Mr. Poo

I visited India for the first time a few years ago, and ever since I have been thinking about the enormous problem of public defecation. It is not quite as au courant a topic as, say, human trafficking, but in terms of the number of lives affected, it has massive implications because of the spread of disease.

The latest attempt to make progress on this problem is a music video launched by UNICEF.

It is truly amazing to me that this video got made. Not because it will or won’t work, but just because it is so odd. But I like it!

What do you think? Will this have an impact?

I have my own views on how to attack the problem; I’ll write those up on the blog when I have a chance over the next week or two.

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.



View All Comments »
  1. David Rosam says:

    Will it have impact???

    I think it’ll certainly stick :-)

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  2. Maria Laura says:

    Hi! I think this is a nice idea, building on an old UNICEF view on how to eliminate the problem of open defecation. They believe than in rural or peri-urban areas, the key component of adopting latrines is behavioral change and not a problem with hardware construction. They do this sort of advertisement in several ways in countries of West Africa as well. check
    I’ve just finished a randomized controlled trial to look at the effect of a campaign aiming at behavioral change to stop open defecation and build latrines, and it has a very important impact on latrine take up.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  3. Seustwain says:

    Purpose of the video ???
    It is in English & most people in Canada do have a Loo.
    Even built some for the bears outside Huntsville. Very progressive.

    It was interesting as a video.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  4. shruti says:

    Public defection has so many layers to it. I’m a design researcher, working on a ramification of human waste project for India. It will interesting to know what you think about it, its still work in progress.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  5. Sharmila says:

    The reason people in developing nations don’t use a lavatory is that – even where basic plumbing exists – these are far more disgusting than outside (aka public) defecation. Self-interest (the horror of stepping into one of these tiny feces-drenched cubicles – try it and see for yourself) far outweighs their public interest in preventing disease. It is not that they don’t know that they shouldn’t defecate outside, it is that they simply find it a far better option. Therefore I don’t think informational videos such as this (even though cute and quirky) will make a difference until the basic problem of unclean toilets is addressed.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • Sammy T says:

      I completely agree with you. If it is a better option to take care of it outside, wouldn’t you do it too? Plus something like that is a problem that can be fixed. It just hasn’t.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  6. john says:


    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. tony says:

    Yes, it’s a big problem

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. Sammy T says:

    While as far as I can see it will definitely get some attention. But I’m not sure it will get the right kind of attention. People may take this as a joke simply it’s rather comical. It it however a valiant effort at trying to make a point. But if I had watched this out of the context of UNICEF, then I would have thought it was just for the sake of making people laugh. Good try though.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0