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

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  • anhpham
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Re: Survey about squatting toilets and urinals in Buddhist and Muslim countries - Vietnam

Hello,

By receiving your post of the survey on squatting toilets in Vietnam, I have some comments as following :

• Percentage of squatting toilets in private homes : the percentage should go as large as 70% . It is widely seen almost in rural or even sub-urban areas in the country. Even in newly built houses in sub-urban areas, they still prefer this type of toilets. I have no idea why but it seems that for the first reason, they have been getting used to this type of toilet. The second reason may be that the modern type of toilet is far from affordable of most households. In big cities, the percentage should be as small as 5 to 10%, which is mainly the result from the past.

• Percentage of squatting toilets in public buildings: In newly built shopping malls the percentage should be 0%. But in public buildings like schools squatting toilets are still chosen. I come from Hanoi, capital city, but as far as I remember, my primary school, secondary school and even high school still have this type of toilet when I was enrolled. ( I am 25 now) So I suppose that the percentage in schools in other areas of the country, the percentage should be very high. (99% of schools are public)

• Any changes you are observing in this pattern over time: Last time I saw this was 2 years ago when I visited relatives in the countryside. In Hanoi, all of my friends and acquaintances no longer use this type of 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) As far as I observe, if modern toilet is in use, it is always accompanied with small water - pipe for anal cleansing. Anal cleansing with water is more preferred.

• Any other comments:
Goodluck!

Best,
Anh
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Survey about squatting toilets and urinals in Buddhist and Muslim countries - Vietnam

Dear Anh,

Thanks a lot for your reply (and also thanks to all the other replies from the others):

Just for the record (as we were correlating squatting and anal washing with water to the Muslim faith) - according to Wikipedia, the religious groupings in Vietnam are:

"According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, in 2010 about 45.3% of the Vietnamese adhere to indigenous religions, 16.4% to Buddhism, 8.2% to Christianity, 0.4% to other faiths, and 29.6% of the population isn't religious." (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam#Religion)

Meaning no, or very few, Muslims in Vietnam but squatting and anal washing with water nevertheless the norm.

I find it interesting that you (and others) automatically refer to the sitting flush toilet as "more modern" than the squatting flush toilet. Some of the people who responded even made it sound like squatting toilets are equated to dry toilets (which they are not).
Is a ceramic sitting flush toilet considerably more expensive than a ceramic squatting flush toilet? I guess it might be as more ceramic material is needed for the former. Has anyone ever compared the costs and has them at his or her fingertips for sharing? Perhaps a squatting bowl is also more vandal proof than a sitting toilet (important aspect for schools and public places).

But overall the (slow) trend seems to be quite clear in all countries towards sitting (flush) toilets, away from squatting (flush) toilets.*

Can you also please say something about the use of urinals (for males) in your country? See here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/172-ur...-like-to-use-urinals

Regards,
Elisabeth

* By the way, if anyone is interested in the alleged health benefits of sitting versus squatting: I recently had a conversation with someone on Wikipedia about that. The person removed the sentences that were in the article about health benefits (less constipation for example) because he/she said that the medical evidence is not really there yet. If you are interested in this topic, please see here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Defecation_po...rding_health_aspects
and here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Squat_toilet#..._claims_on_wikipedia
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • jobow2015
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Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Dear Elizabeth,
My country somalia is entirely muslim country and its population are catagorised as rural pastrol,agro-pastrol,Urban and with this 98% use squatting toilets while 2% practice OD common in rural communities.Water is the only item used for anal cleansing and it is dictated by the islamic religion,although in rural areas where water is scarce the twigs/stones is an alternative for anal cleansing.
In urban areas mostly are moving squatting to sitting/modernazed type but it be long time for this type to be used in rural since it uses water to flash shit into the drainage.
the squatting toilet in public building is 100% because bathroom is not seperated from squatting toilets and no water installed but 5L or 3L jerican will be used for both purpose.
for more information contact me on.jobow99@hotmail.com/moha.abdi04(skype)
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  • boorso
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Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Dear Elizabeth.

In my entire country of Somalia, 100% percent are Muslims 98% of the entire population use squatting position. Thus we use water to wash anal and private parts of the body, that's being cleanliness is next to Godliness. Squatting position help the body to release faster the waste products from the body.

