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"Open Defecation" Topic

15 Posts

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Great War Ace24 Aug 2017 5:11 a.m. PST

I had no clue, no idea at all, how bad this is. A pampered American boy, born in a generation where outhouses are a thing of the past (unless you go camping). I thought I had it hard when in New Zealand (this would be well over forty years ago) I had to go outside to use a toilet with real plumbing the outhouse had been upgraded sharing space with the spiders.

In the olden days, when people numbered a whole lot less, it wasn't a serious problem finding a place to "go" (unless you lived in a city, which only c. one in ten did, now the ratio is flipped). Now, even with latrines (outhouses), the problem of human waste is quite possibly our biggest problem and least talked about. Only in a fully developed country with plumbing literally going everywhere is the challenge of disposing of human waste adequately answered. I will never use any toilet thoughtlessly again!

This guy is living in hell. I can't get the image out of my mind. link

My admiration for Matt Damon increases daily. I'm going to get involved in this………..

Cacique Caribe24 Aug 2017 6:19 a.m. PST

First … man walked to the bush, dug a hole to crap in and that was it. Digging a shallow hole was the only difference between man and beast back then.

Then the people of Mohenjo Daro (Indus Valley), the Minoans, Romans, etc. made a huge leap forward when they figured out how to move crap from point A to point B (typically to a river or directly to the sea). That was the true mark of a civilization back then.

Two thousand years later and, despite millions of man-hours spent on public awareness (and millions upon millions sent in foreign aid), there are still whole countries who are still stuck at that level, in many cases not because they are incapable, but because they seem to be unwilling to make a change.

In some cases they are stuck at that stage because they would rather spend more time making sure that the crap continues to flow to point B than to figure out how to actually process it. Then again, human labor there is cheaper than tech so, if they aren't really driven by a strong sense of human or environmental responsibility, they have little incentive to make things better for their citizens.

PS. This topic brings to mind a clip from a Russell Peters comedy show. No matter how many times he visits his parents' country, he simply can never get used to what the locals consider normal.

Old Wolfman24 Aug 2017 6:45 a.m. PST

Seen some of that here in the USA too,in alleyways,and elsewhere. Particularly where there are few public facilities available even in an emergency .

Cacique Caribe24 Aug 2017 6:52 a.m. PST

Those are extenuating circumstances though.

Like when my wife told me about a group of people on a long flight all getting sick at once and creating quite a mess because there were only two bathrooms on board. I think the group had all eaten at the same place or were coming back from some wedding reception.

PS. If I had been one of the other passengers in that enclosed space I would have probably jumped without a parachute just to get a little fresh air one last time before I died. :)

willthepiper24 Aug 2017 9:14 a.m. PST

I have worked in developing countries. One particular project I was on was upgrading infrastructure for a hospital. Many of the patients came from rural areas where open defecation was common. We had a problem at the hospital however as toilets were all inside buildings and generally restricted to patients and immediate caregivers (usually the mother). Fathers and other family members would wait in the hospital grounds, sometimes for days, until the patient was discharged. And of course, when nature called, the waiting family members went wherever they could. This was in a very

My team built a public ablutions block (with both toilets and showers), which even included a large ablutions area on the women's side. I was very proud of that achievement as it gave the women a place to go to get some much needed privacy. The ongoing challenge afterwards was educating new arrivals to actually use the facility and to keep the attendants from attempting to collect 'user fees'!

goragrad24 Aug 2017 1:30 p.m. PST

As to the smell and flies that are a problem with the pit toilets aka outhouses, hasn't anyone heard of lime?

Won't eliminate the problem but would reduce it significantly.

Not as big a problem for coastal dwellers – saw a picture years ago of some villages standing out waist deep in the ocean for their morning duty. Spaced about 30-40 feet or so apart they could even have conversations with their fellows.

Bowman24 Aug 2017 2:18 p.m. PST

As to the smell and flies that are a problem with the pit toilets aka outhouses, hasn't anyone heard of lime?

Lime is a manufactured product that may well be out reach for the poorest in India. A place that can't build a toilet may not be able to fabricate lime kilns. But you are correct, it will lessen the spread of disease.

goragrad25 Aug 2017 12:30 p.m. PST

With the government trying to eliminate open defecation and funding the toilet construction, would seem that seeing that lime (or some other agent) that would make their use more appealing would be a worthwhile investment.

My grandfather's place didn't have indoor plumbing – lived there for the first 4 years of my life and visited a number of time growing up – anything to improve the experience is plus.

P.S. The boys didn't do number one in the outhouse…

charared Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

Worked in the NYC Subways. After station toilets were closed in the 60's and 70's because of er, aberrant behavior; as a worker (Conductor/"Guard" then Motorman/"Driver") you learned to look out for typical poo-pee locations in your work-place…

Ends of stations…

Dark or poorly lit passageways…

Under passenger car seating where the side-door operating motors where located…

You get to understand that even in a modern industrialized country when the folks gotta "go"…

They "go"…

old fart

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2017 10:04 p.m. PST

Wayyyyyy too much detail. Please change the topic.

Ooh Rah26 Aug 2017 7:19 a.m. PST

Reminds me of a book.


Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2017 9:38 a.m. PST

Just need a few of these.


Bowman29 Aug 2017 6:20 a.m. PST

Just need a few of these.

That's an interesting story in itself. Unless you are a NYC taxpayer.

Bowman29 Aug 2017 6:22 a.m. PST

I'm going to get involved in this………..

Sorry GWA, I just saw this part. Good for you! thumbs up

Great War Ace29 Aug 2017 9:10 a.m. PST

I've decided: seems likely. Matt Damon is touted as a cofounder. link

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