Pssst...We Need To Talk About Sanitation

Oct 16, 2014

A public toilet, Namche Bazaar, Nepal
Credit SuSanA Secretariat / Creative Commons

Our show today is a long-planned look at human waste. In other words... Poop. It has taken on a slightly more somber cast now that Connecticut is monitoring the possibility of its first case of Ebola.

But, in some ways, we've got the perfect guests, especially Rose George, whose book about sanitation begins in a small town in Ivory Coast "filled with refugees from next door Liberia." Rose is looking for a toilet and eventually succumbs to the reality that there is no such place. There's a building where people do their business on the floor.

This was always going to be a big part of today's show, the fact that 2.6 billion of the worlds people do not have toilets and because of that, a whole lot of people die of diseases far less exotic than Ebola. Imagine trying to contain that disease in a place where there is no sanitation system. Anyway, on this show, we mention the big unmentionable.