Western governments and agencies are now standing in the way of development.
Earlier this month, a report from the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health announced that ‘fecal sludge’ might be one answer to several of the world’s problems. According to the authors of Valuing Human Waste as an Energy Resource, if the excrement produced by those who lack access to sanitation – a billion people – was collected and processed, 10million homes could be provided with electricity. And this would amount to $200million-a-year worth of biogas. After all, where there’s muck there’s brass. For that reason, the report might be interesting to planners and civil engineers, but it was still given far more importance than it deserved. As the Daily Mail excitedly put it: ‘Human excrement can fuel developing world.’