Hindustan Times (Analysis): To stop open defecation go the Pulse Polio way

Source: Diane Coffey & Dean Spears, Hindustan Times

Open defecation is killing children, stunting growth, and holding India back from a more developed future.

In March, India was declared polio-free. There is now an even greater scourge that India must battle: Open defecation. It kills more infants each year than those who became sick with polio each year in the 1980s, when polio was much more common. If open defecation is so much worse than polio, why have we not yet had a campaign to address the problem? This is because our leaders mistakenly think that open defecation is a problem of infrastructure — one that can be solved by building toilets.

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Open Democracy: The everywhere of sanitation- violence, oppression and the body

Source: Colin McFarlane, Open Democracy

Farm hands from dalit communities walk through a mustard field in Uttar PradeshDemotix/Arindam Mukherjee

Farm hands from dalit communities walk through a mustard field in Uttar PradeshDemotix/Arindam Mukherjee

“Sanitation is not a development target. It is more than this.”

New Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had nothing to say on the attacks in Uttar Pradesh, but a debate has emerged in India about how a rich country can lag so dangerously far behind its competitors in providing basic safe and clean sanitation.

It is difficult to imagine a more profound illustration of the necessity of sanitation to life itself: two teenage girls venturing into the fields at night, brutally raped, killed and left to hang from a mango tree. They left their homes because they had no alternative, due to the denial of adequate sanitation, but to answer the call of nature by use of a nearby field.  Continue reading

Dos niñas mueren buscando un inodoro. Esto debería enfadarnos, no incomodarnos.

Eso es una traducción de una noticia que fué publicada originalmente en The Guardian.

Los ataques a niñas y mujeres mientras buscan un lugar apartado para defecar son alarmantemente comunes. Mejorar el saneamiento básico,como objetivo global, también mejoraría mucho la seguridad de las mujeres.

“Ve al árbol de mango, el cuerpo de tu hija está ahí”

Dos adolecentes han sido violadas y asesinadas después de hacer lo que medio billón de mujeres y niñas están obligadas a hacer cada día- salir al aire libre para intentar encontrar un lugar discreto para defecar al aire libre.

Un inodoro, un baño, un aseo- como quieras llamarlo- en casa, en el colegio, en el trabajo, en el centro comercial, es algo que muchos de nosotros damos por hecho, no podemos hablar sin sentirnos avergonzados. Pero debermos hacerlo, porque la falta de inodoros está costándoles la vida a las mujeres. Continue reading

NPR: How A Lack Of Toilets Puts India’s Women At Risk Of Assault

Women shout slogans during a protest against the gang rape and hanging of two teenage girls. Beyond highlighting the rampant sexual violence in India, the crimes are drawing attention to a glaring and fundamental problem across the country that threatens women's safety: the lack of toilets. Altaf Qadri/AP

Women shout slogans during a protest against the gang rape and hanging of two teenage girls. Beyond highlighting the rampant sexual violence in India, the crimes are drawing attention to a glaring and fundamental problem across the country that threatens women’s safety: the lack of toilets. Altaf Qadri/AP

Source: Julie McCarthy, NPR Radio

Listen to the radio story on NPR

A young girl sweeps fallen debris from a tempest that blew through her village of Katra Sahadatganj one recent evening. This remote spot in Uttar Pradesh — India’s largest state — has become the center of another gathering storm.

It was here two weeks ago where two young girls were audaciously attacked: raped and hanged from a tree. Inter-caste violence and patriarchal attitudes combined to make a chilling spectacle in this impoverished place of mud-caked children and hand-pumped water.

“ It’s a question of belief in human dignity, which somewhere along the line we seem to have lost. - Gouri Choudhury, Action India

But the deaths conceivably could have been averted if the girls had had access to a toilet at home. Lacking one, on the night they were killed, the two teens did what hundreds of millions of women do across India each day: Under the cloak of darkness before sunrise or after sunset, they set out for an open field to relieve themselves. Continue reading

arstechnica: Open defecation solves the child mortality puzzle among Indian Muslims

By Akshat Rathi. Originally published on arstechnica and Scroll

Child mortality is lower among Muslims despite being poorer and less educated

Meena Kadri

Meena Kadri

In India, Hindus are, on average, richer and more educated than Muslims. But oddly, Hindus’ child mortality rate is much higher. All observable factors say Hindus should fare better, but they don’t. Economists refer to this as the Muslim mortality puzzle.

