Tag Archives: communal latrines

India – Patterns and determinants of communal latrine usage

Trop Med Int’l Health, July 2011

Patterns and determinants of communal latrine usage in urban poverty pockets in Bhopal, India

Link to abstract, author email

A. Biran1, et al.

Objectives  To explore and explain patterns of use of communal latrine facilities in urban poverty pockets.

Methods  Six poverty pockets with communal latrine facilities representing two management models (Sulabh and municipal) were selected. Sampling was random and stratified by poverty pocket population size. A seventh, community-managed facility was also included. Data were collected by exit interviews with facility users and by interviews with residents from a randomly selected representative sample of poverty pocket households, on social, economic and demographic characteristics of households, latrine ownership, defecation practices, costs of using the facility and distance from the house to the facility. A tally of facility users was kept for 1 day at each facility. Data were analysed using logistic regression modelling to identify determinants of communal latrine usage.

Results  Communal latrines differed in their facilities, conditions, management and operating characteristics, and rates of usage. Reported usage rates among non-latrine-owning households ranged from 15% to 100%. There was significant variation in wealth, occupation and household structure across the poverty pockets as well as in household latrine ownership. Households in pockets with municipal communal latrine facilities appeared poorer. Households in pockets with Sulabh-managed communal facilities were significantly more likely to own a household latrine. Determinants of communal facility usage among households without a latrine were access and convenience (distance and opening hours), facility age, cleanliness/upkeep and cost. The ratio of male to female users was 2:1 across all facilities for both adults and children.

Conclusions  Provision of communal facilities reduces but does not end the problem of open defecation in poverty pockets. Women appear to be relatively poorly served by communal facilities and, cost is a barrier to use by poorer households. Results suggest improving facility convenience and access and modifying fee structures could lead to increased rates of usage. Attention to possible barriers to usage at household level associated particularly with having school-age children and with pre-school childcare needs may also be warranted.

Indonesia: ADB extends US$ 35 million for sanitation improvement in Medan and Yogyakarta

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is extending a US$ 35 million loan to help Indonesia rehabilitate and expand sanitation facilities in the cities of Medan and Yogyakarta.

Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, and Yogyakarta, the capital of Yogyakarta province, have a combined population of around 4.5 million people.

The loan will be used to build around 280 communal sanitation facilities in poor areas in the two cities, as well as two wastewater treatment systems for low-cost housing development projects in Medan. Sewerage systems will be rehabilitated and expanded with up to 28,000 additional household connections. The Metropolitan Sanitation Management and Health Project will also provide support to mobilize community involvement in the planning, operation and maintenance of communal facilities, and will ensure women are strongly involved in the process.

“A gender action plan in the project design will ensure women fully participate in the decision-making process for the development of facilities, and that they benefit equally with men from improved communal services,” said Rudolf Frauendorfer in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

Sanitation services have steadily improved in Indonesia, but still lag behind many neighboring countries, with partial sewerage coverage only available in a small number of urban centers. Since the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, new sanitation investments have been postponed and existing treatment systems have deteriorated due to lack of repair and maintenance. As a result, many of the poor living in informal settlements suffer high rates of diarrhea, skin diseases and other illnesses caused by polluted water and untreated waste.

“This project will sharply reduce pollution of surface and shallow groundwater in the two cities, resulting in improved health and quality of life particularly for women, children and the elderly who suffer the most from unclean environments,” Mr. Frauendorfer said.

The loan is structured to ensure that operating and maintenance spending on revenue-generating services can be fully funded from user tariff income by the middle of 2014, while remaining affordable to low-income communities. Insufficient revenue for service providers and low user charges, which deter private investment in new facilities, have been a major impediment to the expansion of sanitation services.

To complement the loan, ADB will provide a US$ 500,000 grant from its Technical Assistance Special Fund to strengthen the capacity and management capabilities of local governments, utilities and communities involved in providing or overseeing sanitation services. Further technical assistance of US$ 1 million in the form of a grant from the Government of Australia, will be administered by ADB.

