The Toilet Problem: toilets are less common than mobile phones

To share or not to share your mobile phone with others, it’s a question. However, you can share toilets with dozens of people. Nowadays, it’s strange that toilets are less common than mobile phones. How can a “nicety” be more common than a necessity? This is a problem that can be traced to the degree of a country’s and a society’s development, specifying the imbalance between a country’s economy and its infrastructures.

In Jen Barr’s article, she mentions that in developing countries such as China, Tanzania and India, the handling of human waste is still in a dangerous condition that causes disease and death, while smart phones have already spread widely. Since Barr mentioned China, I want to give my personal view on this topic. Toilets and smart phones can stand for two things, a basic need and an advanced need, respectively. It’s odd that a society can satisfy an advanced need, but it cannot provide for a basic one. However, it is the truth. In some remote and poor Chinese villages, some young people have smart phones, while none of them have clean toilets.

The absence of clean toilets shows a general problem in China, in that infrastructure’s improvement cannot catch up with economic development. In China, the government is responsible for providing sanitation systems. Therefore, it’s time to think about why the government cannot provide clean and safe toilets in poor and remote areas. Or is there any way to solve this problem? Or is there any way to solve this problem? Barr indicates that some people think free market can solve this problem, while she points out that toilets and smart phones are different. However, from my own perspective, it will help to solve the problem if Chinese government can cooperate with commercial companies. For instance, the government can decentralize some power to companies in order to encourage them to provide toilets in the poor and remote areas.