Open defecation has declined a lot since 2000, although not in the U.S.

Open defecation has declined a lot since 2000, although not in the U.S.
San Francisco poop bag. Courtesy Reddit.

More people are pooping on the street in the U.S. these days, but far fewer are doing so across the world. “Since 2000, the number of people who practice open defecation has reduced by 68 percent. Still, around 420 million people, that is 5 percent of the global population, are still defecating in fields, forests, bodies of water or other open spaces,” reports the World Bank. “Open defecation is most concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. However, there has been marked shift in proportions: 67 percent of people practicing open defecation used to reside in South Asia (mainly India) and 17 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2000. But today, 44 percent are in South Asia and 47 percent are in Sub-Saharan Africa.” To continue the work of reducing open defecation, the World Bank is celebrating “World Toilet Day.”

South Sudan has fewer hygienic and safe toilets per individual than any other country in the world, according to one source. One reason for this is the civil war which started in 2013, two years after it became an independent country. During the civil war, South Sudan’s oppressive government has killed hundreds of thousands of its own citizens, not just those of the Nuer tribe who were fighting the government controlled by the dominant Dinka tribe, but also peaceful, non-combatant tribes in the Equatoria region of South Sudan who were killed by soldiers from the dominant Dinka tribe.

Wikipedia says that are a few countries that have ever fewer toilets than South Sudan, such as Ethiopia, Chad, Niger, Madagascar, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In all these nations, fewer than one in six people has access to “the safe disposal of human urine and feces.”

This year, Romania’s ambassador to Kenya was recalled after comparing a monkey to Africans during a meeting in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

Dragos Viorel Tigau was at a United Nations office in Nairobi on April 26 when a monkey appeared at the window of the conference room he was sitting in.

“The African Group has joined us,” Tigau said, as recounted in a note from South Sudan’s embassy in Kenya.

“The African Group would like to condemn in strongest terms possible the insulting, racist and degrading utterances,” said Chol Ajong’o, South Sudan’s ambassador to Kenya.

Ironically, South Sudan has been the site of ethnic genocide and a savage civil war, with members of its largest ethnic group, the Dinka, killing other ethnic groups such as the Nuer, the Shilluk, the Moru, the Dongotonu, the Kuku, the Lotuko, and the Avukaya, and members of its second largest ethnic group, the Nuer, killing Dinka. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in ethnic violence in South Sudan.

So South Sudan is a far more racist place than Romania. Romania has not criticized South Sudan for racism.

Romania said “We deeply regret this situation and offer our apologies to all those who have been affected,” in a statement from the Romanian foreign ministry. Ambassador Tigau “presented his apology, including in writing”, it added. It said it “hopes that the incident will not affect the relationship with the countries of the African continent.”

LU Staff

LU Staff

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