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

  • 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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  • muench
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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

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

Dear all,

Thanks a lot for helping us with compiling data about the use of squatting toilets in different countries. I work as an assistant for Elisabeth von Muench and have compiled the data from all the forum posts that were made so far in this thread.

The results are summarized in the report which I attached below.
Since Elisabeth and I wanted the data to be more easily comparable from one country to another, we chose to put the proportions of persons using squatting toilets in the broad categories “low”, “middle” and “high” like this:
  • Low 0 – 20%
  • Middle 20 – 80%
  • High 80 – 100%
For this, we converted what you had said into one of these categories.

As a reminder, the survey was about squatting toilets - be they with or without water flushing. This photo is an example of a flush squatting toilet in an office building in Syria:*

Typical toilet in urban Syria: flush toilet squatting pan by SuSanA Secretariat , on Flickr

Some interesting points that the survey revealed:
  • Prevalence of squatting toilets in rural areas is generally higher than in urban areas.
  • The differentiation between “public” and “private” is not sufficient since socio-economic aspects play an important role (public toilets in schools might be for squatting while toilets in “high class” hotels, also counted as public, tend to be for sitting). Remarkable is therefore not only the criteria of urban/rural but also the criteria of class differences.
  • In predominantly Muslim countries where anal cleansing with water is the norm, all toilet types are provided with anal cleansing devices. Anal cleansing with water and squatting toilets are however not necessarily connected, as the example of the United Arab Emirates show (more sitting toilets than squatting toilets but anal cleansing with water).
  • From a cultural perspective it is interesting that sitting toilets are perceived as a sign of progress and that therefore there is often a trend towards more sitting toilets.
Please have a look at the report attached below in Word and in pdf format, not only to see more results but also to check if your observations are represented correctly. Otherwise don’t hesitate to send us any necessary corrections, or additional comments and explanations by answering this forum post or by sending an e-mail to me or better to:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (this e-mail address will get your reply onto the forum)

As mentioned before, the survey is going to be used to improve the Wikipedia article on squatting toilets ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squat_toilet ). We might also draw on it to improve the article on anal cleansing ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal_cleansing )

And you never know, it might form the basis to inspire other researchers to look into these country differences for squatting toilets and anal cleansing with water (and urinals) further.
The thread about urinals in Muslim countries is here, by the way: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/172-ur...-like-to-use-urinals - but it hasn’t attracted so many responses yet, so we have not analysed this information yet.

Thanks again for your support and we look forward to hearing back from you all.

If you didn't take part in the survey but still want to contribute information for your country (be it a country that we already heard from or a new country), don't hesitate to include the information as a reply in this thread. The report is only in draft format so far and we can still include additional information in the final version.


Best regards,

Milli and Elisabeth

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* Some people in the survey seemed to think that flushing toilet means automatically a sitting toilet; and squatting toilet means automatically non-flushing toilet; however, that's not the case. A squatting toilet can be with or without flushing; also a sitting toilet can be with or without flushing.

Danijela Milosevic
M.Sc. Environmental and Resource Management
Gießen, Germany

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  • DarrylOnTheMove
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Re: Report on prevalence of squatting toilets

Thanks for the report.

I gave some comments to this post but some of these seem to have been lost in the report. Reading the report makes it appear that only Muslim cultures tend to use water for anal washing as a norm. However, in my experience, predominately Hindu cultures are also predominately use water for anal washing. This is certainly the case in Nepal and India where squatting toilets are the norm in rural areas and in private spaces in urban areas. --

Darryl

*Darryl Jackson*

*Nepal*
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Re: Report on prevalence of squatting toilets

Dear Darryl,

thank you for your notes. We changed the conclusions in the report as follows:

  • In general, countries where anal cleansing with water is common (e.g. Muslim or Hindu cultures), prevalence of squatting toilets is high or medium. Also, all toilet types (sitting and squatting) in those countries are normally provided with some form of anal cleansing devices with water (such as a bidet shower), or at least a provision for anal cleansing with water (people taking their own jug of water into the toilet cubicle with them).

Do you think this applies better to regions in Asia?

