Case study

DFID Research: marketing urban sanitation in Tanzania

A pool of trained latrine builders is providing improved toilet facilities for the poor of Dar es Salaam.

Latrine builder in Dar es Salaam learning to build slabs
Latrine builder in Dar es Salaam learning to build slabs

“The toilets built by masons from the ‘Kitiochovyo’ (toilet centre) are free from smell, insects including mosquitoes and provide sufficient privacy and safety compared to the old types of toilet”.

This is just one response from a beneficiary of the Water, Engineering and Development Centre-run project to bring safe sanitation to around 20,000 people in urban areas of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

Researchers facilitated the set up and promotion of a toilet information and sales centre where people could get access to information about sanitation, and which acted as a focal point for a pool of trained latrine builders. The centres offered a total package of information and advice, latrine building and emptying services.

Through the centre informal latrine builders gained better skills, and men and women who are members of the toilet centre group now gain extra livelihood from increased demand for their services - trained masons are now being contracted by government and NGOs to build latrines in schools and public places and to train other masons.

As a result of the project, households in high-density, low-income settlements acquire better quality toilets and are able to trace the builders in case of any problems. Children are able to use the toilets built by the trained masons due to the modification of technology to use safer and smaller drop holes.

Published 23 November 2006