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TOPIC: Costs of sanitation facilities

Costs of sanitation facilities 17 Apr 2014 18:58 #8259

  • EstherGlotzbach
  • I am currently working on a sanitation competition called "What to do with poo?" This challenge is part of a larger programme called the Nakuru County Sanitation Programme, which aims to put a sanitation value chain in place in Nakuru County, Kenya.
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I'm trying to find out the average costs of building different sanitation facilities in (peri) urban low income areas such as VIPs, simple latrines, simple latrines with 2 pits, pour flush etc.
I know the costs differ per continent, region and even country.. but I was wondering whether anyone knows where perhaps this information may be available? (I am most interested in costs in African countries)

Thank you!
Esther Umutoni Glotzbach
ESA WASH and Local Organizer
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Re: Costs of sanitation facilities 18 Apr 2014 09:58 #8261

  • ben
  • Water and sanitation engineer
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Dear Esther,

This exercice is unfortunatly impossible to generalise per continent.
Just for example, when latrines are made out of concrete, the cement part of the systems can reach up to 60% of the final infrastructure price. A cement bag is 4.5$ in Cambodia, 12$ in Cameroon ...
Good luck in your research but don't expect anything theoretical to be precise, only fact sheets and experiences will be able to answer your question.


Last Edit: 18 Apr 2014 21:48 by muench.

Re: Costs of sanitation facilities 18 Apr 2014 22:09 #8267

  • muench
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer)
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Dear Esther,
(I moved your post into this category on costs because I think it fits better here)

I agree with what Ben said that costs are very context specific.
My first question back to you would be: for what purpose do you want to know these costs? In which country, which setting (urban/rural) and so forth?
What degree of accuracy is required?

If you want it really accurate then you should work from a concept design and bill of quantity (BoQ) - you find some examples of BoQs in the SuSanA library, e.g. by putting boq in the search field: www.susana.org/library?search=boq

If you don't want such a high level of accuracy, have you tried the WASHCost Calculator from IRC? Although this might be confusing because it spits out the whole of life costs, not the capital cost (if I understood correctly). Find it here in the forum:

And also recently this new tool that came out of the CLARA project was advertised. It was called simplified planning tool but on second sight it is also a cost estimating tool. It includes Kenya as an example country. Have you tried it? (does it include the various systems that you are interested in or more the treatment systems?)

(Ah, I just checked, the CLARA costing tool for Kenya does include UDDTs but not simple pit latrines and VIPs, as far as I can see. So maybe also not useful for you?)

Oh and then there is also this financial toolkit from Asian Development Bank, but again, I don't think it includes VIPs and simple latrines - although it does include faecal sludge management:

Please let us know more about why you asked and which resources on the internet you have already found and used and with what result?
You are based in Kenya, right?

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
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Website: www.ostella.de
Member of SuSanA (www.susana.org)
Last Edit: 18 Apr 2014 22:11 by muench.
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