10.2.5 Environmental barriers

There are often environmental constraints to provision of adequate latrine facilities. For example, hard rocks increase the cost of constructing latrines because it makes it difficult to dig a pit. Sandy soils or marshy environments are not suitable for construction of latrines. High rainfall and/or recurrent flooding can pose significant barriers to construction and use of latrines (UNICEF, 2008).

The existence of bushes and open spaces around communities can be a barrier to use of improved latrines, as open defecation can be an easy alternative in such areas. Bushes and other weedy growth in open spaces also tend to promote indiscriminate dumping of waste, and so constitute a barrier to safe solid waste disposal.

  • Identify the most significant barriers which are likely to prevent WASH behaviour improvement in your community.

  • The most significant barriers may be different from one community to another but are most likely to be economic ones, as outlined in Section 10.2.4. You may have identified some of the following:

    • financial constraints in building a latrine
    • high cost of obtaining a household piped water connection
    • high cost of removing sludge
    • high cost of refuse collection
    • lack of or high cost of handwashing facilities at community latrines
    • high cost of water
    • high cost of soap, or unavailability of soap at community latrines.

10.2.4 Economic barriers

10.3 Interventions to promote improved hygiene and sanitation