces would be 30 stories high, and cover the span of 642 feet - hundreds of millions of gallons. That's a pretty impressively large pile of poo.

So what?

Believe it: The majority of the illness in the world is caused by fecal matter. To put it in perspective, just one gram of feces is home to 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1,000 parasites, and 100 worm eggs.

Kids, moms, and dads in the developing world without a toilet consume an average of 10 grams of fecal matter a day. For kids, this is too often detrimental. Diarrhea is the second biggest killer for kids under five, globally. And it's completely preventable.

In most developed nations, we take our toilets for granted. But if we can shake off our amnesia, we can remember that only a little more than 100 years ago, New York, London and Paris were centers of infectious disease. Child death rates were as high then as they are now in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. It was sweeping reforms in sanitation infrastructure and safe water that, together, enabled human progress to leap forward.

As you might imagine, World Water Day is our favorite time of year. World Water Day was created in 1993 by the United Nations. uses the entire week to spread the word of sustainable safe water access for the nearly a billion people currently without it. Our goal is to make this a reality in our lifetime and so we celebrate water and all the progress that has been made, and that we are continuing to make.

Donate Your Voice to the cause using your Facebook or Twitter status. Sign up now! The campaign runs March through March 24th.

Give one person clean water. $25 brings one person safe water. Our goal is to help 200 people this year in the spirit of World Water Day. Pass it on!

Pin one of these posters to your Pinterest board to show your celebratory spirit for Water Day:

Pin It "Cannonball"

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"Clean water makes me smile."
Capital: Dhaka
Population of 160 million
20 million lack access to safe water
63 million lack access to improved sanitation
77% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day