Fletcher in the News

Professor Moomaw Comments on Access to Sanitation on CNBC.com


William Moomaw, Fletcher School

Don't Laugh: Lack of Toilets Signals Deadly Crisis

An event like World Toilet Day—observed on Nov. 19—is naturally going to spark some bathroom humor. 

But the day also serves as a reminder that for the 2.4 billion people who don't have access to basic sanitation, that lack of toilet facilities is no laughing matter. In fact, it's a deadly serious health crisis.

"Think of living in a giant cesspool and then you get some idea of the problem," said William Moomaw, professor of international environmental policy at [The Fletcher School,] Tufts University. 

"It's a life and death issue for those who don't have access to good sanitation," he said. "The spread of disease like cholera and typhus from lack of proper sanitation is just horrific."

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