Peri-Urban Community Socio-Cultural Preferences for, and Experts’ Views on, Sanitation Options: A Case Study of the Kotoko Community in Suame (Kumasi), Ghana

Roland. S. Kabange, Andrews Nkansah


Sanitation affects all aspects of human development due to its cross-cutting nature.  Sanitation improvement has health and non-health externalities.  Drivers that motivate sanitation improvement, ownership, and usage are governed largely by non-health externalities – improved privacy, convenience, time-saving, social status, prestige, safety for women and children, cleanliness, odour, fly reduction and modernity.  Community perceptions and experts’ views on sanitation options are critical for choice selection and use.  This research seeks to explore and evaluate views and preferences of experts and users to inform sustainable and acceptable sanitation for a low-income high-density predominantly Muslim multi-ethnic peri-urban Kotoko community in Kumasi, Ghana.  Respondents were distributed in proportion to each household size using an equation developed for representativeness.  Out of 2,200 inhabitants, 133 respondents (6% of the population) were interviewed.  The study revealed that the community’s sanitation preferences were inclined towards modern sanitation options – 75% preferred flush as against 76% for water seal.  Contrary to some opinions that the direction in which one faces during defecation does not matter, this research revealed that 41% (55) of respondents preferred positioning in the North-South direction, and most preferred sitting (47%) to squatting (34%) during defecation.  Experts’ analysis of five sanitation options emphasized non-technical, health and environmental factors over technical features although the trend varies across individual sanitation options.  Experts identified with socio-cultural, health and environment factors as most important.  The findings can thus be used by local authorities to gradually address the complexities of peri-urban sanitation challenges.

Keywords: preferences, peri-urban, socio-cultural, sanitation, experts, Ghana

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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