boyand girl latrine

A girl and boy walk toward latrines at Mutovhoti Primary School in Zimbabwe
©UNICEF/HQ06-0428/Giacomo Pirozzi


Unicef Real Lives

Tamil Nadu: Toilets being constructed by the hundreds Link>>

boy near latrine © UNICEF/India/2006
Proud procession: Ex manual scavenger Kamala and grandson Raju stand proudly outside the newly constructed flush laterine in their hutment in Akka Delari village, Moradabad district, UP Link>>

















Sanitary Facilities

Toilets may seem like an unlikely catalyst for human progress—but the evidence that they are is overwhelming. Almost everyone living in the developed world has access to a private, flush toilet served by a continuous supply of piped water—with taps and toilets in close proximity. Human waste is channeled by pipes into sewerage systems and treatment facilities, ensuring that drinking water is separated from the pathogens carried in faecal material. Meanwhile, taps located in sanitation facilities enable people to maintain personal hygiene. But at the other end of the sanitation spectrum are the millions of people forced to defecate in bags, buckets, fields or roadside ditches. If the developed country model were the benchmark, the number of people lacking sanitation would be far higher than that recorded by World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) data. The global deficit would soar from 2.6 billion people to about 4 billion.

Further Reading

Closing the Loop, UNDPClosing The Loop: Ecological Sanitation for Food Security This publication presents a shift in the way people think about and act upon human excreta. A different paradigm, based on an ecosystem approach. UNDP, SIDA, Water and Sanitation Programme, Thrasher Research Fund and PAHO, 2005. Link>>

On-site sanitation coverGuide to the development of on-site sanitation This book provides in-depth technical information about the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the major types of on-site sanitation facility, from simple pit latrines to aqua privies and septic tanks, with numerous practical design examples. WHO 1992. Link>>

Who Buys LatrinesWho Buys Latrines, Where and Why?
This study examines the motivations that drive people to buy and use latrines, focusing on a case study in rural Benin. The information can then be used in future marketing strategies.WSP, 2004. Link>>

Scaling Up Rural SanitationScaling-Up Rural Sanitation in South asia, Lessons Learned from Bangladesh,India, and PakistanThis publication makes policy recommendations for large scale rural sanitation programs in South Asia. WSP, 2005. Link>>

Philippines SanitationPhilippines Sanitation Sourcebook and Decision Aid This publication presents tools for strategic decision-making around affordable sanitation options, with aim of improving access to sanitation for the poor in the Philippines. It also hopes to promote local governments investment in more sustainable sanitation outcomes. WSP. Link>>

Women's Eco Sanitation Toilets - India- This publication describes the efforts by the charity organization "Wherever the Need" to provide drinking water and sanitation to the poorest parts of Africa and India. Link>>
Sanitation for Primary Schools in Africa- Produced by the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University as a contribution to the International Year of Sanitation 2008, this book provides easy-to-use tools for assessing sanitation, water supply and handwashing facilities in primary schools in Africa so that appropriate decisions can be made about sanitation improvements. Link>>
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