Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization, said 2.6 billion people around the world lack access to clean toilets, and at least 1 billion more toilets are needed in order to solve this problem.
China's cities had only 118,000 public toilets by the end of 2009, an inadequate number considering China's huge population and fast pace of urbanization, said Tao Hua, vice president of the China Association of Urban Environmental Sanitation, at the summit of the World Toilet Organization that ended Thursday.
While Tao and other representatives looked into ways to improve the world's toilets and sanitation conditions during the three-day summit held in south China's island province of Hainan, a man in east China was pleasantly surprised to learn that the public toilet-locating software he developed has been warmly received.
Huang Li, the chief operating officer of a Nanjing-based software company, developed "Ohbaba," a program to help mobile phone users locate the 20 nearest public toilets within 2 km.
In addition to locating toilets, the software can also provide some information about the facilities, including whether toilet paper is offered, the availability of a handicapped-accessible commode, service times and the facilities' sanitary conditions.
Users also have the option of adding new facilities to the program's database.