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Open defecation - India ranks first!

Representational Picture

An improved sanitation facility is what separates the human excreta compared to others. Yes other animals do excrete but the human have a divine ability called intelligence and using that we can improve the waste management facilities and sanitary issues.

Drinking water is another major concern. The quality of water that is drunk by all the rich people who can afford it, which does involve technology of RO and UV. The poor doesn’t even have that availability.

It can be a striking note that only 63% of the world population use the sanitary facilities. The millennium development goals sets us the aim of reaching 67% by 2018.

Since 1990, specifically when India opened up to the global market in terms of trade and commerce, the sanitary companies also entered the Indian market.

The main reason was that, India and China has huge population. Such population, even which the land available can’t control. And there is urban dwelling and improper knowledge about the sanitary facilities that people are using around the world.

This same impacted the country, since 1990, apporx 1.8 billion people were given proper sanitary facilities.

Still 2.4 billion lack improved sanitary facilities in India. This was reported in 2015.

Speaking in terms of global terms, still 15% of the global population practice open defecation.  That 15% come to around 1.1 billion out of which 949 million live in the rural areas.

Global  Directive:

  • Sub-Saharan region amounts to more that 40% of global population without access to improved sanitation facility.
  • Malawi, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Namibia, and Gambia. Liberia is on track to meet the target of improving sanitary facilities.
  • 93 million in China and 251 million in India gained access to improved sanitation since 1990.
  • The Indian government improvements include – Modi’s Swatch Bharat Mission, which aims at building 8 million new toilets.
  • Since open defecation happens mainly mostly in the rural areas, the rural development and panchayat raj schemes are rolled out to take care of that.

India and china combined gives a total of just a jiffy less than half of the world population which does open defecation and which doesn’t have sanitary facilities, that fulfills the standard of World Health Organization (WHO)

In NEWS today:

A competition of sorts has been organized in ‘F’ South ward (Lalbaug, Parel), to mark World Toilet Day today, which draws attention to sanitation issues around the world. Assistant municipal commissioner V P Mote has come up with an innovative contest for the 44 community toilets in the open defecation free ward. Of these, the five best will be awarded and the filthiest five will be given a notice.

“We had to undertake a lot of effort to achieve the feat. MbPT areas, which have illegal slums and truck parking, used to see a lot of open defecation. We have not only increased the number of community toilets, but designed them in a way that will suit children and the disabled. We also studied the psychology of people closely to find newer ways to achieve the target.”

On the world front:


“On World Toilet Day, 14 Somali villages are recognized for abandoning open defecation”

For more information, on the issue of Somalia, please contact:

Susannah Price, Chief of Communication +254 722 719867, sprice@unicef.org

Sahr Kemoh, Acting Chief of WASH +254 71460667, skemoh@unicef.org

Now being Ad-hoc to India:


  • with 626 million people who practice open defecation, has more than twice the number of the next 18 countries combined;
  • accounts for 90 per cent of the 692 million people in South Asia who practice open defecation;
  • accounts for 59 per cent of the 1.1 billion people in the world who practice open defecation;
  • has 97 million people without access to improved sources of drinking water, second only to China.

So on the celebrative point of World Toilet Day, we shall look where we stand in the global rankings of open defecation:

Countries that account for almost three-quarters of the people who practice open defecation:

1.India (626 million)

2.Indonesia (63 million)

3.Pakistan (40 million)

4.Ethiopia (38 million)

5.Nigeria (34 million)

6.Sudan (19 million)

7.Nepal (15 million)

8.China (14 million)

9.Niger (12 million)

10.Burkina Faso (9.7 million)

11.Mozambique (9.5 million)

12.Cambodia (8.6 million).