Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners)
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Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 04 Mar 2013 12:43 #3717

  • Bobbie
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Dear SuSanA members

I work with Partners in Development, an engineering firm specialising in water and sanitation based in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. My involvement has been primarily with research funded by the Water Research Commission on the deep row entrenchment of sludge, pit emptying technologies, pour flush technology and the health impact of sanitation work on workers and householders.

We are currently looking at standards for school toilet (infrastructure provision, not maintenance) in different countries as part of an effort to put a national standard for school toilets in place in South Africa. For example, x learners per x toilets and x urinals for high school boys. If anyone can refer me to existing standards or has comment on this I would be grateful.

Bobbie Louton
Last Edit: 05 Mar 2013 10:30 by Bobbie. Reason: expand introduction of myself

Re: Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 05 Mar 2013 14:22 #3745

  • muench
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Dear Bobby,

Good to meet you on the forum, after the successful FSM-2 conference!
There are standards for ratios of toilets to students in Kenya.
You find them mentioned e.g. in this nice little paper which we wrote for the Dry Toilet Conference in 2012:

www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbk...p;type=2&id=1609
Pynnönen, K., Tuhkanen, T., Rieck, C., von Münch, E. (2012). Two years after donor funding ended: success factors for schools to keep their urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) clean and well maintained. 4th International Dry Toilet Conference, Tampere, Finland.

Here you find:
The recommended ratio of school toilets, according to the guidelines of WHO (2009), is
one toilet for 25 girls and one for 30 boys


and:
On the contrary the two self-sponsored smaller schools of “Hope and Kindness” and “Eldoret” as well as Siany Mixed Secondary have a ratio of UDDTs to pupils of about 1:40 which is close to the Kenyan school toilet standards (1:25 for girls and 1:30 for boys).

WHO (2009). Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Standards for Schools in Low-cost Settings.
www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publ...standards_school.pdf


Which countries are you planning to compare?

I think even if the standards are there, most schools are probably not sticking to them or a good part of toilets are anyway broken or otherwise unusable...

Did you see the stories that Trevor Mulaudzi told us here on the forum?:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/27-tra...t-all-school-toilets

He is maybe involved in this work that you are doing? He seems to be the guru in South African school toilets...

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Re: Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 06 Mar 2013 17:13 #3785

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Hi, please allow me to comment on standards for school sanitation - i am writing from Malawi. WHO is often quoted, and these appear to be the same standards enshrined during the colonial period. I don't know how the ratio 1:25 or 1:30 was arrived at. presumably based on a class room size at the time (which is now 3, 4 or even 5 times bigger)? In Malawi the ratio is 1:60 if a school has urinals. i am making a distinction between a toilet for shitting and a urinal. i think we have to be realistic so lets look at some different contexts:

for a school with an average population of 600 (as it is in Malawi) that means a standard of 5 toilets and 1 urinal for boys, 5 toilets and 1 urinal for girls, and 1 each for male and female teachers. this is reasonable.
now lets put the situation at a school with 3000 children. now should the school have 60 toilets (for boys, girls , male and female teachers? i don't think so!
I am not aware of any systematic study to enumerate children's toilets behavior, but in my experience (of many, many schools) i note the following:
- most children, when they go to the toilet they need to urinate, and they often need to urinate several times a day. this traffic congests toilets and makes them dirty and smelly.
- it is mostly the younger children who need to use the toilet to shit - again sometimes several times as they have less control on their bowel movements
- older girls go to the toilet for privacy to manage their period (not a nice environment)
- once urinals are built and kept clean, then it is rare to see any queues for the toilets, even when the ratio is 1:100 or even 1:120.
- by building more toilets - or even urinals - taps - or anything! - without thinking of use and management, all we achieve are more dirty, unpleasant and unusable toilets - hence children going elsewhere.

- and talking about unpleasant - what is the prevailing design - yes! - a VIP - which is often so dark that no one can see the hole or what they are likely to step on. lots of children don't wear shoes to school, and even for those who wear shoes, no one likes to step on a puddle of urine or worse. so even if the children just want to urinate, they cant do it in an unpleasant environment.


i think urinals for boys and girls are very important in helping to manage toilets, reducing costs (schools have more to think about than toilets!) and also reducing environmental load as the urine can drain into a trench which is planted with (eg) an orchard. I have heard of schools collecting urine, but have not seen this sustained in practice.

