Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

  • muench
  • muench's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Moderator of this Forum; Freelance consultant (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer)
  • Posts: 2151
  • Karma: 46
  • Likes received: 626

Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

This thread used to be part of this thread: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/141-ot...cle-on-squat-toilets
(about squatting versus sitting in Latin America, and Wikipedia article about squat toilets)


+++++++++


I am still on a mission to get to the bottom of this issue of sitting versus squatting toilets at a worldwide level.

Therefore, I invite you all to take part in my little survey here and to tell me the situation in your country. We have forum users from so many countries ( forum.susana.org/forum/statistics?task=map ) so it would be awesome if we could hear about as many countries as possible!

If you are normally a very quiet forum member, a novice, a student, a non-expert: here is your chance to have your say, even if it is just a short post. I would very much like to hear from you.

Please tell me your rough estimates for your country (split by region if it's a big diverse country):
  • Percentage of squatting toilets in private homes
  • Percentage of squatting toilets in public buildings
  • Any changes you are observing in this pattern over time
  • How common is anal cleansing with water (in case we can find a correlation between anal cleansing with water and the use of squatting toilets)
  • Any other comments
[/color]
If I get a clearer picture, then I will update the information on Wikipedia about the use of squat toilets on a worldwide level: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squat_toilet

Thanks!

Elisabeth

P.S. For my own country, Germany, it looks like this:
  • Percentage of squatting toilets in private homes: 0 %
  • Percentage of squatting toilets in public buildings: 0 %
  • Any changes you are observing in this pattern over time: No, sitting toilet seem to have been the norm for a very long time, except for defecating in the forest of course, but that's not really a "toilet".
  • How common is anal cleansing with water (in case we can find a correlation between anal cleansing with water and the use of squatting toilets): Not common in the "Christian" or non religious part of the population; it assume it is common amongst the Muslim part of our population - which is 4-5% according to good old Wikipedia ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Germany ); although I am not sure if they practice it in public toilet because I have never really seen traces of it, e.g. water splashes on the floor or on the seat. Must speak to some of my Muslim friends about it and ask them.
  • Any other comments: none

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Frankfurt, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
E-mail us to get involved: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The following user(s) like this post: jkeichholz
You need to login to reply
  • jkeichholz
  • jkeichholz's Avatar
  • Posts: 121
  • Karma: 4
  • Likes received: 73

Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Elisabeth, you could turn this into a survey form with clickable options and some text fields so that it's easier to participate (especially for those who just want to chip in w/o having to register for the forum).

Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management
www.saniblog.org

Toilets in Frankfurt/Main www.facebook.com/ffmtoi
The following user(s) like this post: rotejiro
You need to login to reply
  • Emilio
  • Emilio's Avatar
  • Posts: 8
  • Likes received: 4

Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

hi to all In Mexico squating toilets are quite rare and I have only seen them over pit latrines some 30 years ago, in recent times (last 20 years) most of latrine or low cost sanitaton technologies include a seat, modernity is coming, and sometimes means a seating toilet, In my personal experience abroad, in Europe, I would say that the remaining squating toilets were built a long time ago, I would suggest to look in the catalogs of sanitation suppliers if squating plates can be bought today.

In the world bank latrine construction manuals published during the sanitation decade 1982 1992 there are references and instructions to build squating plates and suggestions for it's use, they declare that for public facilites it is easier to maintain and clean than seats
The following user(s) like this post: muench
You need to login to reply
  • scottchen
  • scottchen's Avatar
  • trying to set up the most profitable Ecosan project for the world
  • Posts: 81
  • Karma: 3
  • Likes received: 18

Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Hi,Elisabeth:
In the city, at home, few people use squatting toilets because they are too cheap..not matching with the expensive apartments. But some people do prefer squatting toilets...especially for those old people who are brought up in the countryside.
In the country side, almost all the people are using the squatting toilets.
In the hi-end offices in the downtown of the big cities, only sitting toilets are available ..no squatting toilets. But some people do squatt on the sitting toilets in these public areas..making the toilets very messy..
best wishes
Scott