Could you or someone else please clarify the point about anal cleansing devices? I understand that in “upmarket” settings there would usually be a “bidet shower” (also called “health faucet” according to Wikipedia): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet_shower




However, this only works when there is piped water under some pressure. How about simple pour flush toilets? I guess there a bidet shower is not possible and people take their own jug of water into the toilet cubicle – is my assumption right?

Best regards,
milli

Danijela Milosevic
M.Sc. Environmental and Resource Management
Gießen, Germany
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  • bones
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Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Sorry, this almost seems after the fact, but I hope it's useful anyway (also it's a little long).

China
I have lived primarily in the North East, and travelled to the North West.
As stated above, in the big (you could read modern) cities sit down toilets are prevalent in both public and private situations.

The trend is away from using squat toilets, certainly in residential situations. However in some new public facilities they both sit down and squat toilets have been installed.

However, this is likely not the situation in most cities. For examples, in the foreign student accommodation in a large university we used squat toilets. Newer residences in most cities would have sit down toilets – as is likely the case in rural settings also, but the prevalence of new buildings in rural areas is a lot less. I would have to say that for a %, you need to look at the demographics – if most people in China are still considered to live in rural communities, then it is possible that squat toilets are more prevalent then sit down, in private homes.

I would say that the prevalence of squat toilets is significantly higher in public facilities. In my experience (not living in a ‘big’ city), most public facilities would have squat toilets.

As far as I am aware, I have never encountered facilities using anal cleansing water (however, toilet paper isn’t usually provided in public facilities, so …) This includes in the north west, which is significantly Muslim in population (Note: I have more limited experience in this part of the country).

Hong Kong
Trend would be away from squat toilets, there are primarily sit down toilets in both private and public settings. I have come across squat toilets in public situations occasionally, and expect their would also be squat toilets in village housing. Haven’t encountered anal cleansing water. Not really sure if rural exists in Hong Kong, but certainly expect that the prevalence of squat toilets would be higher in smaller villages, than in bigger towns – but this possibly reflects the age of the facilities as much as anything.

South Korea
The trend is certainly toward sit down toilets, my main experience is living in rural communities, in private homes I expect the prevalence of sit down toilets to be more than 90%. Public facilities is likely similar. I’m not sure if I have ever encountered a squat loo in South Korea. You do find fancy electronic toilets like in Japan, so there may be a move toward using anal cleansing water.

North Korea
There is probably a trend away from squat toilets – however this probably also doesn’t affect most of the population.
Certainly the majority of private and public facilities would be squat toilets in both rural and urban situations. Sit down toilets would be mainly found in areas focussed on foreign visitor’s (tourist places), and for the small group of wealthy upper class.
Again I would say that anal cleansing water is not prevalent.

New Zealand (my home country)
No squat toilets, no anal cleansing. (I guess maybe in some back country farm you might find an outhouse!)


Could probably get some info on Mongolia as well if that would be of use?

Regards

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

Dear all!

Thanks again for your support.
And Nigel, I included your information as well! Thanks.

We used our small survey to improve the wikipedia article on squat toilets which looks like this now:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squat_toilet#Cultu...references_by_region

Please have a look and feel free to change and improve the text. We still need more reputable sources to confirm the statements. Our survey report strictly speaking does not qualify as a highly reputable source, but we had to use it in the absence of other suitable sources. As the information provided does not relate to health topics but only to cultural preferences, we think it should be acceptabe in this case; see also the talk page for more information about this issue of high quality references: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Squat_toilet#Regional_preferences .

Anyway, the page looks better now than it did before :)

Regards,
milli and Elisabeth

Danijela Milosevic
M.Sc. Environmental and Resource Management
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  • BPopov
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Re: Please help me with a global survey: how common are squatting toilets in your country?

Hello everyone!

I am working now on another public dry toilet project now in Ukraine and put the squat vs sitting question on the vote in FB group for those who are involved with this toilet. It is interesting that I get votes only for the squatting type at the moment. Means it is still OK for the Ukrainian culture.

Best,
Bogdan

Bogdan Popov
The Ecosolutions Forge
www.ecoforge.org
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