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by Lanny Carruthers:

Apparently, Trump has just shown that he is more studious and knowledgeable than the mainstream media give him credit for, if he actually did use the phrase “shithole countries”.

Since I’m not an expert on open defecation, did not study that at Auburn University, or even aware of any university class dedicated to this topic, let’s take a look at a couple studies regarding open defecation in the world from other institutions of higher learning.  If this topic has your curiosity raised, there are links at the bottom of the page to studies regarding the topic from countries such as India, Afghanistan, and Kenya.  I do want to share a few paragraphs that discuss this international phenomenon sourced from the Economist (link below) that could provide a solid foundation for President Trump’s alleged comment.

“Mr Spears and his colleagues argue that this (open defecation) can be explained only by differences in sanitation habits.  A 2005 government survey, the most recent national one, found that 67% of all Hindu households, rural and urban, practised open defecation, compared with just 42% of Muslim ones.  (In rare places where there is more open defecation among Muslims than Hindus, the mortality gap is reversed.)”

“A new household survey of nearly 23,000 north Indians offers more evidence, especially from Hindu households. Led by Diane Coffey, an economist at Princeton, it found that even among households with a working latrine, more than 40% reported that at least one family member preferred to defecate in the open.  Those with a government-built toilet were especially likely to choose a bush instead.”

Source: http://riceinstitute.org/blog/new-maps-which-country-has-the-most-open-defecation-in-the-world/ (2014)

“In an unpublished parallel survey of Hindu-dominated villages in north India and Nepal, respondents lauded open defecation as wholesome, healthy and social. By contrast, latrines were seen as potentially impure, especially if near the home.  Men often described them as for use only by women, the infirm and the elderly. In short, demand for latrines is constrained.”

“Pouring concrete will not in itself solve India’s problems. Leaders need also to confront the cultural reasons for bad sanitation. Hindu tradition, seen for example in the “Laws of Manu”, a Hindu text some 2,000 years old, encourages defecation in the open, far from home, to avoid ritual impurity. Caste division is another factor, as by tradition it was only the lowliest in society, “untouchables” (now Dalits), who cleared human waste. Many people, notably in the Hindu-dominated Gangetic plains, today still show a preference for going in the open—even if they have latrines at home.”

Most of the links below date from 2014.  Having little, to no knowledge of the subject, it would be hard to believe there have been any earth shattering developments that would render these studies/articles outdated.  Maybe I should email Al Gore and see if he has any new research available.

Trump…Trumps the media again!

https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21607837-fixing-dreadful-sanitation-india-requires-not-just-building-lavatories-also-changing

https://wws.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/content/India%20Workshop%20Report_FINAL_2.25.2016.pdf

http://riceinstitute.org/blog/new-maps-which-country-has-the-most-open-defecation-in-the-world/

http://www.communityledtotalsanitation.org/blog/ending-open-defecation-save-lives-world-toilet-day-2011-kenya

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