Chen Xiang Yang, an apple dealer,is growing apples and cherries with the human waste collected from 31 school UDDTs donated by SOHO China Foundation, based in Tianshui City, Gansu Province , China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel:0086 151 9380 3972
The following user(s) like this post: muench
You need to login to reply
  • Doreen
  • Doreen's Avatar
  • Posts: 189
  • Karma: 24
  • Likes received: 73

Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Dear Elisabeth,

Most of the peri-urban and rural areas in Kenya prefer squatting toilets and the majority of the private homes in rural areas have squatting toilets. Homes in urban areas prefer sitting toilets as it is perceived to be modern. Majority of public toilets in urban and rural areas have squatting pour flush or cistern flush toilets that are either connected to the main sewer network. Most offices in urban areas have sitting toilets.

Anal cleansing (washers) are common in all the muslim communities, non-muslims in Kenya are mostly wipers.
During the first stage of the UBSUP program, the team carried out a large-scale sanitation study in 11 towns in Kenya. The study had a direct impact upon the development of tools that were used and tested during the pilot and up-scaling phase. The study also informed the development of new tools during the pilot phase and had 2000 respondents in the 11 towns. The towns are Kisii, Kisumu, Mumias, Isiolo, Mombasa, Malindi, Ngong, Kiserian, Nakuru and Embu.

Within the study (also known as UBSUP study phase 1), 58%, of the respondents mentioned that they prefer squatting toilets instead of sitting toilets.
Of the toilets visited, 89% had footrests, a feature that is primarily seen in squatting toilets.
When it comes to public sanitation facilities, the standard design approved by The Water Services Trust Fund and the Water Services Regulatory Board comprises of squatting cistern flush toilets and one sitting facility for the old and people with disabilities. To date, The WSTF has constructed, 56 public sanitation facilities (up to 6th call for proposal from the Water Service Providers) in different counties.

Here is more information about cleansing collected in 11 towns from 1,146 respondents (extracted from UBSUP study report, 2012)

- 91,4% of Muslims in the 11 towns use water, 11.8% of Christians use water
- 68% of Christians use tissue paper, 4.4 % of muslims use tissue paper
- 18.5% of Christians use newspapers 1.8% of muslims use newspapers
- 0.2% of Christians use a combination of water and paper, 2.3% of christians use a combination of water and paper
- 0.8% of Christians use leaves, 0% of christians use leaves


Below is a picture of a UDDT that has been adapated for anal cleansing.



Best regards,
Doreen

Doreen Mbalo

Sustainable Sanitation Programme and Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) Secretariat
Advisor
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Attachments:
The following user(s) like this post: muench, Carol McCreary
You need to login to reply
  • Carol McCreary
  • Carol McCreary's Avatar
  • I'm Program Manager at PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human) www.phlush.org
  • Posts: 155
  • Karma: 9
  • Likes received: 93

Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Elisabeth encouraged me to share my observations on Moroccan hygiene habits in hopes that other Forum members (or new members) will check or elaborate on them. I lived and worked in Morocco, in various places, for nine years between the late 1960s and the early 2000s and visited frequently when living elsewhere.

As a young Peace Corps volunteer I remember being struck by Moroccan's generally sound sense of hygiene and vector control. Toilets were generally kept clean. You only encountered problems in the ones with unrestricted public access, such as in railway stations or adjacent to rural cafes.

Similarly market and kitchen hygiene strikes me as superior to other countries. Until I lived in Morocco, it wasn't my habit to wash a melon before cutting into it because my mother simply had not trained me to do so.

The long Moroccan tradition of hand washing at the table just before a meal has been somewhat supplanted by having a small sink in the dining area itself. Similarly, restaurants place hand washing facilities in plain sight so that those leaving the toilets have no choice but to stop and wash. (PHLUSH now asks toilet designers to put sinks in public areas rather than toilet rooms to encourage handwashing.)

