A new paper on arborloo adoption and use in Ethiopia - Adoption and sustained use of the arborloo in rural Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study


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A new paper on arborloo adoption and use in Ethiopia - Adoption and sustained use of the arborloo in rural Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study

We conducted a study with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Ethiopia on the adoption and sustained use of arboloos in Ethiopia that may be of interest to other practitioners:

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Matthew Freeman, MPH PhD
Assistant Professor of Environmental Health
Emory University
Skype: matt.c.freeman


Note by moderator:
This is an open access paper (yay!!), so you can read it here free of charge:

See it here with the "IWAP Open" logo: www.iwaponline.com/washdev/005/washdev0050412.htm

This means I could also copy the entire paper here, but I will only put the title and abstract:

Adoption and sustained use of the arborloo in rural Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study

Dionna Fry, Dejene Mideksa, Argaw Ambelu, Yeshewahareg Feyisa, Bekele Abaire, Katherine Cunliffe and Matthew C. Freeman

Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA, USA E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Catholic Relief Services Ethiopia, PO Box 6592, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Technology, College of Public Health and Medical Sciences, Jimma University, PO Box 807, Jimma, Ethiopia
Catholic Relief Services, 228 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA


In rural Ethiopia, only 19% of the population has access to improved sanitation, which has no doubt contributed to high levels of diarrhea, trachoma, and helminth infection. Low-cost sanitation options are needed in Ethiopia, but few studies have assessed their effectiveness and sustainability. The composting arborloo is one such option. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has promoted the arborloo since 2004. Eighty thousand Ethiopian households have constructed arborloos with their assistance. We assessed the arborloo's adoption and sustainability in 20 communities that received arborloo promotion. We surveyed 690 households and conducted 24 key informant and 33 in-depth interviews.

Over two-thirds [462 (67.0%)] of surveyed households constructed an arborloo; 352 (76.2%) sustained use and 65 (14.1%) moved to a more permanent latrine. There is a clear role for the arborloo in rural Ethiopia to increase the rate of sanitation adoption, sustainability, and movement up the sanitation ladder. We found no evidence that sustainability differed by arborloo age or socio-economic status. Sustainability was most strongly associated with use of the arborloo pit for planting and a cement slab. Slab subsidy discontinuation after 2012 may negatively impact sustainability. However, CRS sanitation marketing could increase slab access, maintain sustainability rates, and decrease reliance on programing for sanitation solutions.

Keywords: adoption; arborloo; ecological sanitation; Ethiopia; latrine; sustainability

It would be good to add content from this article also to the Wikipedia article on Arborloos which is so far still very short:

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