Eyrard-J-1261.pdf (198.88 kB)
Download file

Portable toilets in emergencies: lessons learned from Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Download (198.88 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:09 authored by Julien Eyrard
The response to the Haiti earthquake in 2010 highlighted the use of rented portable toilets in emergency context. To be effective, a WASH response must be provided as a package of 3 components: water, sanitation and hygiene. Water is addressed, among other items, by ready to use treatment plants; hygiene is addressed by pre-positioned NFI kits and promotion material such as posters, leaflets…The sanitation part of the package is less well equipped in terms of kits: there are the ready-to-use squatting slabs as a starting point but a latrine is comprised of a pit, a slab and a superstructure. Pit latrines and defecation trenches can be used only in areas where it is possible to dig. In areas where it is not possible to dig (urban settings, flood prone areas…), other solutions must be employed: among them, portable latrines such as the ones rented by Catholic Relief Service and operated by Action Contre la Faim in Port-au-Prince where found to be an expensive but however a good solution. It would be a temptation to include them in contingency stocks but this is not really possible due to the volume and logistic involved. Rather, it is preferable to have standing agreements with rental companies in various parts of the world where such items may be needed. In case of emergency, the rental company will ship the needed toilet within few days.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

Published in

WEDC Conference


EYRARD, J., 2011. Portable toilets in emergencies: lessons learned from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). The future of water, sanitation and hygiene in low-income countries - Innovation, adaptation and engagement in a changing world: Proceedings of the 35th WEDC International Conference, Loughborough, UK, 6-8 July 2011, 4p.p.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This is a conference paper.

Other identifier




Usage metrics


No categories selected