Tag Archives: Matt Damon

Matt Damon continues his global crusade for toilets

As a follow-up to his “toilet strike” last month, actor Matt Damon narrates a new water.org video promoting sanitation and clean water that was released on  World Water Day.

 “Quick, what invention saved the most lives in human history? The answer is the can, the john, the porcelain throne, the bog, the foreign office, the Thomas crapper. That’s right, the toilet,” says Damon. “Whatever you choose to call it, the toilet not only provides a tranquil escape from nagging bosses, spouses and children, it’s also a fast and sanitary way to dispose of waste separate from the water we drink and bathe in.”

The spot ends with a plea to donate to Water.org, the charity co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White. Despite contradictory evidence, the water.org site continues to state that “only $25 brings one person clean water for life“.

Source: Degen Pener, Hollywood Reporter, 22 March 2013

Dear Matt Damon,

This blog is a response to the video posted by Matt Damon, co-founder of water.org, where he announces a toilet strike to raise awareness for the water crisis.
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Dear Matt,

I enjoyed your video on water.org about going on a toilet strike. It is great that you are so passionate about realizing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for all. I personally also like it that you bring in some humor into our sometimes very boring sector.

In your video you mention that it costs US$25 to provide a person with sanitation for life. This is not true. Over the past four years IRC’s WASHCost project in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Andhra Pradesh (India) and Mozambique has collected, validated and analysed cost and service level information for water, sanitation and hygiene. Based on this research we know that for US$ 25 you can construct a traditional pit latrine with an impermeable slab which provides a basic service. In order to sustain the service provided by that traditional pit latrine it costs between US$ 1.5 and US$ 4 per person per year – so to provide sanitation for life means finding that US$ 1.5-4 every year …. for life. If you do not know how, or by whom, these recurrent costs will be financed, it is very likely that the latrine you are constructing today will break down or not used within two to three years, wasting your investment.

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