Yes, its true. The WTO has adopted a blue toilet seat for its logo. This is not surprising, however: the World Toilet Organization–you didn’t think I was talking about the World Trade Organization, did you?–is dedicated to improving sanitation issues around the world.
While the blue toilet seat logo, may be amusing, the WTO’s goal is life-and-death serious. In “A Sanitation Crisis that’s no Joke,” the New York Times reports that 40 percent of the worldwide population, or 2.6 billion people, has no access to hygienic toilets. “Diarrhea kills 1.6 million children each year — more, even, than malaria — and the pollution of drinking water with waste is a principal cause.”
During my time spent in El Salvador, I saw that the disposal of human waste was a serious problem. In the low-lying Bajo Lempa region of El Salvador, human feces often contaminated water sources used for drinking until new latrines were installed to prevent this contamination. Many of the children had diarrhea or parasitic worms preying on their health.
While potty jokes are funny, providing quality sanitation to more of the world’s population is not a laughing matter.