Ablution facilities in mosques are an issue of public pride and the religious affairs ministry regulates the hammam, the Turkish-style public baths found in all towns of any size. In the 1960s everyone in the Marrakesh medina used their neighborhood hammam. It served as a social meeting place, segregated by sex but not class.

When we returned to our old house in Marrakesh in the mid 1970s and had more professional jobs, we wanted to install a shower. Our friends and the plumber all agreed on the obvious: install is over the squat toilet. We did and it worked perfectly, delivering hot water from sun drenched pipes on the roof.

Changes over time? Of course. Most probably in the direction of sitting over squatting and flush over pour flush. A combination of factors are at play: infrastructure improvements, modern home construction, a century of experience with plumbed toilets starting with French colonialism, immigration, tourism, the influence of the media, etc. Our last house, in Rabat, had multiple flush toilets; the one adjacent to the garden which also served delivery people and workers outdoors was a white porcelain squat.

In sum, it seems to me that Morocco has hygiene norms that are better articulated and agreed on than anywhere else I've lived, including places like the US where norms are often dictated by code.

I remember reading a modern historian of Islam who referenced the work of a 14th century Andalusian Islamic scholar. The scholar was comparing cleanliness in lands to the North with those to the South. Muslims wash five times a day, he said, and Christians only once in their lives - when they are Baptized!

I hope this helps get the conversation started, the facts straightened out, and generates some positive lessons that can be replicated elsewhere. PLEASE COMMENT!

Carol

Carol McCreary
Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH)
1240 W. Sims Way #59, Port Townsend, Washington 98368 USA

Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.
The following user(s) like this post: cecile
You need to login to reply
  • hajo
  • hajo's Avatar
  • GIZ Development Worker, now in Lusaka | Zambia
  • Posts: 155
  • Karma: 11
  • Likes received: 64

Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

hi Elisabeth,

as you have singled me out to respond to your survey, I have no choice than to do so although I don't really feel competent to speak for Tanzania and I hope some Tanzanians who read this will correct whatever mistake I report. I have possibly seen less than 0.01% of the local toilets which should not allow an extrapolation. Nevertheless I try my best:

- Percentage of squatting toilets in private homes
I guess 80% of pop live in rural areas of which 90% have squat toilets,
20% live in small towns and cities of which 50% have squat toilets: total 82%

- Percentage of squatting toilets in public buildings
most schools, older public buildings (especially in small towns), local hotels have squat toilets; newer offices, 'international' hotels have seat toilets: total 65%

- Any changes you are observing in this pattern over time
I guess new offices, new hotels and new houses are to a larger extent equipped with flush and seat toilets than with squat toilets.

- How common is anal cleansing with water (in case we can find a correlation between anal cleansing with water and the use of squatting toilets)
I think anal cleansing with water is very common and not at all related to squat toilets as you find also in bathrooms of international hotels a spray pipe for that purpose beside the seat toilet.

- Any other comments:
at our sanitation workshop in Moshi end of January 2015, besides the BLUE DIVERSION from EAWAG we also had invited ENVIROSAN from Durban/SA to present their production range of UDDT products - all seating toilets. Comments by a majority of 70 participants: 'this is not relevant for us as 'we' prefer squat toilets. Seat toilets more easily transmit diseases.'

Tanzanians, please add and/or correct!

Ciao, Hajo

PS: as indicated by Juergen, the response to the survey would possibly be larger if it was a survey form to fill, together with comments/explanations as I provided.

PPS: we plan to have a city-wide sanitation survey done in Moshi this year which may enable us to provide more reliable figures.

