Tag Archives: open defecation

Bollywood actress becomes India’s sanitation brand ambassador

Vidya Balan, who received the Best Actress National Film Award for her role in 2011 Bollywood hit ‘The Dirty Picture’, will now play a role to alter the real dirty picture in India. Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has named the Bollywood actress as the brand ambassador in his campaign for improving sanitation [1].

According to India’s 2011 census, nearly half of population have no toilet at home, but more people own a mobile phone [2]. There are 2.1 million toilets in India which rely on manual scavengers to empty them [1].

The Minister hopes that Balan can help turn his campaign to end open defecation into a national obsession:

“it is going to be a very serious commitment on her part – she’s had a dirty picture in reel life, but this will be a clean picture in real life”. [1]

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India, Bihar: Poo Highway

The high incidence of open defecation in the Indian state of Bihar is not due to a lack awareness about toilets, according to this new Water for People video. In their view, it’s more of a supply chain, marketing problem.

The toilets on offer are not particularly good.

Until recently, Water for People India had worked mainly in West Bengal state, but in 2011 the NGO expanded into Bihar, where it is collaborating with the local government.

The current sanitation coverage in Bihar is less than 25% with usage percentage much lower, according to the SWASTH (Sector Wide Approach to Strengthening Health) Programme web site. In the district where Water for People will be working, sanitation coverage is only 14%.

Related web site: Water for People – India

Caganers: Sarah Palin and FC Barcelona defecating figurines in 2011 Christmas collection

Sarah Palin. "Made by hand". Photo: Caganer.com

Sarah Palin and the Barcelona football team are among the new figurines in the 2011 Caganer.com collection. Hiding Caganers in nativity scenes is a strong Christmas tradition in Catalonia, Spain, dating back to the 18th century. The defecating figurines symbolise fertilisation, hope and prosperity for the coming year.

The traditional Caganer is portrayed as a Catalan peasant, but since the 1940s figurines of nuns, devils, the Pope, celebrities, historical figures, politicians, and both Spanish and British royalty have been introduced. In 2011, the first moving Caganers were launched.

FC Barcelona. Photo: Caganer.com

Web sites:

Music for Life 2011 – “We do give a shit”

Radio Brussel - Music for Life 2011 logo
This month, Belgian radio station Studio Brussel is partnering with the Red Cross to raise money for WASH projects in Nepal.

Traditionally, the radio station’s annual “Music for Life” Christmas fundraiser focuses on a “silent disaster”. The theme for 2011 is diarrhoea, together with pneumonia, the leading cause of death for children under the age of five.

Radio Brussel produced this hard-hitting promo video.

The Dutch text reads:

Not every child is lucky enough to become 5 years old
Diarrhoea is the world’s biggest cause of death
for children between 0 and 5 years old.

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India – Open defecation “serious threat“ to health

Open defecation “serious threat“ to health: Report

New Delhi, Oct 21 (PTI) Despite an increase in the number of toilets, open defecation remains the single largest threat to health and nutritional status in the country, a report said today.

India Human Development Report 2011, brought out by Institute of Applied Manpower Research of the Planning Commission, also pointed out that a greater proportion of Muslim households compared to SCs/STs had access to sanitation facilities, largely due to their urban concentration.

“Open defecation is a serious threat to health and nutritional status, in addition to the safety of women and girls,” the report, released by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, said.
According to the report, about half of Indian households lacked access to sanitation facilities in 2008-09. More than 60 per cent of households in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand were without toilets.

“The situation is more dismal in rural areas, particularly in these states, where more than 75 per cent households do not have toilet facilities. Even if a single household is defecating in the open, that household can be a source of diarrhoea for all households,” it said.

Rural Development Minister Ramesh, who is also holding the portfolio of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said out of six lakh villages in the country, only 25,000 villages have been declared as ”nirmal grams”.
“There is a serious budgetary constraint. We have to get more funding into the sanitation sector. Sanitation is in a bad shape,” he told reporters.

Source

Learning by Doing: Working at Scale in Ethiopia

In the Amhara Region of Ethiopia, the Learning by Doing Initiative (LBDI), a joint project between the Government of Ethiopia, the Amhara Regional Health Bureau, USAID’s Hygiene Improvement Project (HIP), and the Water and Sanitation Program, started at large scale and then expanded, growing from an initial 93,000 households in four districts to include 5.8 million people in 94 districts.  LBDI resulted in 2.8 million more people stopping the practice of open defecation.

In  Learning by Doing: Working at Scale in Ethiopia, Kebede Faris and Julia Rosenbaum summarize key strategies and lessons from LBDI. Continue reading

SaniFaso: a learning sanitation project in Burkina Faso

The SaniFaso project aims to eradicate open defecation in 12 partnering communes (the lowest level of administrative division) in Burkina Faso.

The four-year rural sanitation project, which started in December 2010, will  construct 16,000 latrines, train local masons and carry out hygiene promotion campaigns.

The European Commission is co-funding this 3 million Euro project. The implementing agencies are the French NGO Eau-Vive, in association with WaterAid Burkina FasoHelvetasGIZ/PEA and IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre.

During AfricaSan 3 conference in July 2011, SaniFaso released a project video explaining why and how it is a learning project.

For more about SaniFaso see

Webinar: Investigating Long-term Sustainability of Rural Sanitation in Bangladesh, Thursday, 21 July 2011

This webinar presentation is based on findings from a Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) study of 50 local governments that were declared 100% sanitized/open defecation free almost five years ago. Researchers found that almost 90 percent of households in the areas studied have sustained use of a latrine that adequately confines feces, but that hygienic maintenance is relatively poor.

Date: Thursday, July 21, 2011, 8:30-10:00 EST/ 13:30-15:00 GMT
Venue: Virtual, via AdobeConnect, Click ‘Enter as a Guest’, Type your full name and click ‘Enter Room’

To learn about the WSP study,  see the full Technical Report  or Research Brief.

For more information about the seminar read see the full announcement

The Toilet Named Nigeria

Okey Ndibe. Photo: Trinity CollegeIn his latest column, government critic and Professor of Creative Writing at Trinity College (USA) Okey Ndibe, voices his disgust at the practice of open defecation in his homeland Nigeria.

If you want to gauge how badly Nigerians have been animalized, then pay attention to how, and where, many of them defecate. Just recently, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that 33 million Nigerians have no access to decent toilets. As a consequence, said the report, these citizens of Africa’s most populous nation answer the call of nature in the open.

Is it really only 33 million Nigerians? One is afraid that here’s one occasion when statisticians have pegged the figure too low. Nigeria – as I wrote three years ago – may be described as one vast toilet. Anybody who has traveled from Lagos to Onitsha by road knows that there isn’t one single rest area with toilet facilities along the route. At stops in Ore or Benin City, pressed passengers must hurry off into the brushes, gingerly skating around others’ feces, in order to relieve themselves.

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India, Mumbai: tackling open defecation in Dharavi

The municipal corporation of Mumbai (BMC) is finally taking action, after seven years, to stop Dharavi slum dwellers from using the Maharashtra Nature Park Society (MNPS) footpath as an open toilet.

Despite having a toilet in the vicinity, locals would defecate there early in the morning to save money. BMC sanitation workers would not turn up for days at a time to clean up the mess.

“The slums are on the opposite side of the park, while the toilet is near the park. There are many toilets constructed near the slums, but they don’t want to pay and use them,” said Avinash Kubal, director, MNPS. [...] “This is a VIP road, and is used for commuting to airport and other cities. The sight of people and children defecating on the street is not very pleasant”.

Sanitation in Dharavi. Photo: India in Images

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