The remaining 2 percent of the population use sitting position, these are the elderly, sick persons and overweight people. since we believe the article of our holly Koran says that the cleanliness is the half of your faith.

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

Dear all,

Thanks for your continued contributions in this thread. Please keep them coming; my assistant Milli is already compiling all the contributions into a table (and from there we will prepare something for the Wikipedia article on squat toilets ), so please continue to post - particularly if your post is from a country that we haven't heard from yet.

I just want to add a note to something that Carol said:

or the separately plumbed bidet used in Europe


I think more correctly would be to say "bidets which used to be used in Europe" (?). From my experience of living in Germany and occasionally travelling in Europe: bidets seem to be a thing of the past. In Germany you only see them occasionally in bathrooms from the 1960s or 1970s that haven't been renovated yet.

I have never really been able to get my head around why anyone would use a bidet in the first place. Was it perhaps a way of saving water during the days when people were not yet taking a shower daily? I.e. to wash the bum and genitals but not the rest of the body? (actually Wikipedia explains the functions quite well here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet#Function)

Wikipedia has this to say about bidets:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet

E.g.:

Geographical occurrence [edit source | edit]
Bidets are common bathroom fixtures in many southern European countries, especially Italy, where they are found in 97% of households (the installation of a bidet in a bathroom is mandatory from 1975[6]), Spain, and Portugal, where bidets are in the majority of flats.[citation needed] Additionally, they are rather widespread, although not standard, in France, and are often found in Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Malta, and Greece.

Bidets can be found in some countries in the Americas, especially in South America, and are a standard feature of homes in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. They are common in Arabic countries[citation needed] in the Middle East, such as Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and in the Maghreb, especially Egypt and Morocco. Much of East Asia, particularly Japan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea, use bidets as well.

However, in some Muslim countries and in South-East Asia, bidets are less likely to be separate fixtures, as they are in Europe, but often are a small hose with a nozzle, similar to a sink sprayer, called a health faucet. The sprayer-type bidets are sold to Muslims as "shataf, or shattaf" which permit the user to comply with Islamic laws about using the toilet and the cultural preference of using water instead of paper.


Is that really true about Italy?? I haven't travelled there extensively but on my few trips, I hadn't noticed a bidet in every bathroom.

For anyone who doesn't know what a bidet looks like, see here:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet#/media/File:Bidet_weiss.jpg


= the equivalent of anal washing with water for non Muslims?

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
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  • DarrylOnTheMove
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Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

From my experience in many years in South Asia and South East Asia, flexible hose with trigger gun is the most common way for water anal cleansing in most countries - very easy to retrofit, but leaking taps etc do result in wet (and middy floors). Unlike squatting toilets, the floors in pedestal toilets are harder to clean when wet (in squatting toilets, one can simple wash water down into the (depressed) bowl)
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  • Carol McCreary
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Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Hi, Yanti,

Thank you for posting the photo of the toilet with the flexible hose for cleansing. It's a great solution and I hope to adapt it to my toilet in the USA. The flexible hose is a cost effective alternative to much more complex options such as the automatic toilet seats from Japan or the separately plumbed bidet used in Europe.
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.

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

Dear Elisabeth,

Thank you very much for given us this opportunity. i will tell you in PAKISTAN being muslim country anal cleansing is always with water even non muslims who are part of the country are using water considering the importance of health and hgiene.


Percentage of squatting toilets in private homes 100%. each and every house has squatting toilets in pakistan. yes 20% have also installed the western commode system as well.
Percentage of squatting toilets in public buildings. 100%. if there is a washroom in public building there would be squatting toilet in it. yes few of them do have other western style and that can be counted as 5%.

change pattern: Yes now things are going to be more modernized in metro cities and family prefer western style over squatting ones. Also the western style toilets are highly appreciated by elderly people.

urinating in open area is very common in PAKISTAN but that is only limited to MALE/MEN. Women/Female does not go to open area. in some rural area where there is no washroom facility in house women also go in the open area but that is only in night time not in day light.

