Did you know that more people have access to mobile phones than they do to working toilets?
It seems archaic that, despite advances in technology, a lack of working toilets is an everyday reality for 2.5 billion people. While it comes as no surprise that humans value connectivity, valuing cellphones over basic needs like sanitation comes at a price. Despite the detrimental impact of poor sanitation, when Jasmine Burton and others travel to underdeveloped nations, they find that people either are confused about the importance of sanitation and have never even seen a toilet or don’t want to invest in one.
Facts about toilets:
- 2.6 billion: Number of people in the world today who do not have access to basic sanitation
- Women and girls: Those disproportionately affected by water inequities; many girls drop out of school at puberty because of the lack of toilets
- 260 billion: Dollars spent worldwide on diseases related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (known as WASH)
- 1 million: Number of children’s lives lost every year due to WASH-related diseases
- 4,000: Number of children dying every day from preventable WASH-related diseases as a result of poor sanitation
Topics We Explored:
- How the lack of proper waste management negatively impacts the advancement of women
- Why proper waste removal is a vital component of healthy communities
- How not disposing of fecal matter properly is causing adverse effects among underdeveloped countries
- What potential exists for innovation in western sanitation methods
- What the biggest challenges are for Jasmine in her mission to bring awareness and solutions to communities without healthy waste management practices
- Why Jasmine believes creativity is an important ingredient in addressing the global challenge of sanitation
“As a creative, you’re designed to look at these challenges as opportunities.” –Jasmine Burton (Tweet this)
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- The Sanitation Value Chain – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- How to Better Channel Your Creativity
- Changing How You Create Changes What You Create
- Extraordinary Women Change the World
About Jasmine Burton:
Jasmine Burton was born and raised in Dunwoody, Georgia. In 2014, her senior design team won the Georgia Tech InVenture Prize Competition, the largest undergraduate invention competition in the United States, for their design of an inexpensive mobile toilet, SafiChoo. Before graduating from Georgia Tech’s Industrial Design Program, she participated in the Georgia Tech Women’s Leadership conference, the CDC’s Summer Public Health Scholars Program, a Humanity in Action Fellowship, and Industrial Design studio classes that emphasized ethnography and social impact work.
She hopes to improve women’s health via redesigning water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure, which is why she founded Wish for WASH, a social impact startup that seeks to bring innovation to sanitation. Over the next year, Jasmine is serving as a Global Health Corps Fellow in Lusaka, Zambia, working as a design specialist at the Society for Family Health. Jasmine identifies as a humanitarian design activist and, ultimately, seeks to use her creativity to make the world smile.
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