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No demand for simple latrines in India

Maps1 min read

These are all countries that are poorer than India, except for China at the very end.

India has both the highest rate of open defecation and the least unimproved latrines compared to any of these other countries. In India, we see two extremes: either people defecate in the open, or they build very fancy, very expensive latrines. While there are many simple latrines that can confine feces safely and save children’s lives, and that are regularly used in other parts of the world, many in rural India find these latrines unacceptable – there is just no demand for them.


r.i.c.e. is a non-profit research organization focused on health and well-being in India. Our core focus is on children in rural north India. Our research studies health care at the start of life, sanitation, air pollution, maternal health, social inequality, and other dimensions of population-level social wellbeing.

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