Management of public sanitary facilities in urban slums in Kampala City. A case study of Bwaise slum
Basiimwa, Barbara Sabiiti
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In Uganda, over 70% of urban dwellers do not have private sanitation in their home and rely on an informal network of shared toilets. The predominance of shared toilets in Uganda is result of unplanned urbanization, lack of space, unfavorable features of housing and socio economic characteristics of the population. These shared toilets may be large toilets blocks owned by the community, or toilet cubicles shared by tenants of the same house. This research focuses on a commonly used type of shared toilet where users pay for using it. Such toilets are commonly referred to as public toilets. Public toilets are not as considered as improved sanitation because they do not guarantee access for vulnerable groups, and their hygiene, privacy and safety is questionable. For many slum dwellers however, public toilets are the only alternative to open defecation and are used daily. Some of these facilities through better management models and better standards provide good quality services. The aim of this research is to determine the current management system of public sanitary facilities in slum areas and if it is acceptable to the users of those facilities. To do so, the research determines the perspectives of the public toilet users and compares them with observations drawn from public toilets. In a fast growing slum area of Bwaise III Parish, Kawempe Division Kampala, 195 users of public sanitary facilities were interviewed and conclusions drawn from 6 public toilets using observation checklists. The research concludes that the management of public toilets is done through sanitary facility committees whose members are not at all involved in the day to day running of the facility except for the caretakers. Although all users pay for use of the facilities, payment is done in different ways. The challenges of use public toilets relate mainly too misuse, lack of enough finances and geographical factors of the slum, like flooding or lack of access roads.