Munich Personal RePEc Archive

When is shared sanitation improved sanitation? - The correlation between number of users and toilet hygiene

Günther, Isabel and Niwagaba, Charles B. and Lüthi, Christoph and Horst, Alexandra and Mosler, Hans-Joachim and Tumwebaze, Innocent K. (2012): When is shared sanitation improved sanitation? - The correlation between number of users and toilet hygiene.

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Abstract

The international debate on the question of whether shared and/or public sanitation facilities should be considered improved is still open. The concern is that a shared sanitation facility cannot be maintained in hygienic conditions when used by too many people. The analysis of 1’500 randomly selected toilets in the urban slums of Kampala showed that only 22 percent of households have access to private sanitation facilities; the remaining 78 percent share their toilet with an average of 6 households. There is a clear and strong correlation between number of users and the condition and cleanliness of a toilet stance. Less than 20 percent of private toilets are dirty, whereas 60 percent of sanitation facilities are dirty if they are shared by more than 10 households. This policy brief asserts that toilet facilities shared by not more than four households can be considered “acceptable” or improved, with “only” about 25 percent classified as dirty by an objective evaluation.

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