"If you live in a city with modern sanitation, it’s hard to imagine daily life being permeated with the suffocating stench of human excrement. For that, we have a number of people to thank – not least a London watchmaker called Alexander Cumming. Cumming’s world-changing invention owed nothing to precision engineering. In 1775, he patented the S-bend. It was a bit of pipe with a curve in it and it became the missing ingredient to create the flushing toilet – and, with it, public sanitation as we know it. Roll-out was slow, but it was a vision of how public sanitation could be – clean, and smell-free – if only government would fund it. More than two centuries later, two and a half billion people still remain without improved sanitation, and improved sanitation itself is a low bar. We still haven’t reliably managed to solve the problem of collective action – of getting those who exercise power or have responsibility to organise themselves."
Listen here www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csv3gp
This brings in the positive externalities of proper sanitation systems and how inadequate sanitation affects economic growth/development "across various African countries, for example, it reckons inadequate sanitation lops 1 or 2 percentage points off GDP; in India and Bangladesh, over 6 per cent; in Cambodia, 7 per cent."
"Six years ago, we traveled to a place where people are trying to live without government interference. A place where you can use bits of silver to buy uninspected bacon. A place where a 9-year-old will sell you alcohol."
Interesting article here:
Teacher of IB Economics at the American School of Budapest