The loan has a 25-year term, with a five-year grace period and an interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facility. The Government of Indonesia will provide additional funding of US$ 14.2 million, with regional governments committing US$ 13.5 million, and provincial governments almost US$ 500,000, for a total project of about US$ 63.2 million.

The Ministry of Public Works is the executing agency for the project which is expected to be completed around December 2014.

Source: ADB, 20 Jul 2010

Kenya – Communal biogas latrines in Nairobi

kiberaThe visionary architect Buckminster Fuller believed that a single design could save the world. That ethos is being carried forward by the Buckminster Fuller Institute, which every year holds a contest to create a design with maximum social impact; the winner gets a seed grant of $100,000. Below is information on one of the competition finalists.

Finalist – Umande Trust, GOAL Ireland Partnership

60% of Nairobi’s population lives in slums which are characterized by inadequate housing and sanitation conditions. Human waste lies on paths and drains and an average of 650 people share each toilet cubicle. The most prevalent childhood sicknesses and 40% of infant mortality are caused by inadequate sanitation. To address this, Umande Trust, a Kenyan rights-based organization, has developed the BioCentre concept. This is a biogas generating latrine block, managed by community groups, which can be located anywhere in a slum as it treats human waste in-situ without requiring sewerage infrastructure.

It comprises of the following:
• Digester: Mixes water and human waste in anaerobic conditions to make biogas; remaining liquid effluent is 90% pathogen free and filtered on site.
• BioGas: Used for cooking and can be linked to children’s feeding projects. It reduces carbon emissions by converting methane to CO2 and water and by substituting the need for other fuels.
• Toilets and washrooms: Ground floor to ensure disabled access with free ‘child only’ cubicles
• Water Kiosk: selling affordable clean water
• Upper Floors: Maximizes restricted urban space, has a hall and ancillary rooms for community and livelihoods activities eg cottage industries or restaurant.

Income generated through rental can subsidize the operation of the toilets. The BioCentre can be built with locally available technology, local unskilled labor and requires minimal maintenance as it has no movable parts. GOAL, an international NGO working with Umande, adds value to the BioCentre concept by linking it to a comprehensive community mapping analysis which highlights specific locations in greatest need of improved sanitation and by incorporating in each BioCentre a room for a community health worker. These are community members, trained by GOAL to disseminate hygiene and health information, e.g. to women queing for water each day, and to make referrals to local institutions for health, HIV/AIDS and child protection issues. Most other initiatives offering sanitation services are plot-based pit latrines which are exhaust human waste into nearby rivers, regularly overflow and often charge high usage fees. The BioCentre is a breakthrough, as it treats human waste in-situ, offers affordable sanitation through its mechanism of subsidizing operational costs, reduces carbon emissions and links to hygiene promotion, health and child protection services.

Describe the current stage of your initiative and your implementation plan over the next three years
Umande Trust has so far completed 12 BioCentres in Kenya. They are scattered amongst various communities and have a verifiable local impact. The Umande Trust, GOAL Ireland partnership aims to achieve a community level impact by focusing on the whole of one Nairobi settlement, Mukuru (population 185,000).

Currently the initiative is completing a participatory urban appraisal on water, sanitation, waste management and drainage. This has highlighted inadequate sanitation as the most pressing need and recommends addressing this by:
• increasing the number of affordable, sustainable, community-managed latrine blocks
• increasing the number of plot-based latrines and improving the quality of existing ones
• developing a community sanitation fund as a self-propagating mechanism for scaling up the intervention

Over the next 3 years, the project aims to reach a critical mass of 20 BioCentres which will serve 12,000 daily users. Each BioCentre will donate 10% of its profits to a community sanitation fund, and this will generate over 10,000 USD per year. This fund will be used to scale up the project through providing leverage to attract Government Decentralized Funding (government allocations to local development initiatives) to develop 2 further BioCentres each year which will then also contribute 10% of profits to the fund. The fund may alternatively support the construction and upgrading of 50 ventilation-improved plot-based latrines each year through partnership with small-scale service providers. These will have lined pits to enable them to be emptied by mobile latrine exhausters into sump tanks which will link to the city sewerage network.

Additional information and photos