Although classified by the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) as unimproved sanitation facilities, public toilets still play a critical role in eliminating open defecation in informal settlements. We explored perspectives of toilet operators on opportunities and barriers to operation and maintenance (O&M) of public toilets in informal settlements. A cross-sectional study design was used. Up to 20 in-depth interviews were used to obtain data on the experiences of public toilet operators. Thematic content analysis was used. Ressults show that opportunities for improving O&M include; operation of public toilets is a source of livelihood; operators are knowledgeable on occupational risks, and the community is involvedin sanitation activities. Barriers to effective O&M include; high operation costs, failure to break even and a lack of investments in occupational health Therefore, there is need to recognise the significance of public toilets as a viable alternative to open defecation in areas where ownership of private sanitation facilities is difficult. Failure to observe the health and safety of toilet operators may further compromise O&M.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Health Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
- occupational hazards