1. True: Out of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones. Far fewer
— only 4.5 billion people — have access to working toilets. Leaving 2.5 billion without access to safe,
2. False: Illnesses that are a direct result of bad sanitation affect the quality of life of millions of people
around the world, especially children. Diarrhoeal diseases are the second most common cause of death of
young children in developing countries, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined, and
resulting in 1 death every 20 seconds.
3. False: Sanitation rarely receives the required attention and priority by politicians despite its key importance
on many other sectors and for achieving most of the MDGs. The political will has been largely lacking when
it comes to place sanitation high on the international development agenda
4. True: 1.1 billion people around the world have no place to ‘go’ . The majority of them are living in rural
areas. Because they have no private place they use fields and bushes, ditches or railway tracks, or simply
a plastic bag. For them, sanitation is about dignity and ultimately human rights.
5. True: every dollar invested in sanitation yields a return of five dollars. Sanitation is a good use of money,
and essential for both social and economic development. Actually, toilets are one of the best investments
a country can make. There is growing evidence showing the social and economic benefits households,
businesses and the wider community, such as increased productivity through time gains and health
benefits, increase of tourism revenues through clean environments, a strong reduction of health costs
by avoiding treating sanitation related diseases such as diarrhoea, higher levels of education, and other
benefits related to dignity and safety.
6. True: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing $42 million in new grants to fund toilet innovations,
including research into new methods of capturing, storing and processing waste into fertilizer, energy and
The lack of sanitation infrastructure in many parts of the world means that the foundation will work to
develop waterless and hygienic toilets that don’t rely on sewer lines.
7. False: The average person visits the toilet about 2,500 times a year. That’s 6-8 times a day, according to
the BBC. This equates to spending about 3 years of an average lifetime on the toilet
8. False: the first flushing toilet was invented by Sir John Sir John Harrington in 1596 for Queen Elizabeth I.
It was called “Ajax Flushing Toilet.”
9. True: Toilet paper on a roll has been around since 1890. It was first produced by the Scott Paper
10. False: Only one in 20 people wash their hands properly after visiting the toilet