The Peepoo has arrived!

A few weeks ago I was wondering why more than 2,5 billion inhabitants of our global village still had to cope without anything resembling a toilet. Approximately 10 billion pees and poos going into bushes, street corners, garbage heaps and rivers every day. No wonder our earth is a smelly and fly ridden place. I wondered why no one could invent a cheap and hygienic toilet for the poor masses from China to Africa. A Swedish entrepreneur, Anders Wilhelmson, obviously heard my cry and recently presented his Peepoo, a biodegradable plastic (sic!) bag that acts as a single-use toilet for urban and other slums in the developing world. Once used the bag can be knotted and buried, and a layer of urea crustals breaks down the waste (including the bag) into fertilizer, killing off disease-producing pathogens found in feces. No more flinging of plastic bags over fences ( so called “flyaway toilets” or “helicopter toilet”), no more heaps of rotting feces, but new fields with crops instead. Yes, why not, in urban areas as well. Pepoo for all! It is sanitary and you can use it to grow crops!

Wilhelmson, who plans to start mass production this summer,  is an architect and professor in Stockholm. He is typically Swedish in not being able to beat around the bush, which explains the rather direct name of his invention. Peepoo! Isn’t it great? And above all, isn’t it the start of a solution for a problem we in general seem to ignore?  I beg the governments of the rich countries to stop sending seeds or fertilizers or water pumps,  and to invest instead in Peepoos. At last a real sustainable policy!

I am sure Dambisa Moyo would agree. Read her great book “Dead Aid. Why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa”  published by Penguin in 2010. A must for aid workers, the UN (especially Unicef), ministries of development etc.

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