In a new study, researchers believe that they may have found a solution to the puzzle. And, surprisingly, the solution lies in a single factor referred to as “a particular sanitation externality”—open defecation. Continue reading

Niti Central: Narendra Modi’s sanitation drive makes economic sense

By Dean Spears, Visiting economist at the Delhi School of Economics. Originally published on Niti Central

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set an ambitious and worthy goal: The elimination of open defecation in India by 2019. Some commentators are worried that this may be unrealistic and challenging promise. However, as an economist who studies Indian policy, I am persuaded by evidence that Modi’s priority is correct: Tackling open defecation in India is possible and makes economic sense.

Most people in India defecate in the open, without using a toilet or latrine. To Indians accustomed to seeing fellow citizens ‘going to the field’, open defecation may just seem like a fact of life in a developing economy.

It is not. Widespread open defecation is a problem increasingly concentrated in India alone. Most people in other developing countries use latrines or toilets. Open defecation has been essentially eliminated from China. Only a smaller fraction of people in Pakistan and a tiny fraction in Bangladesh defecate in the open. Most strikingly, open defecation rates are, on average, much lower even in poor sub-Saharan Africa than in India. Continue reading

Video: Success with Sanitation Business in Indonesia

Source: Water and Sanitation Program

This 4-min video overview of the sanitation business model in Indonesia illustrates a one-stop shop sanitation business model targeted at entrepreneurs and other stakeholders.

The video animation follows Mr. Budi, a sanitation entrepreneur who produces healthy toilet facilities at an affordable price. Mr. Budi’s experience highlights steps needed to become a successful sanitation entrepreneur, such as close cooperation with various stakeholders, as well as coordination from local health offices.

The video describes the sanitation business process in stages, from drawing a social map and identifying customers to receiving orders, creating a work plan and settling payments. As a sanitation entrepreneur, Mr. Budi is creating more jobs, supporting the community, and helping the government program improve access to sanitation.

(French) Une nouvelle campagne rompt le silence sur la défécation à l’air libre

frenchlogoSource: Sanitation and Water for All

Dans le cadre de son appel à l’action sur l’assainissement, le Vice-Secrétaire général de l’ONU, Jan Eliasson, a lancé le 28 mai une nouvelle campagne destinée à rompre le silence sur la défécation à l’air libre et à susciter un dialogue et la prise de mesures concernant un des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD) qui attire le moins d’attention.

« Je suis ici pour parler de quelque chose dont le monde entier a choisi de ne pas parler », a dit Jan Eliasson à New York lors du lancement de la campagne qui se propose d’inciter le public à rechercher le terme « défécation à l’air libre » sur Internet pour en savoir davantage sur ce problème et pour participer à la recherche de solutions. Continue reading

Duckrabbit Blog: Talking shit….. “Some people are literally dying for a crap”

Written by John MacPherson/duckrabbit.info and originally published on the Duckrabbit Blog

Talking shit……makes a great deal of sense.

We don’t talk about it often enough.

Who's watching YOU 'powder your nose' ? @ John MacPherson

Who’s watching YOU ‘powder your nose’ ? @ John MacPherson

I was doing some photography work for an environmental client in remote area of Scotland at the end of a long arduous single-track road. It was a glorious fjord-like inlet from the sea, but more than a dozen miles from the actual ocean. It could have been a scene from Lord of The Rings, mountains looming all around, still traces of snow in the deeper gullies high up. And no sign of any human presence, other than a single VW campervan parked a short distance away whose inhabitants, a young couple and a small child,  had just risen and were preparing for a walk with their large frisky dog.

Well I thought there were no signs of human presence until I walked to the lochside where lay a huge amount of disgusting detritus left by some vandalcampers. Discarded beer cans, empty food tins, plastic bags, whisky bottles both whole and broken, and all manner of bits of old clothing and scrap. And all this right on the water’s edge in an otherwise idyllic spot. Continue reading

The Guardian: Two girls died looking for a toilet. This should make us angry, not embarrassed

Source: The Guardian
By: Barbara Frost, Winnie Byanyima, Corinne Woods and Nick Alipui

Attacks on girls and women as they look for somewhere private to defecate are frighteningly common. Improving basic sanitation, as a global goal, would do a lot to make them safer

A slum in India

A slum in India: for want of basic sanitation children often defecate near the railway tracks. Photograph: Jon Spaull/WaterAid

Two teenage girls have been gang-raped and killed after doing what half a billion women and girls are forced to do every day – go outdoors to try to find somewhere discreet to go to the toilet.

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