The Big Necessity by Rose George

Read: 28 July, 2018

I, appropriately, found this book in a friend’s bathroom while staying as a guest. But this is no Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader!

The book covers a lot of the sanitation issues “elsewhere” – such as the rape risk in India and the menstruation barrier to education in parts of Africa – but I was surprised by how precarious sanitation systems are in Europe and North America. We have local issues caused by a growing population that depends on an ageing system (which happens to also have an antiquated design that overflows with raw sewage in rain storms), but I had imagined this to be a problem particular to here. Turns out, it really isn’t. And, in fact, the precariousness of the sanitation situation worldwide is rather terrifying.

I particularly enjoyed the toilet tech talk – from different types of affordable latrines, to biogas digesters, to Japanese washlettes.

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