If you need to discussed is more you can contact me on my email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Best regards,

Syed Mohammad Uzair Shah
Syed Mohammad Uzair Shah

Chief Executive
Social Transformation And Rehabilitation Organization
STARO
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0092 321 910 0012
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  • dusingize
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Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Hi All,
I can see that pedestal toilets are common in Wealth countries where they have reliable water supply system and flushing toilets are commonly used. Squatting toilets are commonly used in low income countries where pit latrines, VIP latrines and poor flush toilets are commonly used.

I can see that in low income countries they prefer squatting toilets because they are easy to maintain hygienic conditions and require little water to maintain and clean them. Eco-toilets can be a solution for countries where there is no reliable water supply services. But, the users must be trained to ensure that they clean and maintain the Eco-toilets properly.

Eco-toilets can be either pedestal or squatting and require little water for cleaning and anal cleansing for the communities used to use water.

However, Eco-toilets can be worse if they are not well maintained. That is why people tend to use fixed open defecation toilets (pit latrines) because they require less maintenance comparing to others.

Eugene D.
Rwanda

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

Hi,

Based on my experience in Indonesia, squatting toilet is more common than "the sitting" one. In rural areas, almost all are using squatting toilet. In urban areas, i think more households are using squatting toilet (particularly among medium and low income households). More people in big cities are now prefer to have sitting toilet in their new house. In public places such as government offices and star hotels are provided with "the sitting" toilet. commonly the sitting toilets (especially the one in government office or public places) are also provided with water tap with flexible pipe to assist in self cleansing. In star hotel they install sitting toilet with water spray for self cleansing inside the sitting toilet.

The usage and hygiene of the toilet always become a problem (in public places) since people some times squat on the sitting toilet instead of sitting on it and they use water for cleansing after use the toilet. So the dirt and sand from shoes is left all over the place in the toilet room.You will hardly find tissues in toilet of public places (school, universities, station, shopping center) and government office unless you go to hotels or high-rise office building.

Perhaps nothing new about this, unfortunately, i have never done any survey to compare the squat and "the sitting" toilet in my country.

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

In Pakistan,in urban areas there are 80% of squatting toilets in private homes and are 70% of squatting toilets in public buildings. In rural areas,overall there are 5% of squatting toilets both in in private homes and public buildings.
There is increase in percentage of the users of toilets over time.
Most common is anal cleansing with water but hand washing with soap is minimal.

Any other comments: Nil

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

Dear Elisabeth,

Here are some observations from Pakistan in general and some things I have learned during my research there.
I agree with most of the stats provided by Mr. Mughal, but I would like to add that the trend in cities is rapidly changing and most well off people that live in cities (especially larger cities)already use or are changing to the sitting type of toilet.
In rural areas it is quite different. People are not generally willing to use the sitting toilets at all. This in some ways is linked to anal cleansing, but there are also other reasons. people find it much easier to wash in the squatting position, so there is a direct correlation with anal cleanings and squatting toilets (but then again anal cleansing is practiced 100% regardless of the type of toilet).
I think a far more important reason is that people consider the sitting toilet to be unclean and unhygienic, due to the fact that parts of the body come directly in contact with the seat and other parts of the toilet, whereas in the squatting type of toilet there is no contact of any part of the body with the toilet itself (people wear slippers while using the toilet or the bathroom in general, therefore there is no contact with the body whatsoever). In rural households when there is a toilet present in the house, it is shared by the whole household, which may consist of up to 10-15 people, therefore sharing a sitting toilet in these conditions is totally undesirable. People perhaps would be more open to sitting toilets if they were the sole users of such toilets.
Even in WASH projects specially designed for Persons With Disabilities (PWD's) mostly the squatting toilets were provided on demand from the users. This is so that the rest of the household could also benefit from the toilet as well (which shows that they wouldn't use it if it was of the sitting type). When squatting toilets were provided to PWD's, a special modification (a wooden frame to be placed over the squatting toilet, which enables the person with disability to sit over the squatting toilet) was made by some users. In another WASH project for PWD's both types of toilets were given to the households with PWD's, so that it would be used by all the members of the households. Some respondents in the these areas said they would be happy to have both types of toilets for the PWD's, but if they had to chose one they would definitely choose the squatting type of toilet.

I hope this will be helpful

Regards

Adeel
PhD candidate
Institute for Technology Assessment and System Analysis (ITAS)
Karlsruhe Instittue of Technology
Germany

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