Sanitation has a few things going for it:
There is a realization that the ROI of an investment in basic sanitation infrastructure in the developing world is high: $1 gets you $9, to be more precise - good return. (WaterAid and WHO)
There is also a growing recognition that, like it or not, meeting the water Millennium Development Goal will not have the impact on public health we all want it to unless there is significant progress on the sanitation MDG as well. (Lancet)
But today, sanitation takes one more step toward being recognized as the marquee player we all know it is by getting prime billing at the World Business Council on Sustainable Development:
The Sanitation Challenge: What Does it Mean for Business?
The article itself doesn't come up with any groundbreaking answers to the question it poses, likely because those answers aren't readily apparent. But inadequate sanitation and water-related illnesses fill 50% of the world's hospital beds, with an obvious and significant impact on corporate activity. A healthy employee is a happy, productive employee. If that employee's family and community are healthy, so much the better.
I look forward to what the WBCSD's newly-launched Sanitation Workstream can produce...
And would one of you please attend what's being billed as the "sanitation session" at Davos this year and report back?
Sat 26th January 2008: 14.00 - 15.15 Interactive session "Death, Disease and Dirty Water"