UNICEF has started a campaign to end open defecation (pooping in the open air). Their mascot for this endeavor is a professional boxer/terrorist made of personified poo.
See boxer Melanie Subono go toe-to-toe with the oversized Mr. Hankey.
Talking about poop is icky so people generally avoid it, but UNICEF is bringing it to the table (gross) because over 30% of the world doesn’t have access to sanitary toilets. In Indonesia alone, over 50 million people practice open defecation. Open defecation has serious consequences including the increased risk of avoidable diseases like cholera and dysentery. Open defecation is expensive to fix though.
Funding Basic Sanitation
Imagine providing toilets to two-and-a-half billion people. How does something like that get funded? You could increase taxes on corporations and make them pay for it, I guess, but that doesn’t usually seem to work. Increase taxes too much and corporations will leave. Plus, since corporations have a lot more clout than those without access to running water and a proper toilet, there’s little chance that the impoverished won’t be left high and dry with that approach.
You could do what many countries often do when faced with large public works projects: go into debt and let the income of the country pay the interest on the amount owed, that could work, but what if we could pay for it all without going a dime into debt? What if we could build sanitary infrastructure and have it pay for itself?
Here’s another thought. I bet you that real estate is pretty cheap in areas that don’t have access to running water. Why? It isn’t very desirable to live there. If they were to tax the land and use the revenue to build a sewage system, the land value would go up. Now it’s a little more desirable to live there. This would make the land value go up, and this would increase the revenue available for sanitation -a virtuous cycle. In fact, you could apply that system anywhere. A government could make any public infrastructure self-financing by just taxing the value of land. Learn more about how to create the virtuous cycles that alleviate poverty.