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Sanitation Marketing In East African Cities

Dar Es-Salaam, Kampala and Nairobi Dr Mimi Jenkins and Steven Sugden are working on a sanitation marketing project in three East African cities: Dar Es-Salaam, Kampala and Nairobi. The focus of the three cities project is the extensive squatter and unplanned areas of the cities, where sanitation coverage is variable. The usual form of sanitation is the pit latrine; however very little support or services are provided for either latrine construction or the final safe disposal of effluent. As a result, infectious diseases such as cholera are commonplace.

This problem is not specific to East Africa. Indeed, it is estimated that 2.4 billion people around the world lack access to improved sanitation, the majority of whom live in urban areas. The Millennium Development Goals aim to halve this number by the year 2015. If this is to be achieved, new and innovative approaches to sanitation will be needed.

The Hygiene Centre is testing the theory that the social marketing of sanitation (sanitation marketing), is one way to speed up the adoption of sanitation facilities. The underlying premise of sanitation marketing is that the construction and maintenance of latrines are services that can be met by the private sector. The latrine owner is a consumer of those services.

In urban areas, the lack of emptying services affects the continued and hygienic use of latrines. Dr's Sugden and Jenkins are developing the use of franchises to coordinate small-scale private sector pit emptying services. Their work draws staff from local and national governments, non-governmental organisations and latrine builders together in an effort to create a sustainable sanitation service for the urban poor.

The Hygiene Centre is working alongside WEDC in Loughborough, The World Bank's Water and Sanitation Programme, Trend Ghana and Water Aid Tanzania. Funding has been awarded by DFID Knowledge and Research Programme.

(Link to WSP, How to build and sell half a billion toilets by 2015 - the case for marketing sanitation, also the excrement removal document)

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