China is coming clean about its filthy toilets, first hosting a world toilet summit and now about to hold its first ever toilet exhibition which will lift the lid on new technology.
The World Toilet Expo will run from May 8 to 10 in Shanghai, China’s most fashionable city, with some experts going potty about a dial-a-loo phone line people can call to find the nearest public toilet, the Shanghai Daily said on Wednesday.
"It’s expected to solve the long-lasting problem that tourists, cab drivers and people unfamiliar with the city cannot find a toilet when they need one," Han Yurong, a Shanghai Public Sanitation Bureau official, was quoted by state media as saying.
Shanghai officials said the city planned to revamp 500 of its 3,900 public toilets this year, build new ones and reserve two thirds for women.
"The current 1:1 ratio is not reasonable," Han added without explanation.
Beijing, eager to freshen up its primitive privies before it hosts the 2008 summer Olympics, recently added high-tech, self-cleaning toilets near tourist sites like the Forbidden City and Summer Palace and promised to keep them stocked with toilet paper.
Most of China’s public lavatories are squat-style pits with no running water, toilet paper or hand-washing facilities.