Toilet is the new mobile phone

From the letters to the editor in the 7 June 2010 edition of the Financial Times:

Sir, As you report, "Today, more Africans have phones than toilets" ("Attitudes change to business in region", June 4). Entrepreneurs throughout the continent have also noticed this strange truth. In some countries, a toilet is the new mobile phone - something that shows that you've made it. Businesses are responding to growing demand by enduring improved supply, better customer service and lower prices.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council is encouraging this trend. The Water and Sanitation Program, hosted by the World Bank, estimates that every dollar spent on sanitation and drinking water generates between $3 and $34 dollars [sic] in economic benefit and that ensuring access to basic sanitation for all citizens could raise a country's gross domestic product by several percentage points. Like phones, toilets have the potential to "revolutionize lives and transform society."