Where do you stand (sit) on World Toilet Day?

Today is World Toilet Day.

Yes, that’s right, there’s a special day for toilets. But while it may be fodder for scatalogical jokes, for the many millions of people who do not have access to toilets it’s no laughing matter.

Imagine what it would be like if we weren’t able to flush away the vast amounts of human waste we generate in our cities. Apart from the stench and vermin, disease would flourish, as it does in many of the world’s informal settlements.

Poor sanitation kills 1.8 million people a year–mostly children and primarily through diarrheal diseases, reports colleague Tasha Eichenseher today on National Geographic’s Green Guide blog.

Read more about this intolerable situation and learn what a privilege it is to have access to a toilet.

Changing Planet

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn