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More people have access to cellphones than toilets

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#1 Hum

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 00:46

A new United Nations study has found that more people around the world have access to a cellphone than to a working toilet.

The study’s numbers claim that of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones. However, only 4.5 billion have access to a toilet.

At a press conference announcing the report, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson announced the organization is launching an effort to halve the number of those without access by the end of 2015.

“Let’s face it—this is a problem that people do not like to talk about. But it goes to the heart of ensuring good health, a clean environment and fundamental human dignity for billions of people,” Eliasson said at the press conference.

In August 2012, the Bill Gates Foundation began its own effort to “reinvent the toilet” as a way to help curb the number of people around the world without access to sanitary waste disposal.

Interestingly, the report states that India alone is responsible for 60 percent of the world’s population that does not use a toilet, an estimated 626 million individuals. Yet, at the same time, there are an estimated 1 billion cellphones in India.

Conversely, in the world’s most highly populated country, China, only 14 million people do not have access to a toilet. However, there are also fewer cellphones in China, 986 million.

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#2 Growled

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:09

That's a rather sad commentary on human life.

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:15

You can poop anywhere -- but talking long distance is difficult. ;)

#4 Growled

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:17

^ Not with a long enough string and two tin cans. :p

#5 remixedcat

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:36

and apple will release the ipoo to take advantage of this.

#6 Detection

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:56

But there is an app on WP7 that shows a map with locations of public toilets nearby, so problem solved ;)

#7 compl3x

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:39

Yeah, but a lot of people have **** reception!

#8 SupportGeek

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 00:24

That's a rather sad commentary on human life.

I see it as a commentary on how much more easily and cheap wireless infrastructure is to set up than to build a proper sewage system. for the same coverage area.

#9 ozgeek

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:56

This doesn't make sense. You can poop or pee anywhere. Infact it is more natural to just pee or poo when needed where we stand. If we haven't had the illentigence we have today, then we would be in our natural behaviours and wouldn't have this problem.

Just go out the back or in the bush and do it. I've done this many times. It's natural and your waste is another living's food (natural fertilazer)

#10 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:08

I see it as a commentary on how much more easily and cheap wireless infrastructure is to set up than to build a proper sewage system. for the same coverage area.


I see it more as a commentary on the pervasive nature of capitalism, where profiting from rampant consumerism comes before satiating basic human needs.

#11 Richteralan

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 14:27

Let's see, cell phone is a personal item. Toilet is not, even the toilet in your house is shared among family members.

Guess the next "study" will come out comparing toothbrushes and country parks:

Study shows more people have access to toothbrushes than country parks!!!!!!!46487319157957189

then insert *evil consumerism bash here*


Who would have thunk!!!??!!?

#12 Detection

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 14:38

As long as I have my phone, I couldn't give a sh** :p

#13 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 14:48

that is a sad comparison to think about however, something a bit more depressing is that more people have access to firearms than clean drinking water.

#14 notchinese

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 15:05

Let's see, cell phone is a personal item. Toilet is not, even the toilet in your house is shared among family members.

Guess the next "study" will come out comparing toothbrushes and country parks:

Study shows more people have access to toothbrushes than country parks!!!!!!!46487319157957189

then insert *evil consumerism bash here*


Who would have thunk!!!??!!?


I'm not sure you understood this study. Its not comparing number of toilets to number of cell phones. Yes, everyone in a family might share a single toilet but they all still have access to one.

#15 Richteralan

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 15:10

I'm not sure you understood this study. Its not comparing number of toilets to number of cell phones. Yes, everyone in a family might share a single toilet but they all still have access to one.

Ah yes I misread. Thanks for the correction.

However, I don't really think access to toilet is THAT crucial to human health, compared to, say, access to clean water.

In any way, I agree with the article.

that is a sad comparison to think about however, something a bit more depressing is that more people have access to firearms than clean drinking water.

This.