Tag Archives: open defecation

Jack Sim – Making India open defecation free

Opinion | Making India open defecation free. by Jack Sim in Livemint, October 17, 2018.

Many people view toilets as impure and refrain from installing them within their household premises 

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The risks associated with open defecation in India are not just restricted to diseases. Rapes occur when women and young girls are on their way to fields to defecate at night. Photo: Mint

For most of us, going to the toilet is as simple and natural as breathing. However, for many it is a daily nightmare. About 2.3 billion people in the world do not have access to clean, safe and reliable toilets. They have to walk for miles every day to reach a safe spot where they can relieve themselves in the open. Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 280,000 deaths worldwide, annually.

In India, about 732 million people do not have access to proper toilets. As much as 90% of the river water is contaminated by faeces. People drink water from the same rivers, bathe and wash their clothes and utensils there, and even cook food with the contaminated water. Pathogens and worms from the faeces spread life-threatening diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, schistosomiasis and trachoma.

Read the complete article.

Dean Spears on what motivated ‘Where India Goes?’

Dean Spears on what motivated ‘Where India Goes?’ Community Led Total Sanitation, March 30, 2018.

In this short video interview Dean Spears (Executive Director, RICE/Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Texas at Austin) talks about the key motivations behind the award-winning book he co-authored with Diane Coffey, ‘Where India Goes: Abandoned toilets, stunted development, and the cost of caste.’ Dean Spears_0

The book addresses a central puzzle: why is open defecation so persistently high in rural India?

And what to do about it?

It presents evidence showing that poor sanitation is an important determinant of the poor health outcomes of India’s children, and that the continuing relevance of the purity, pollution and untouchability norms of the caste system keeps open defecation alive today despite decades of government latrine construction programmes.

The main motivation for writing the book as Dean reflects in the interview, ‘hopefully it will get people involved and excited about trial and error around these solutions to these problems of purity and pollution and latrine pits filling up. Hopefully that can lead to something that really can accelerate the decline of open defecation in rural India.’

Webinar – Contribution of Community-Led Total Sanitation to Ending Open Defecation: Findings of a Desk Review

Webinar – Contribution of Community-Led Total Sanitation to Ending Open Defecation: Findings of a Desk Review, December 14, 2017. WASHPaLS-email

On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, the USAID-funded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) Project held a webinar on the role of community-led total sanitation (CLTS) in helping to end open defecation.

WASHPaLS presented key findings from a desk review assessing the knowledge base on CLTS program performance. The findings and identified evidence gaps will inform the WASHPaLS research agenda for subsequent years of the project.

 

USAID/WASHPaLS webinar on CLTS and open defecation

The USAID-funded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) Project invites you to a webinar examining how community-led total sanitation (CLTS) has contributed to the goal of ending open defecation.

WASHPaLS will present key findings from a desk review assessing the knowledge base on CLTS program performance. The findings and identified evidence gaps will inform the WASHPaLS research agenda for subsequent years of the project. Please view the invitation below for more information and to register.

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Register and learn more: https://www.bigmarker.com/waterckm/WASHPaLs-review

Q&A: Kamal Kar on ending open defecation

Q&A: Kamal Kar on ending open defecation. Devex, November 21, 2017.

PHNOM PENH — There are 13 years to go to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 6.2, which mandates the end of open defecation. In the two years since the SDGs launched, only one developing country — Bangladesh — has reached the mark. That leaves 892 million people in scores of countries who are still practicing open defecation. Across the globe, some 4.5 billion people have no access to a safely managed toilet.  kar

Life without a toilet is more than an inconvenience. Open defecation increases the incidents of diarrhea, cholera, malnutrition, and more, raising the rates of stunting, disease, and death. That, in turn, impacts everything from productivity to economic growth. In 2015, Oxford Economics and WaterAid estimated the global cost to the economy of poor sanitation to be $222.9 billion.

For Dr. Kamal Kar, the founder of Community Led Total Sanitation, the next few years will prove a make-or-break time for the issue. “In the next four or five years of SDG, we at least have to have two, three, or four open-defecation-free nations, otherwise forget the dream of ODF world by 2030,” said Kar.

Read the complete article.

Casteism is the biggest impediment to success of Swachh Bharat Mission, say scholars Dean Spears, Diane Coffey

Casteism is the biggest impediment to success of Swachh Bharat Mission, say scholars Dean Spears, Diane Coffey. First Post, August 13, 2017.

Why are children in India shorter than children from other countries even those poorer than India? It was the urge to solve some of India’s development puzzles like this one that drew American scholars Dean Spears and Diane Coffey to India in 2009.

The couple co-founded the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (RICE) in 2011 and settled in Sitapur, a rural district in central Uttar Pradesh, four years ago. With a population of 4.5 million people, it is the size of Sierra Leone and Liberia and has a similar infant mortality rate. spears

“Sierra Leone and Liberia have a health ministry, education ministry, a Unicef mission; Sitapur has none of that. So it made a lot of sense to go somewhere like that and add value,” Spears stated in an earlier interview.

Spears and Coffey have a masters in public administration and completed their PhDs at the Princeton University. Spears specialised in economics and public affairs and Coffey in demography. The two met and fell in love when Spears was a teaching assistant in a statistics class where Coffey was a student. They got married in 2011.

Their research in India has established links between open defecation and high infant mortality in rural India. It has also exposed the caste prejudices that encourage open defecation. A surprising fact showed up in their study: many people in rural areas, especially in north India, choose to defecate in the open even if they have a toilet at home. Many reasoned that it was a more ‘pleasant, comfortable and convenient’ option.Their new book, Where India Goes: Abandoned Toilets, Stunted Development, and the Costs of Caste throws up many such insights that sanitation experts and administrators would never openly admit to.

Read the complete article.

Nearly a Billion People Still Defecate Outdoors. Here’s Why

Nearly a Billion People Still Defecate Outdoors. Here’s Why. Nat Geo Magazine, August 2017.

The problem isn’t just a lack of toilets—it’s a lack of toilets that people want to use. The result: millions of deaths and disease-stunted lives.

At 65, Moolchand, bandy-legged and white-haired, has no problem rising for his predawn hunts. In fact he revels in them.

“I hide along the lane with my flashlight,” he says in a low, excited voice, gesturing down the main road of Gaji Khedi village, in India’s Madhya Pradesh state. “And I look for people walking with a lota.”

At a community toilet complex in Safeda Basti, one of Delhi’s many slums, women wait their turn for the single functioning latrine—while covering their noses against the smell of feces left by someone who couldn’t wait. Many people skip the hassle of city-run facilities altogether and do their business in rubble-strewn lots.

At a community toilet complex in Safeda Basti, one of Delhi’s many slums, women wait their turn for the single functioning latrine—while covering their noses against the smell of feces left by someone who couldn’t wait. Many people skip the hassle of city-run facilities altogether and do their business in rubble-strewn lots.

A lota is a water container, traditionally made of brass but these days more often of plastic. Spied outdoors in the early morning, it all but screams that its owner is headed for a field or roadside to move his or her bowels—the water is for rinsing.

“I give chase,” Moolchand continues. “I blow my whistle, and I dump out their lota. Sometimes I take it away and burn it.” Moolchand sees himself as defending a hard-won honor: The district has declared his village “open defecation free.”

“People get angry and shout at me when I stop them,” he says. “But the government has given villagers lots of help to construct a toilet, so there is no excuse.”

Read the complete article.