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“A few weeks ago I lost the use of my toilet and learned first hand just how much I missed it when it wasn’t there.

My plumbing went out of order when the pipe between my house and the city’s sewer line in the street collapsed. It was about 60 years old and made out of compressed fiberboard of some sort – I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. Pipes like that belong to the homeowner, so it was my responsibility to get it fixed. It took about a week for the workmen to come and replace it with a plastic pipe. During that week I had to go the local fast food place to use the facilities. It got old fast.

More than 2 billion people around the world today don’t have a toilet or even an outhouse. They must relieve themselves beside the road, on the railroad tracks, or behind a bush. It’s a shocking and degrading picture to contemplate. I’ve been reading about sanitation – and the lack of it – in a book called The Big Necessity by Rose George.”

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