Map of the day: Which country is the biggest Sh*thole?

Which country has the most open defecation in the world?

In other words, which country is the biggest Sh*thole?

Map 1: Open Defecation in the World, 2012

Using the method described by Friedrich Huebler on his blog, and using estimates of the WHO / UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme on Water Supply and Sanitation, and with advice from my friend Srini, I created an open defecation map of the world.

[…] The good news, as many of you are probably aware, is that open defecation is on its way out in most of the world. About 14% of the world defecates in the open. This statistic masks vast differences between countries, however: almost no one defecates in the open in China, while in neighboring India, about 48% of the total population defecates in the open.

Indeed, open defecation is increasingly concentrated in India, and some very poor conflict-torn countries, such as South Sudan and Chad. Most very poor countries, such as Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Congo, have reduced open defecation, and moved up the “sanitation ladder” – a term used by sanitation professionals to describe the various rungs of a ladder, from the most unhygienic open defecation to the most hygienic “improved sanitation“. Most of the people in these poor countries still don’t have “improved sanitation,” but they have moved up the “sanitation ladder” and are well on their way to eliminate open defecation.

India stands out in this comparison. It is not as poor as sub-Saharan countries, but is worse than most of them. Only a handful of countries in the world have worse open defecation than India. Part of the reason is that whereas people in the rest of the world are happy to move to kachha unimproved or shared latrines, the “sanitation ladder” in India is mostly absent. […]

[…] Many people in rural India can afford to build simple latrines that people in poor countries such as Bangladesh use. It is also important to note that while present in Urban India, open defecation is primarily a rural issue: 89% of all the people who defecate in the open In India live in rural areas.[…]

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