The United Nations has declared 2008 the year of sanitation – and how best for an totally corrupt organization to celebrate something like that than a nearly two million dollar toilet. The primary architect of this campaign is Sim Jae-Duck, a former mayor of Suwon city on the outskirts of Seoul, and chairman of the organizing committee of an upcoming international conference on sanitation, in the Korean capital Nov. 21-25.
“Toilets are essential places in our daily lives,” Sim said in an interview with IPS U.N. bureau chief Thalif Deen. “Still, an appalling 40 percent of the world’s population lives without any toilets or proper sanitation, causing enormous losses to human lives due to the spread of water-borne diseases.”
There is no cookie cutter solution according to Duck. Suwon city has eco-friendly and user-friendly toilets. However, toilets should incorporate the region’s tradition, culture and customs. The financial support should come from governments, corporations and charity organisations. WTA [the Seoul-based World Toilet Association, which Sim chairs] will be able to provide limited financial support and help build exemplary toilets which regional governments or central government can refer to. However, WTA cannot provide toilets to the whole region. WTA will use its know-how and technologies and focus on building a tailored toilet model which suits well to the region and promotes such cases. WTA will also help research the current state of the region. This will help build a more efficient toilet tailored to suit different peoples and different cultures. When the region finds out the appropriate toilet model, WTA will aid in providing the toilet facilities to the region and introduce the toilet model.
The 4,508-sq-foot structure features four deluxe toilets—one of which includes a misting device that helps users “feel more secure” and electronic motion sensors that lift and lower the lid when needed. And if that wasn’t hilarious enough, Sim Jae-duck is letting people rent the house for an only $50,000 a day.