Why India’s sanitation crisis needs more than toilets

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech, vowed to eliminate open defecation, India took notice.

After all, it was unusual for a prime minister to use the bully pulpit in India to exhort people to end this appalling practice and build more toilets.

A staggering 70% of Indians living in villages – or some 550 million people – defecate in the open. Even 13% of urban households do so. Open defecation continues to be high despite decades of sustained economic growth – and despite the obvious and glaring health hazards.

The situation is so bad that open defecation is more common in India than in that are poorer countries such as Bangladesh, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Burundi and Rwanda.

Source: BBC News (link opens in a new window)

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Health Care
Tags
Base of the Pyramid, global health, health care, public health, sanitation