The Bible is not shy about discussing unmentionable, unpleasant and embarrassing subjects, even what to do with human excrement. Strict rules of Jewish law address all aspects of everyday life including public sanitation and personal hygiene. These rules are very important in Jewish practices, demanding a high standard of public health required of leaders as well as the individual.
Yet thousands of years after these words were uttered, 4.5 billion people around the world live without a safe toilet, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This means that human feces – on a massive scale – go directly into the environment without treatment on a massive scale, is not being captured or treated, thus contaminating the water and soil that sustain human life.
“We are turning our environment into an open sewer,” states the WHO, which even designated November 19th as World Toilet Day to raise government and public awareness of the need to build toilet facilities and sanitation systems that work in harmony with ecosystems. The annual event targets nature-based solutions to the world’s sanitation needs.