Open defecation is widespread in South Asia: UN
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 13:58
United Nations: Though open defecation is on a worldwide decline, the problem is widespread in South Asia where an estimated 44 per cent of the population defecate in the open, according to a new UN report.

The report by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation also said sanitation facilities are not improving at a fast enough rate to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

"The good news is that open defecation - the riskiest sanitation practice of all - is on the decline worldwide," the report -- Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2010 Update Report -- said.

Nearly a quarter of the world practiced it in 1990, but that figure has dropped to 17 percent in 2008, it said.

In the developed world, almost the entire population (99 per cent) used improved facilities as compared to 52 per cent in developing nations.

The report says almost 39 per cent of the world's population or over 2.6 billion people are living without improved sanitation facilities.

"If the current trend continues unchanged, the international community will miss the 2015 sanitation MDG by almost one billion people," the study said.


First Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 13:58

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