Building a latrine is only a first step towards an effective sanitation service
Updated - Wednesday 24 October 2012
Building a latrine is only a first step towards an effective sanitation service. The latrine must be used, kept clean, maintained and replaced at the end of its useful life if families and communities are to benefit. The recurrent costs of keeping the latrine clean and maintained, of emptying the pit and the safe disposal of sludge and of “capital maintenance” to ensure that major repairs are carried out, are essential for sustainable sanitation.
There is some evidence, at least from Andhra Pradesh, that the higher the operational expenditure, the cleaner and more sanitary the latrine.
Recurrent expenditure also covers the costs of support to those who provide services. If planning and budgeting is based on capital expenditure alone, latrines are unlikely to be sustainable.