Selling latrines to the poor: how effective it is?
PublisherBRAC Research and Evaluation Division (RED)
MetadataShow full item record
CitationBiswas, S., & Masud Ahmed, S. (1996). Selling latrines to the poor: how effective it is? Research Reports (1996): Health Studies, Vol - XlX, 1–8.
BRAC has been promoting personal hygiene practices and the use of safe water and sanitary latrines through its Rural Development Programme (RDP) since 1991. RDP sold a large number of latrines (45,000 as of June 1995) in it's operational areas (including Matlab) as part of a drive to improve rural sanitation through NGO forum. To study the impact of this on health as part of BRAC-ICDDR,B research framework in Matlab, it is important to understand how this programme is implemented. To provide feedback to the programme, this study aimed to explore the current status of the latrines sold by RDP in Matlab. A total of 262 latrines (one latrine per household) were sold by RDP's Essential Health Care (EHC) at Matlab during July 1994 to October 1995. Data were collected during November December 1995 from the persons to whom (mostly female) the latrines were sold, using a str..lctUred questionnaire. Of these 262 latrines, a little more than 60% were installed and around 12% of the installed latrines remained unused. The government subsidy (declared in July 1995) was a major factor motivating the villagers to buy latrines. Sixty nine percent of the recipients bought latrines after declaration of government subsidy, and only 10% after motivation by BRAC health workers. Some VO members mentioned that they bought slab latrines because they were assured of getting the government subsidy or housing loan by the BR..\C staff. The reasons for not setting up latrines even after buying these from BRAC office were: want of additional money to build the structure of the latrine (49%); not getting the promised government subsidy (37%); and inundation by flood (12.5%). From the findings of this study following recommendations are made: 1) RDP may encourage the villagers to use inexpensive local materials for constructing latrines; alternatively, loans may be given to the BRAC-eligible buyers to cover the cost of constructing the latrine structure and other ancillary expenditures; 2) close monitoring of installation by the local BRAC management is needed; and 3) more effort is required to follow up latrine recipients to identifY obstacles in installation and use after they received slabs and rings and provide necessary help in overcoming those.