Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 1

Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions.

SAQ 1.1 (tests Learning Outcome 1.1)

On a piece of paper, write down each of the key words printed in bold in this study session. Cut the paper into strips with one word on each strip; fold them and put them in a bowl. Take a strip, read the word and write a definition in your notebook. Then check your definitions with those in the study session.


This game is intended to familiarise you with the terms you will meet again in subsequent study sessions. To find the right answer, you can check the definition written in your own words with that in the study session.

SAQ 1.2 (tests Learning Outcomes 1.1 and 1.2)

Arrange the following phrases under the correct heading in the table below.

  • aims to protect people from disease
  • management of e-waste
  • mainly concerned with solid waste
  • options are described as a ladder
  • management of industrial wastes
  • aims to prevent pollution
  • mainly concerned with liquid waste
  • options described as a hierarchy
  • management of human excreta.
SanitationWaste managementBoth sanitation and waste management







SanitationWaste managementBoth sanitation and waste management
Mainly concerned with liquid wasteMainly concerned with solid wasteAims to protect people from disease
Options are described as a ladderOptions described as a hierarchyAims to prevent pollution
Management of human excretaManagement of e-wasteManagement of industrial wastes

SAQ 1.3 (tests Learning Outcomes 1.1 and 1.3)

Rearrange the following into two separate lists, one in the correct order to form the sanitation ladder and the other in the correct order for the waste hierarchy. Put the best option at the top of your lists.

  • pour flush toilet
  • old cardboard box, flattened out, used as door mat
  • defecating on waste ground
  • broken wooden box used for firewood
  • simple pit latrine with no ventilation or slab
  • refilling a plastic bottle with cooking oil


The sequence for the sanitation ladder is:

  • pour flush toilet (improved latrine)
  • simple pit latrine with no ventilation or slab (unimproved latrine)
  • defecating on waste ground (open defecation).

The sequence for the waste hierarchy is:

  • refill plastic bottle with cooking oil (reuse)
  • old cardboard box, flattened out, used as door mat (recycling)
  • broken wooden box used for firewood (recovery – if the fire is used to keep warm or to cook food. If just burned without benefit then this is classed as disposal).

SAQ 1.4 (tests Learning Outcome 1.4)

Name three ways in which urbanisation creates challenges for effective sanitation and solid waste management.


There are several possible answers to this question, but the main challenges from urbanisation are caused by many people living very close together which puts pressure on all urban services. The rate of increase in population is very fast and the development of infrastructure for water supply and sanitation services cannot maintain the same pace of change. People arriving in cities often live in informal settlements which are developed without planning or control and lack essential facilities for the people who live there.

SAQ 1.5 (tests Learning Outcome 1.5)

There have been significant improvements in sanitation provision in Ethiopia in recent years, but progress is not so good for solid waste management. What reasons can you think of that might explain this difference?


There are several possible reasons, but you may have thought of the following:

  • There is a well-known and direct link between poor sanitation, a lack of safe water, poor hygiene and human health. The impacts from poor solid waste management, however, are more environmental, social and economic and less directly linked to health so corrective actions are not always considered urgent.
  • There is limited data available about current solid waste production which makes it more difficult to manage.
  • There are many different policies and laws that relate to sanitation that have been in place for many years. Legislation about solid waste management is more recent and enforcement is not yet complete.

Summary of Study Session 1