The safe disposal of human excreta is a basic human need and one of the most important improvements any government can make towards improving public health. At present more than 2.6 billion people worldwide lack access to improved sanitation, of which most live in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This situation in the twenty-first century is scandalous.
Lacking access to sanitation is associated with severe health risks. Diarrhoeal disease kills more than two million people every year. Most of these are children under the age of five. The burden of worm infections (intestinal helminths) causes anaemia and can stunt growth in children.
For millions of people lacking sanitation means not having any privacy or dignity. It puts women and girls in danger from sexual harassment and assault, especially after dark. It brings other social costs such as embarrassment when others visit and it brings economic costs from health care and lost earnings.
Sanitation is one of the Environmental Health Group’s major areas of focus and for us sanitation is more than just toilets. Our work looks at new technologies, re-use of wastewater, fecal sludge management, strategies for marketing sanitation, shared sanitation and child faeces disposal.
A selection of our sanitation related publications:
- Clasen T, Sugden S (2009). Water and Sanitation (Chapter 2.7), in Beaglehole R. et al. (eds.), Oxford Textbook of Public Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Rheingans R, J Anderson, R Luyendijk, O Cumming (2014) Measuring disparities in sanitation access: Does the measure matter? Tropical Medicine & International Health
- Jenkins M, O Cumming, B Scott & S Caincross (2014) Beyond ‘improved’ towards ‘safe and sustainable’ urban sanitation: assessing the design, management and functionality of sanitation in poor communities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Journal of Water and Health. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development.
- *Cairncross S, Bartram J, Cumming O, Brocklehurst C (2010) Hygiene, Sanitation, and Water: What Needs to Be Done? PLoS Med 7(11): e1000365.
- Ensink, J HJ, Scott, Christopher A, Brooker, Simon, Cairncross, Sandy (2010) Sewage disposal in the Musi-River, India: water quality remediation through irrigation infrastructure. Irrigation and Drainage Systems 24: 65-77.
- Mauricio L. Barreto,Bernd Genser, Agostino Strina, Maria Gloria Teixeira, Ana Marlucia O. Assis, et al, and Sandy Cairncross (2010) Impact of a Citywide Sanitation Program in Northeast Brazil on Intestinal Parasites Infection in Young Children Environ Health Perspect. 118(11): 1637–1642.
- Fry LM, Cowden JR, Watkins DW, Clasen T, Mihelcic JR (2010). Quantifying health improvements from water quantity enhancement: an engineering perspective applied to rainwater harvesting in West Africa. Environmental Sci & Tech 15;44(24):9535-41
- *Clasen T (2010). Household water treatment and the Millennium Development Goals: keeping the focus on health. Environmental Sci & Tech. 44 (19): 7357–7360
- *Clasen TF, Bostoen K, Schmidt WP, Boisson S, Fung IC, Jenkins MW, Scott B, Sugden S, Cairncross S. (2010) Interventions to improve disposal of human excreta for preventing diarrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 16;(6):CD007180.
- Preston K, Lantagne D, Kotlarz N, and Jellison K (2010). Turbidity and chlorine demand reduction using alum and moringa flocculation before household chlorination in developing countries. J Water Health 8(1), 60-70.
- *Marion W. Jenkins and Sandy Cairncross (2010) Modelling latrine diffusion in Benin: towards a community typology of demand for improved sanitation in developing countries. Journal of Water and Health 8:166-183.
- Brown, J. and Sobsey, M. 2010. Microbiological effectiveness of locally produced ceramic filters for drinking water treatment in Cambodia. Journal of Water and Health 8(1): 1-10.
- *Cairncross, S., Hunt, C., Boisson, S., Bostoen, K., Curtis, V., Fung, I., et al. (2010). Water, sanitation and hygiene for the prevention of diarrhoea. Int J Epidemiol, 39(Sup 1), 193-205.
- Andreia C. Santos, Jennifer A. Roberts, Mauricio L. Barreto, Sandy Cairncross (2011) Demand for sanitation in Salvador, Brazil: A hybrid choice approach, Social Science & Medicine 72:1325-1332
- *Saboori S, Mwaki A, Oketch B, Porter S, Freeman MC, Rheingans R. (in press) Sustainability of School Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. Lessons Learned and to be Learned. Waterlines.
- Wachira S, El-Fatih M, Gitau S, Freeman MC, Snel M. (in press) The use of urinals in Kenyan schools. Waterlines
- *Freeman MC, Greene L, Dreibelbis R, Saboori S, Muga R, Rheingans R. (submitted) Assessing the impact of a school-based water, sanitation, and hygiene program on pupil absenteeism, enrollment, and test scores: A cluster-randomized trial. Trop Med International Health
- *Freeman MC, Clasen T, Brooker S, Akoko D, Brumback B, Rheingans, R. (submitted) The impact of a school-based school hygiene, water treatment, and sanitation intervention on reinfection with soil-transmitted helminthes in Western Kenya: A cluster-randomized trial. PLoS NTD
- Clasen T, Fabini D, Boisson S, Song J, Aichinger E, Bui A, Dadashi S, Taneja J, Schmidt W-P, Burt Z, Nelson K. (submitted) Making Sanitation Count: Developing and Testing a Novel Device for Assessing Latrine Use In Low-Income Settings.
- Biran A and Jenkins M. Communal Toilets in Urban Poverty Pockets: Use and user satisfaction associated with seven communal toilet facilities in Bhopal, India. WaterAid http://www.wateraid.org/documents/plugin_documents/wateraid_brief_community_toilets.pdf (2011).
- Achieving the ‘good life’: why some people want latrines in rural Benin. JENKINS MW, CURTIS V. Social Science and Medicine. 2005 Dec; 61(11):2446-59.
- The Case for Marketing Sanitation. Water & Sanitation Programme Field Note. CAIRNCROSS S. 2004. Nairobi: The World Bank.
- Sanitation in the developing world: Current status & future solutions. (Currently Unavailable) CAIRNCROSS S. International Journal of Environmental Health Research. (2003) 13, S123-S131.
- Water Supply and Sanitation. Some misconceptions. CAIRNCROSS S. Tropical Medicine and International Health, (2003) Vol. 8, no. 13, pp 193-195
- Low-cost sanitation technology for the control of intestinal helminths. CAIRNCROSS S. Parasitology Today. 1987 Mar; 3(3):94-8.
- Irrigation water as a source of drinking: is safe use possible? Tropical Medicine and International Health, van der Hoek, W., Konradsen, F., Ensink, J.H.J., Mudasser, M. & Jensen, P.K. (2001). 6 (1), 46-54.