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein
The following user(s) like this post: muench
You need to login to reply
  • dusingize
  • dusingize's Avatar
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 1
  • Likes received: 1

Re: Squatting versus sitting in Latin America - and Wikipedia article on squat toilets

Squatting toilets are more prevalent than others because they are more easy to maintain hygienic conditions without water, which is a big problem in many low income countries. For instance in many countries of sub-Sahara Africa and Asia the use squatting toilets in both public and households because facilitate users to keep hygienic conditions. The most used squatting toilets are poor flush toilets and pit latrines. You can see the collection of different types of toilets: wedc.lboro.ac.uk/resources/books/Contemp...y_Toilet_Designs.pdf and the document showing squatting right report in Urban areas of India with innovations: www.dasra.org/pdf/SquattingRights_Report.pdf

Eugene
(Rwanda)
The following user(s) like this post: muench
You need to login to reply
  • denniskl
  • denniskl's Avatar
  • Working on creating shared solutions for common problems
  • Posts: 79
  • Karma: 5
  • Likes received: 16

Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

My experience


Percentage of squatting toilets in private homes

* Australia: - 0%
* Malaysia: - 60% (less in cities, more in rural)
* Indonesia: - 80% (less in cities, more in rural)
* Cambodia: - 30% (more in rural)
* Thailand: - 30% (more in rural)

Percentage of squatting toilets in public buildings

* Australia: - 0%
* Malaysia: - 80% (less in cities, more in rural)
* Indonesia: - 80% (less in cities, more in rural)
* Cambodia: - 50% (more in rural)
* Thailand: - 50% (more in rural)

Any changes you are observing in this pattern over time

* Australia: - No
* Malaysia: - see comments below
* Indonesia: - see comments below
* Cambodia: - see comments below
* Thailand: - see comments below

How common is anal cleansing with water (in case we can find a correlation between anal cleansing with water and the use of squatting toilets)

* Australia: - 0%
* Malaysia: - 90% (less in cities, more in rural)
* Indonesia: - 90% (less in cities, more in rural)
* Cambodia: - 70% (more in rural)
* Thailand: - 70% (more in rural)

Any other comments

* Australia: - Australia has never had squat toilets (well in modern times anyway) - I was introduced to them as part of my Asian cultural experience:)
* Malaysia: - As country modernises more, squatting toilets re being replaced by sitting toilets, more for "westernisation" than functionality or health u
* Indonesia: - As per Malaysia
* Cambodia: - Not much changes in Cambodia:)
* Thailand: - As per Malaysia

Creator of the JigSaw Puzzle in-country capacity building Programme

See latest JigSaw Puzzle Programme overview here: tinyurl.com/JigSawPuzzle7

Philosophy

* See a problem.
* Make sure it's the real problem (by talking to the people with the problem).
* Find people who are solving this problem somewhere in the world and collaborate - and learn from them to solve the problem
OR
* Create a new solution where none exists
* Find passionate people who care about the problem to help implement solutions

Our solution approach - what's yours?

Dennis McMahon
Author "The Poverty Pit"...
You need to login to reply
  • lucasdengel
  • lucasdengel's Avatar
  • Physician (Dr. med.) by educational qualification, working in public hygiene, environmental health and organic farming for the last 15-20 years. Running a company called EcoPro, based in Auroville in Tamil Nadu, India - see website.
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: 2
  • Likes received: 13

Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

India / South India:
Percentage of squatting toilets in private homes: Depends on socio-economic class (which, to some extent, reflects caste, but even more so reflects socio-cultural and educational background); upper class (the rich) seem to favour sitting toilets (increasingly); as private homes of the less wealthy often have no toilets at all, toilets in private homes might be more than 50% sitting types.

Percentage of squatting toilets in public buildings: 50% (i.e. both types are provided); in smaller towns and countryside rather 80-100%; in context of upper class clientele e.g. airports, 40-50%.

Any changes you are observing in this pattern over time: Yes, the number of sitting toilets is on the increase. Don't know whether this has to do with the lack of physical fitness of the rich; or with the difference of status i.e. the sitting toilet being regarded as the more convenient toilet of the rich; or rather the combination of these two factors.

How common is anal cleansing with water (in case we can find a correlation between anal cleansing with water and the use of squatting toilets): Very common; facilities for anal cleansing are a must.

