Cell Phone Service, But No Toilets or Drinking Water for the Poor

By Stephen Leahy

[Why are there mobile phone networks and not sanitation networks?]

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Oct 20 (IPS) – It is a fact of the 21st century that some of the poorest regions of the world have good mobile phone coverage but no toilets or safe drinking water.

Simply installing toilets where needed and ensuring safe water supplies would do more to end crippling poverty and improve world health than any other possible measure, according to an analysis released Monday by the United Nations University (UNU).

“Water problems, caused largely by an appalling absence of adequate toilets in many places, contribute tremendously to some of the world’s most punishing problems, foremost among them the inter-related afflictions of poor health and chronic poverty,” said Zafar Adeel, director of the U.N. University’s Canadian-based International Network on Water, Environment and Health. Continue reading