Open defecation nearly halved since 2000 but is still practiced by 670 million


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Open defecation is the practice of people defecating outside, such as in street gutters, behind bushes or into open bodies of water. Between 2000 and 2017, the world nearly halved the number of people practicing open defecation from 1.3 billion to around 670 million (9% of the global population). In India, the number of people practicing open defecation decreased by 55% from 767 million to 344 million between 2000 and 2017, but India still had the largest number of people practicing open defecation in 2017, followed by Nigeria and Indonesia. 

Open defecation contaminates sources of drinking water and spreads diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and dysentery. The World Health Organization estimates that inadequate sanitation causes 432,000 diarrheal deaths annually. Frequent diarrhea increases the risk of malnutrition among children. Open defecation also harms human dignity and safety. Women and girls who practice open defecation are vulnerable to sexual violence.


Haruna Kashiwase

Consultant, Development Data Group, World Bank

Maigari Sani Isah
November 27, 2019

Interested in conversations that bothered on environment

November 27, 2019

Open defecation is also done in empty spaces, uninhabited or abandoned houses in the vicinity of families. It also includes the disposal of waste in plastic bags parachuted on the roofs of houses. Open defecation has a strong impact on the education of children, dehumanizes people, increases the risk of conflict in poor neighborhoods. It acts, certainly, on the hygiene and the safety of the families. It can even be said to be a kind of slow suicide (self-murder) for communities.

Frederic Koomson
November 27, 2019

I need the composite data to analyse

Maxson Anyolitho Kenneth
February 10, 2020

This is very interesting

February 10, 2020

could be helpful to see and analysis of composite data specially in South east Asia.