Any other comments: My experience (30 yrs) & impressions are based mainly on Tamil Nadu and the Southern states (T.N., Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh / Telangana).

Dr. Lucas Dengel
Executive
EcoPro
Aurosarjan Complex, Auroshilpam
Auroville - 605101, India
website EcoPro: www.ecopro.in
personal e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
You need to login to reply
  • BPopov
  • BPopov's Avatar
  • Ecologist and blacksmith involved with ecosanitation in the Ukrrainian Carpathians
  • Posts: 81
  • Karma: 5
  • Likes received: 27

Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Dear Elisabeth!
I will hardly say about the whole Ukraine since it is a very big country. My observation mainly may concern regions where I spent enough time. And again it is difficult to drag in the percentage figure so I will try to describe the situation and you may imagine the figures yourself.
• Percentage of squatting toilets in public buildings
• Percentage of squatting toilets in private homes


Kiev as a city

I think 100 percent of toilets in Kiev are water flush toilet apart from suburbs where sometimes you may find outside privies which have the same pattern as the rural area around Kiev. I never seen squatting flush toilet in private homes. I recall I’ve seen some squatting flush toilets 15-20-30 years ago in Kiev in public toilets (Soviet Union times) but now what I see mostly in public toilets is sitting toilets (although actually majority people may actually use them without contact semi squatting).

Rural area around Kiev

In the villages you mostly find outhouse pit privies. At homes you can see both squatting and sitting type of it. At public spaces (say schools or bus stops ) the toilets are mainly squatting (a hole in the concrete slab). Whenever people put a water flush toilet in the rural area they will almost definitely use a sitting pedestal toilet interface.

Carparthian region of Ukraine

At homes in cities and towns whenever there is a centralized sewage there will be definitely flush sitting toilets.The majority of public flush toilets (café, resorts, markets, stations) I have seen both in rural and urban are sitting pedestal toilets although again many people use it without contact. However I have seen several water flush squatting toilets . Two of them were at the petrol stations.

At private homes without central sewage the toilet will almost always be a outside privy (pit or sometimes in some places -- a collecting bucket to throw the feces to the cow dung heap). These ones I mostly seen are kind of sitting toilets with the wooden bench and hole in it fitted with standart toilet plastic rim and lid. Kind of this.



At public spaces without sewage (schools, cafes, station) these are same outside privies but maybe with more compartments (holes). These are usually holes in the concrete slab floor . Sometimes they have higher places for feet on different sides of the hole.




• Any changes you are observing in this pattern over time
Hard to say anything apart that there is a general desire to install a water flush toilet even if this then is a straight pipe to the nearest stream. A sign of progress.
• How common is anal cleansing with water (in case we can find a correlation between anal cleansing with water and the use of squatting toilets)
I do not think there is a tradition to wash the anus after defecation at least in Western Ukraine. Sometimes you can find a water bidet in people’s houses or tourist hotels but I think they are considered for women’s use.
• Any other comments
In our last project of public compost toilet at Sinevir Pass (I was designing and supervising) the owner (local guy) first installed kind of tile lined benches –pedestals for sitting but later replaced with squatting water flush ceramic receptacle where he cut the big hole for the chute . I like this idea but let’s see. So generally there is understanding that squatting is better for public spaces



Bogdan Popov
Master Eco-smith
The Ecosolutions Forge
www.ecoforge.org
Attachments:
The following user(s) like this post: muench
You need to login to reply
  • dusingize
  • dusingize's Avatar
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 1
  • Likes received: 1

Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Dear Elisabeth,
I don't think Rwanda has detailed data as requested. According to the Integrated Household living Condition Survey in Rwanda, 92% of households use pit latrines, and this means that 92% use squatting toilets.

There is no clear figure in the public buildings. But, as people are changing their living style, they tend to use both squatting and pedestal toilets. My understanding is that, the reliability of water services will increase the use of pedestal toilets in Rwanda.

Eugene
You need to login to reply
Share this thread:
Time to create page: 0.974 seconds