Do We Have it Good?

I jumped out of bed this morning, OK maybe rolled out of bed would be more accurate and made my way to the bathroom where I found it occupied. My daughter and her family had spent the night after a Halloween party. So I made my way downstairs to use the downstairs bathroom, then to the kitchen to get a glass of water. As is my usual routine I jumped on the internet to check my email and low and behold a message from Google alerts about toilets. Being a plumber finding out about toilets in the news is of great interest. Today only one toilet article : India: Land of many cell phones, fewer toilets That sounded plausible to me, family of five, five cell phones, two bathrooms but I read on.

In the Mumbia Slums there is only one toilet or latrine for 10,000 people. That's like having 4 toilets for all the people attending the world series, not bathrooms but toilets. In case you did not know, a latrine is a hole in the ground with a toilet seat... if you are lucky. Oh did I mention that most of these are "Pay Toilets" which cost about 4 cents per use which is out of reach for most Mumbias. According to the United Nations figures , only 366 million Indians have access to a private toilet or latrine, leaving 665 million to defecate in the open. If you have ever had to clean up after a dog kept in the backyard for a week just imagine 665 Million people!!

My Mind is running wild as a plumber I ask the questions why no sewage systems?, why no flush toilets?, What about water? I read on..... In Rafiq Nagar there are no water pipes or wells, residents are forced to rely on water vendors for water to do cooking, washing clothes, bathing and drinking. The neighborhood is rampant with skin infections, tuberculosis and other ailments.

A large blue barrel outside a home is filled with murky brown water, tiny white worms and an aluminum drinking cup. To fill up two 5 gallon cans of water costs between $.90 and $1.10 a day, about one-third of the average family's earnings .

I am horrified at the conditions in India! here in America we expect clean water, Hot showers and flushing toilets for about two dollars a day. As a plumber I appreciate the infrastructure that is here. When you flush a toilet the water magically comes from the mountains and the sewage magically disappears to be recycled again and again. I am proud to be a plumber doing my part to protect the health of Our Nation one small repair at a time.