Affordable toilets for poor households in Lampung


A key learning from our experience working on WASH programmes in more than 22 countries is the need to generate demand for sanitation and develop sustainable supply of appropriate sanitation products and service delivery.

In November 2014, Megan Ritchie, Managing Director of SNV’s global WASH sector, visited Kalianda, one of the project locations in Lampung where SNV is implementing urban and rural WASH programmes.

Megan met with the Assistant of the District Authority, Mr. Erlan Murdiantonokey, and members of the Sanitation Committee from different ministry offices including health, education, community empowerment, public works and cleaning offices. She explained to the Committee: “One of the key results of the Urban Sanitation programme is the development of sanitation businesses that promote affordable sanitation facilities and services".

During the Kalianda meeting, Megan emphasised the main WASH challenges in rural areas: “One of the key elements to tackling open defecation is providing affordable sanitation facilities. SNV Indonesia and the local government will involve local community and sanitation entrepreneurs to find solutions for toilet options that are affordable to poor households.”

One of the main obstacles for households in rural communities to access proper sanitation facilities is the high cost of building toilets. While rural people insist that a toilet should have concrete wall and ceramic flooring, according to a recent SNV baseline survey, it is difficult for rural communities to afford such toilets because more than one-third of the population is considered extremely poor. “SNV Indonesia will also facilitate linking sanitation entrepreneurs to access to micro credit from local finance institutions,” Megan said.

During her time in Indonesia, Megan also visited a Rural WASH site in Lampung: the Banyumas village in the Candipuro sub-district. She attended one of the ongoing activities of SNV’s Rural Sanitation programme, a meeting on the community’s mobilisation to become open defecation free (ODF) by the first quarter of 2015. The Banyumas village is slated to be the first ODF village in the first quarter of 2015.

The focus of WASH programmes in this rural sub-district is user interface (with sanitation), the first segment of sanitation value chain. In Candipuro, almost 70% of the population have a very low standard of sanitation, using pit latrines and hanging toilets (toilet above a fish pond).