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Why Are People Pooping Outside in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica News – There is a problem little known to most people in Costa Rica, that is the lack of mechanisms such as septic tanks, sewers and outhouses. This forces 18,000 people to defecate outside.

pooping outsideThis number is made up of many homeless people, immigrants living near the borders, and indigenous people working the coffee harvest.

A surprising 63% of these people live in urban areas but in very extreme poverty.

Those defecating in the open represent 0.4% of the population. 71.5% use septic tanks while 26.6% are connected to a sewer. 1.5% use latrines. Compared with the rest of the world, these numbers are better than average.

We’ve come a long way since 1960 when 26% of the population had to defecate outdoors.

Still, the numbers are alarming. Disease can be spread from contact with waste.

Sewer systems treat wastewater very little, deteriorating rivers in urban areas. 57 treatment plants exist but of the 20 managed by Aya, just 12 meet requirements set by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment and Energy.

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