Infrastructure

Expert Voices

Sanitation workers often neglected as countries expand access to toilets

a public toilet on side of the street with two men standing in front
A public toilet in Chennai, India. Photo: Arun Sankar/AFP via Getty Images

As developing countries continue to improve plumbing and provide toilets, many have left sanitation workers suffering from weak legal protections, poverty and social stigma, according to a recent joint report from the World Bank, WHO, ILO and WaterAid.

Why it matters: The workers who connect and clean toilets and sewers are on the front lines of a major global health campaign. According to UN Water, 4.2 billion people live without safely managed sanitation and 673 million use no toilet at all, a situation that compounds poor hygiene in causing 432,000 diarrhea deaths every year.

The markets would like Mike

Bloomberg speaks at a press conference at the C40 World Mayors Summit
Photo: Ole Jensen/Getty Images

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg dipped his toe into the 2020 election water last week, and some investors are already salivating.

What it means: Analysts at investment bank Cowen and Co. argue in a recent whitepaper that Bloomberg's policies would provide the market a big boost, even though they argue the billionaire is "unlikely to substantially ease regulatory policies" and " is actually likely to toughen some capital and consumer protection rules."