Health, hygiene and appropriate sanitation: experiences and perceptions of the urban poor

Joshi, Deepa, Fawcett, Ben and Mannan, Fouzia (2011) Health, hygiene and appropriate sanitation: experiences and perceptions of the urban poor. Environment and Urbanization, 23 1: 91-111. doi:10.1177/0956247811398602


Author Joshi, Deepa
Fawcett, Ben
Mannan, Fouzia
Title Health, hygiene and appropriate sanitation: experiences and perceptions of the urban poor
Journal name Environment and Urbanization   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0956-2478
1746-0301
Publication date 2011-04
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1177/0956247811398602
Open Access Status
Volume 23
Issue 1
Start page 91
End page 111
Total pages 21
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage
Language eng
Formatted abstract
"Don't teach us what is sanitation and hygiene." This quote from Maqbul, a middle-aged male resident in Modher Bosti, a slum in Dhaka city, summed up the frustration of many people living in urban poverty to ongoing sanitation and hygiene programmes. In the light of their experiences, such programmes provide "inappropriate sanitation", or demand personal investments in situations of highly insecure tenure, and/or teach "hygiene practices" that relate neither to local beliefs nor to the ground realities of a complex urban poverty. A three-year ethnographic study in Chittagong, Dhaka, Nairobi and Hyderabad illustrated that excreta disposal systems, packaged and delivered as low-cost "safe sanitation", do not match the sanitation needs of a very diverse group of urban men, women and children. It is of little surprise that the delivered systems are neither appropriate nor used, and are not sustained beyond the life of the projects. This mismatch, far more than an assumed lack of user demand for sanitation, contributes to the elusiveness of the goal of sanitation and health for all. The analysis indicates that unless and until the technical, financial and ethical discrepancies relating to sanitation for the urban poor are resolved, there is little reason to celebrate the recent global declaration on the human right to water and sanitation and health for all.
Keyword Gendered identities
Mismatch
Sanitation and hygiene priorities
Spatial heterogeneity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
 
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