Challenges for Ecological Sanitation Systems in Urban Areas: The Case of Victoria Ranch Residential Area, City of Masvingo

Tsitsi Musingafi, Maxwell C.C. Musingafi, Kwaedza E Kaseke


This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the ecological sanitation toilets in Victoria Ranch high density suburb in the city of Masvingo. The research was done so as to understand the challenges faced by residents in the adoption of ecological sanitation toilet systems in urban high density areas. The specific objectives of the study were to determine respondents’ understanding of the link between sanitation, hygiene and health; investigate the characteristics of ecological sanitation toilet systems in Victoria Ranch residential area; identify the challenges of adopting ecological sanitation toilet systems in Victoria Ranch; and examine the appropriateness of ecological sanitation toilet systems in Victoria Ranch residential area. Sixty of the five hundred residents of Victoria Ranch were sampled as questionnaire respondents. Five of the sixty respondents were further sampled for follow-up interviews. Case study and descriptive survey were used as the main research methods. The study established that residents of Victoria Ranch were aware that poor sanitation and poor hygiene lead to poor health and diseases. Nonetheless, this was not put into practice. There were faeces and urine smell in open spaces and the surrounding bushes. The toilets were dirty and there was no water and soap in the toilet to wash hands after use. Culture was found to be a major hurdle in the adoption of ecological sanitation toilets in the Victoria Ranch residential area. At household level, investment costs of an ecological sanitation toilet were found to be higher than those of a flush toilet room. The study recommends intensive awareness campaigns and advocacy to remove negative attitudes towards ecological sanitation toilets; training in ecological sanitation toilets operation; regular reviews and check-ups by authorities; and further studies in other big cities like Harare.

Keywords: ecological sanitation, toilets, challenges, Victoria Ranch, Masvingo, hygiene, health, residents.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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