The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

World Toilet Day:
Capitalism Isn’t Sanitary

Nov 25, 2019

Translated from Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group active in France.

In most poor countries, people have more access to cell phones than to toilets. Worldwide, more than half of humanity lives without sewer service. This reality was announced on UN World Toilet Day, November 19. The consequences are dramatic. In the slums of Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, etc., millions of people have no alternative to defecating and urinating in outhouses or in fields where all kinds of diseases fester, like diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, and hepatitis.

According to the UN, this kills 432,000 people each year, including 297,000 children under five years of age. Year after year, no investment is made to stem these deaths. It’s just not profitable for private companies. Subsidiaries of the big western conglomerates have the technical means to take on the task of building sewer systems, but they do nothing.

As for governments, they mock their poorest people. The UN, created by the big capitalist powers, repeats its supposed goals each Toilet Day and laments its own inaction.