Step 1: Service Level
STEP 1 Service Level
Choose the Level of Service Provision
Effective sanitation projects/programs go beyond construction to include proper use and management. A basic requirement is that technologies, designs and locations of improved sanitation and hygiene facilities are acceptable to both women and men, and boys and girls, of different ages and socio-economic groups. Two important dimensions of the level of service are the level of access, and the volume of wastewater managed.
- Household-level facilities are the best option because they achieve the best results in terms of convenience and impact upon health.
- Sanitation facilities can be shared by several families when space or cost constraints prevent provision for individual households. These facilities should be designed to serve a small number of designated households, who will have keys to control access and will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining their own toilet.
- Communal facilities (public toilets) should ideally be limited to use in public spaces (markets, hospitals etc) but may have to be provided in some ‘slum’ situations. Management of public facilities is often problematic. Some successful examples of community-managed toilets do exist e.g. Mumbai, see Selected Resources.
Volumes of wastewater
Where populations only have access to public taps for water supply, the focus of wastewater disposal lies in the drainage of excess water from these taps, usually by simple soakaways. Where house connections are provided, however, it is essential to plan the sanitation systems to cope with household wastewater. This problem is addressed in Step 2.
Different types of users have differing requirements. For example, it may be culturally unacceptable for outsiders to be able to see women enter or leave a toilet, or for feet to be visible through ventilation slits under doors. Some low-cost toilets are so narrow that women cannot squat comfortably. People with disabilities and the elderly may have physical problems in using certain kinds of toilet options.