Africa’s Sanitation and Hygiene – Mobile Phones Rather Than Toilets.

The fact that there are more “mobile phones” in Africa, and elsewhere in the developing countries around the world, than “toilets” provokes many thoughts. It is worth reasoning why such situation has developed very rapidly and still influencing and forcing many people to do so. What is interesting in this respect is neither the “mobile phones”, they are rather symbols of “technology and science”, nor the “toilets”, they are also symbols of “sanitation and hygiene”.

We have now to examine the connection between mobile phones and toilets. For many people in the developing countries it is more important and essential to have a mobile phone that having a toilet and this choice is not random. It is in fact a human paradox and we need to analyse its origin, i.e. the contradictory behaviour of humans as understood by some of us on the one side and at the same time the irrational but rather natural behaviour also of humans as understood by others on the other side. In this context, we have to take up very complex everyday dilemmas for humans, i.e. the so-called “Nexuses”. “Nexus technology-science” – technology is a consequence of science and both are very much related and dependent on each other like no fish can survive without water and water with poor quality cannot promote life for fish and produce healthy fish. “Nexus science-education” – science in itself a human product based on education, without education there would be no science and the quality of education is essential for survival of good science. One of the essential features of science is that it is neutral which is not the case what regards education and technology. Here comes the modern role of politicians, policy-makers, investors and the market at large on human behaviour, traditions and cultures and thereby the perception of education and technology on the one side and science the other. In the past few decades many of us realised the importance of political “transparency and accountability” for achieving sustainable socio-economic developments. However, no successful political system in the world operates well unless “transparency and accountability” exists in all society sectors and on all levels. This includes “transparency and accountability” within and between all society sectors including all stakeholders, communities and the very building blocks of the society, i.e. families and individuals. “Transparency and accountability” is the core essence of any healthy, functionable and sustainable democracy.

If humans make collective unsustainable decisions then the mentioned nexuses are neither properly understood nor taken in consideration to run the society. At some stage the whole chain in the society contributed in shaping the society in the wrong direction, it is a slow gradual process rather easy to develop but unfortunately very difficult to revert. It is an organised manifestation of the whole society against “transparency and accountability” rules, i.e. organized “misjudgement” which indeed don’t emanate out of thin air. Collective unsustainable decisions and organized misjudgement emerges from ignoring the role of education to foster the citizens and populations to create their own knowledge capital for achieving welfare which indeed a precondition for useful science and technology. Mobile phones and toilets are both products of science and technology but the problems in the developing countries are essentially related to the blind import of knowledge “science” and random imitation of “technology” rather than understanding through education the meaning of science and technology for human welfare.

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One thought on “Africa’s Sanitation and Hygiene – Mobile Phones Rather Than Toilets.

  1. Mathew Langol

    There are many questions to add to this:

    Why are Human being so stupid:
    Pollute the Environment, water, air,food they desperately need, than utilise these sustainably.

    HUMANS are adamant, that they intensionally smoke their bodies off with Tobacco and etc, yet they know the fatal HELL of complications to their body, cancer, loss of sex, to mention but a few…

    The list is endless.

    Human are the most destructive species to the Earth and Planets. Maybe the earth find an extinction survival without HUMAN.

    Can Humans Sustain the Earth? Never……I wish I could be wrong!


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