, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 0609-0620

Excreta Disposal in Dar-es-Salaam

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The sociocultural and socioeconomic situation of sanitation in Dar-es-Salaam (Dsm), Tanzania, was studied with explicit emphasis on pit-latrines. Without considering the sociocultural conditions, the so-called best solution might not be the right one. Therefore, in order to achieve the intended goal, a literature review, a questionnaire survey, and personal visits to the chosen study areas were done. In total, 207 household questionnaires were filled in 16 areas of the city. Interviewers did house-to-house visits and questionnaires were filled out on the spot. Results indicated that the city population is about 3.8 million at present, with over 80% of the dwellers using pit-latrines; some 3% use septic tanks with soakage pits, about 6% are connected to the sewerage system, and 1% have no excreta disposal facility. Difficulties faced include dismal budget allocations, fragmentation of sanitation activities among subsectors, lack of or poor sanitation record keeping, unsatisfactory machinery for septic tank and pit-latrine emptying, lack of a clear policy on pit-latrine handling and, in competition for resources, low priority is accorded to an excreta disposal system among the people. City residents will continue to use the pit-latrines for a long time to come. Reusing the fecal sludge is not known by most city dwellers and is influenced by sociocultural habits. To prevent groundwater pollution and to recover useful products in human excreta and urine, ecological sanitation toilets and anaerobic digesters offer a good option.