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The Last Taboo



The Last Taboo: opening the door on the global sanitation crisis
By Maggie Black and Ben Fawcett.

About this book
Except in schoolboy jokes, the subject of human waste is rarely aired. We talk about "water-related" diseases when most are sanitation-related.

A century and a half ago, a long, hot summer reduced the Thames flowing past the UK Houses of Parliament to a "Great Stink", thereby inducing MPs to legislate sanitary reform. Today, another sanitary reformation is needed, one that manages to spread cheaper and simpler systems to people everywhere.

In the byways of the developing world, much is quietly happening on the excretory frontier. In 2008, the International Year of Sanitation, the authors brought this awkward subject to a wider audience than the world of international filth usually commands. They seek the elimination of the "Great Distaste" so that people without political clout or economic muscle can claim their right to a dignified and hygienic place to "go".

Published with UNICEF.

Review quotes
"The authors of this book bring out of the shadows an unmentionable subject, and call for a new sanitary revolution on behalf of the environment and people's dignity. I endorse their call, and recommend this book for spelling out the urgency of the crisis."—Sunita Narain, director, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi.

"This book is highly readable, exhaustively informative, and will be of considerable help to those trying to adapt and redesign toilet technologies for local conditions. Its multifaceted approach has important implications for attaining the Millennium Development Goal for sanitation."—Bindeshwar Pathak, founder, Sulabh International Social Service Organisation.

About the authors
Maggie Black has written several books on water, sanitation and development such as (, 2007). Ben Fawcett is an environmental health engineer and was until recently a lecturer at the University of Southampton, UK.

This book costs £18.99. Please send us an enquiry for purchase details.


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