Ecological sanitation: a sustainable goal with local choices. A case study from Taita Hills, Kenya

Matias Andersson, Paola Minoia

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkelivertaisarvioitu


Sanitation has been a core development-related keyword since the Millennium Development Goals were launched, but its improvement in sub-Saharan Africa has been considered generally slow. So far, sanitation needs have been mainly addressed technically and economically while lacking proper intersection with related conditions, such as health education, cultural and environmental contexts, gender and ownership. These elements seem now to be considered by the new Sustainable Goals launched in 2015. More emphasis is given to the importance of providing differentiated, instead of homogenized, guidance to any process of change and material intervention, including sanitation projects. These cannot be reduced in terms of external environmental-engineered cycle connecting households but have to be valued for the way they involve people’s bodies, ecosystems and livelihoods. This paper presents the results of a research conducted in Kenya, and particularly in Taita Hills, an area mainly served by pit latrines and hit by environmental degradation. The research was meant to understand local perceptions and attitudes toward implementation of different types of ecological sanitation solutions that make possible the establishment of a closed loop of nutrients connecting food production and sanitation. The findings indicate the importance of local cultures and personal preferences in defining sanitation choices, particularly in rural areas, starting by the consideration of local livelihoods and preexisting systems serving the human waste disposal cycles.

Keywords: sanitation, ecological sanitation, sustainable development goals, cultural sustainability, Kenya
LehtiAfrican Geographical Review
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 2017
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


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