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‘The soul is willing but…’: exploring community’s sanitation preferences for environmental sustainability

Simon Mariwah, University of Cape Coast

This paper examines the current human waste disposal practices and sanitation preferences of residents of Efutu, a peri-urban settlement in the Central Region of Ghana. Using an exploratory design, data were collected from 154 randomly-selected household heads using questionnaires, focus group discussions and observation. It was found that 65% of the respondents mentioned household water closet as their most preferred toilet facility, though 58% presently use public ventilated improved pit toilet. Least handling of excreta, convenience, security, and avoidance of smell represent some of the factors that determine respondents’ preference for a particular sanitation facility. Additionally, 78% of the respondents wanted their toilet facility to be sited in the house, mainly due to convenience/comfort and security associated with in-house toilet facility. The study recommends that, through community consultation, efforts should be made to introduce ecological sanitation (ECOSAN), a more sustainable and ecologically friendly sanitation system, in the community.

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Presented in Session 105: Land use systems in the context of climate change