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World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. 2019, 5(2), 92-100
DOI: 10.12691/wjssh-5-2-5
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Open Defecation Practice and Its Implications in Sub-Saharan Africa

Odafivwotu Ohwo1,

1Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Pub. Date: July 26, 2019

Cite this paper:
Odafivwotu Ohwo. Open Defecation Practice and Its Implications in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. 2019; 5(2):92-100. doi: 10.12691/wjssh-5-2-5


Open defecation (OD) is the lowest form of sanitation and its elimination could enhance the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2 target. Hence, this study is aimed at the analysis of OD practice and its implications in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This study used a descriptive design based on data obtained from the WHO and UNICEF (2017) Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report. Open defecation data of countries in SSA were extracted from the global estimates and used to determine the status of OD in the region. The analysis revealed that OD is still widely practiced in SSA with negative implications on the health and socio-economic wellbeing of the people. Progress towards ending OD in most countries in the region is very slow, in fact, in some countries, the proportion of people practicing OD has increased. For example, from 2000-2015, OD increased by 7% in Djibouti, while it decreased by 53% in Ethiopia. Hence, the t-test analysis revealed that there was no significant difference in the proportion of total OD reduction in the region from 2000 to 2015. It was also revealed that OD practice is more prevalent in the rural area than urban area in SSA. The major determinants of OD in SSA are socio-cultural, religious, physical, demographic and economic factors. The study recommends some strategic options which could reduce OD practice in SSA.

open defecation health and socio-economic implications sub-Saharan Africa

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