Why don't we discuss as much the ratio of water taps per child. Again in Malawi, for an average school of 600, almost all schools have only one tap and we think this is normal. Now imagine all children rushing to fill their bottle, drink straight from the tap, and (hopefully) wash their hands. that is if the tap is working.

we need to question the standards set by WHO and put them in a more realistic economic context, instead of assuming they are "good" standards and also to link standards to what learners and teachers actually need, and perhaps get a discussion going.

Joe DeGabriele
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Re: Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 07 Mar 2013 20:57 #3806

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Hi Elisabeth and Joe,

I've been enjoying the SuSanA digests since subscribing.

Thanks for the comments from both of you and the valuable points you make.

Elisabeth, could you tell me where I could find the Kenyan standards you referred to? In the Kenyan Stafety Standards Manual for schools I found a reference to an infrastructure manual but haven't been able to find it. We are trying to do a brief scan of standards anywhere else in the world to provide some context for making recommendations for South Africa. Thanks for sending the link for Trevor Malaudzi.

Joe, would you be able to direct me to a document where the standards for Malawi are published? Is 1:60 for girls as well? Interesting points about urinals, taps and VIPs! Thank you!

Regards

Bobbie

Re: Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 08 Mar 2013 12:57 #3814

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hi Bobbie,
i sent a reply with attachments - but looks like they did not post (poor internet connection) so apologies if it did and i am repeating. there are 2 documents that will interest you:
1 - a baseline study of school WASH in Malawi (2008) by ministry of education - where the standards are stated explicitly.
2 - a comprehensive research of school toilets (2012) by Ministry of Education / UNICEF which i led. this research and proposals has been endorsed by the ministry, but uptake is quite slow. the report asks the sector to take a breather and evaluate the consequences of our support to schools.


I am also enjoying the posts.

regards

Joe
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Re: Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 11 Mar 2013 11:33 #3851

  • Doreen
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Dear Bobbie,

What we have in Kenya is a School Health Policy document drafted by the Kenyan Ministry of Education together with the Ministry of Health (MOH) aiming to provide a national framework for integration of health and education through school-based interventions. We do not have any specific technical standards for schools.

At the moment the ratio in Kenyan schools is one toilet for 25 girls, 1 toilet for 30 boys (WHO standards)

Please bear with me but I cannot find the document in the Ministry of Public Health website. I will ask my colleagues and post the document here once I find it.

Best regards,

Doreen
Doreen Mbalo
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GIZ Water Sector Reform Programme
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Last Edit: 11 Mar 2013 11:34 by Doreen.
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Fwd: AW: question on school toilet standards in different countries 14 Mar 2013 10:38 #3894

  • CWendland
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Dear Bobbie,

many countries have even stricter regulations for numbers than the WHO but if you look at type of toilets implemented without privacy, doors.. it might be a disaster for pupils to go there even if the number is ok. It is better to have a smaller number of toilets per pupil but a higher quality. I agree with Joe?s comments and like to refer again to the recommenations and table 1 in our brochure: www.wecf.eu/download/2009/wecf_school_sanitation_english.pdf

Claudia
WECF - Water and Sanitation Specialist
Last Edit: 14 Mar 2013 09:50 by muench.
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Re: Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 14 Mar 2013 16:54 #3899

  • inajurga
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Dear Bobbie

did you have already a look at the following website www.washinschoolsmapping.com/

it has a good compilation of policies and standards for a range of countries (yet only if they exist)
Head of WASH in Schools
WASH United
www.wash-united.org
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Re: Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 15 Mar 2013 16:02 #3906

  • christian.rieck
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Dear Bobby,

I had compiled sometime ago some data on ratios concerning school toilets and ratios. Maybe it is useful to you.

Best regards,
Christian
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Reply:​​ Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 16 Mar 2013 23:15 #3914

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Dear Christian: I don't understand what the urinals for girls consist of. Can you explain, please?
Joyce

Joyce M Lockard,
Beaverton Rotary Club in Oregon,
Rotary D5100
Last Edit: 17 Mar 2013 19:35 by JoyceLockard. Reason: change signature

Re: Reply:​​ Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 20 Mar 2013 06:52 #3942

  • josephdegabriele
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Hi. I have been interested in school urinals for some years now as i think they are the cheapest, easiest way of getting kids to use clean toilets - and lets face it how many kids urinate at school compared to defecate? . i have attached a document with pictures for boys, girls, and even special urinals for older girls where they can also manage their menstrual hygiene. I would appreciate feedback. Joe

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Re: Reply:​​ Looking for standards for school toilets (recommended toilets:learners) 25 Mar 2013 12:44 #3992

  • Bobbie
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Thanks Joe, Doreen, Christian, Claudia and Inajurga for sharing very interesting materials and reports. They are very helpful!

Regards

Bobbie
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