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Sanitation technology and user perceptions

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:10 authored by Louiza C. Duncker
Research in South Africa showed that in most cases the sanitation technology implemented in rural and peri-urban areas seemed to be adequate in providing sanitation services, but that these technologies are under strain due to their incorrect use, misuse/non-use and lack of proper maintenance, therefore placing the sustainability of these sanitation systems in question. Even if the technology was designed and built well, the use of the technology and its acceptance by the user proved to be the most critical elements - a technology is only as good as its user. Spot check assessments in South Africa concluded that water sector services and projects should not be viewed one-dimensionally, but holistically. The interaction between, and integration of, technical aspects and social dynamics are the cornerstones for the long-term operation of facilities and the sustainability of services delivery. This paper shows some results of spot check assessments and will draw the attention to the user issues and their impact on providing sustainable sanitation services in addressing the sanitation backlogs in South Africa.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


DUNCKER, L.C., 2014. Sanitation technology and user perceptions. IN: Shaw, R.J., Anh, N.V. and Dang, T.H. (eds). Sustainable water and sanitation services for all in a fast changing world: Proceedings of the 37th WEDC International Conference, Hanoi, Vietnam, 15-19 September 2014, 5pp.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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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/

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