Doreen wrote: Shared sanitation facilities are paramount in low income urban areas and it is totally wrong to say that they are mostly unhygienic. The expectation that each family will have one toilet in a plot is just not feasible. Taking into consideration that many plots e.g. in Kenya have approximately 5 families living within the plot and there is very very limited space.
Sometimes I have the feeling that the people who actually contributed to some of these policy's/ SDG's have no background information on what is actually happening on the ground.
Yes you can get that feeling very often, but in this case I actually think it is just a different perspective of looking at the topic. SDGs etc. are mostly commitments by national governments and like the GDP are measured in really abstract terms like population coverage statistics and so on.
Based on previous experience, it is just way too easy for the respective government departments to hugely inflate coverage figures using shared sanitation. And even if parts of those shared sanitation facilities are perfectly fine, it is not a good thing to have a government proclaiming success in sanitation coverage (and then diverting funds to other sectors) when the reality on the ground is that unhygienic conditions, long waiting times and difficulties in night time access lead to many people using flying toilets as a common "backup".
Looking at it from this perspective also explains why there seems to be little movement to "soften up" the definition of shared sanitation and/or counting private neighborhood toilets differently, as these governmental negotiations are always a huge game of watering down everything (to avoid real commitments), and changing the definition of shared sanitation is seen as an attempt to water down minimum sanitation standards, even if technically justified.
Edit: over-crowed living conditions are also for many other reasons something the government should not be allowed to just accept by changing their minimum standards. Of course this is not something that will be possible to change over night, and in the meantime shared sanitation is often a good interim solution. But if it becomes accepted as a standard, the incentive to actually improve the overall conditions in the longer term (provide social housing etc.) becomes much lower for government technocrats that just care about numbers and minimum standards (and their next promotion ).]]>