Close your eyes and imagine yourself in New York City. What would happen if 40% of New York did not have access to sanitation? Your bus is running late because of street congestion caused by massive amounts of poop and the street performers in Times Square are taking off their costumes to go for number two right in front of you. What would happen if most of your community didn’t have toilets? Where would all of our shit go? The answer isn’t pretty. Unfortunately, the reality for much of the world.
Nearly 40% of the world—2.5 billion people—does not have access to sanitation and hygiene. The War on Poop is an ugly one. In the time it has taken you to read this, a child has died because of poor sanitation. In the past 10 years, diarrhea has killed more children than all the people lost to armed conflict since World War II, mostly due to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, or insufficient hygiene. In developing countries, 90% of all deaths in children under the age of 5 are caused by diarrheal diseases. We’re here to change the scoop on poop. We believe that every child should live past their first birthday, every person should have clean water to drink, and that 100% of humanity should have access to improved sanitation and good hygiene. Clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene are basic human rights—together we can make sure those rights are given to everyone.
To fight the War on Poop, Toilet Hackers is doing three things. We’re enlisting a community of leaders and builders to hack the sanitation problem through perpetual creative disruption—what we call our sanitation hackathon. We’re also launching a grassroots advocacy campaign to raise awareness about the world’s toilet crisis. Lastly, we’re enlisting you. Our mission is urgent. Our cause is noble. With the support of friends far and wide we can deploy dignity, we can get to the finish line, and we can win the War on Poop.
So lets do two things. First, let’s get everyone committed to this so that we can reach a day where everyone has a toilet and nobody has to watch their child die from a preventable disease. And second, let’s go give our toilets a hug. We owe them our lives.