A Better ToiletFor A Cleaner World
“China to get extreme toilet makeover to boost tourism”
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
A recent article published on CNN Travel talks about the recent push to drastically improve the public toilet systems throughout China in an effort to boost tourism.
President Xi Jinping has fully embraced his country’s recent toilet revolution (which launched in 2015):
Voicing the concerns of many a wary traveler, the communist leader said clean toilets were the cornerstone of a civilized society and would help boost travel to China as well as improving the hygiene of the masses.
Since this movement started, China’s state run newspaper the People’s Daily, reported that China has since opened roughly 68,000 improved bathrooms throughout the country.
Huge improvements for sure, especially to a country notorious for its unfavorable public sanitation.
Interestingly though, the article mentions similar findings to what we have found with our project’s extensive fieldwork in India. As China pushes to make sanitation improvements nationwide, it’s reached a familiar roadblock: cultural attitudes towards proper and adequate sanitation are lacking. And it’s not from a lack of money either:
The organization says rural schools were prioritizing opulent decorations, such as waterfalls and marble boulders, over improving bathrooms.
“In many cases, money is not the problem, but it is a mindset problem,” says Bai.
“If we are able to make toilets fashionable, just like a cell phone, a TV, or a dream, we can change the toilet culture of China.”