For the last several days, most of the rice team has been in Bangladesh trying to understand how they did it. Did what, you ask? Reduce open defecation, of course!
It turns out that open defecation is pretty rare in Bangladesh, about 10% of households in the 2011 DHS defecate in the open. (I counted “hanging toilets” if you were wondering why this statistic is somewhat higher than some of the other published statistics on open defecation in Bangladesh.) We have been learning from some extremely dedicated and talented people about an amazing story of cholera emergencies, household demand for toilets, the power of market forces in supplying affordable latrine parts, and the sustained and well-orchestrated efforts on the part of many, many NGO workers, as well as government, to spread latrines throughout the country. Stay tuned with us as we post pictures from our travels to rural Bangladesh. We’ll also write more about this amazing story, from India’s neighbor: a story about babies surviving to grow tall and healthy, thanks to the efforts of many to make Bangladesh a country where people use latrines.
Here’s a couple of pictures from our one day field visit with BRAC to a village near to Dhaka.