Evaluating the viability of establishing container-based sanitation in low-income settlements

Container-based sanitation (CBS) services operate in a number of low-income urban settlements across the globe, providing sanitation services where other on-site and off-site sanitation systems face logistical and environmental restrictions. The viability of each CBS service is influenced by a number of location specific factors. Drawing on an initial review of existing CBS services, this paper identifies and evaluates these factors in relation to establishing CBS in a new service location. By applying a weighted scoring matrix to these factors, the potential viability of CBS services has been assessed for urban informal settlements in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The viability of CBS services in these settlements was found to be most influenced by the current availability of basic sanitation facilities, the unfamiliarity with paying for sanitation services and the universally adopted practice of anal cleansing with water. The process and scoring matrix developed and subsequently applied in Nepal, are recommended as part of the pre-feasibility stage assessment where a CBS service is being considered as a sanitation option in new locations.