Riverine populations that dwell in flooded forests (várzea) require suitable solutions for sanitation. An experimental project was started in 1998, using double-vault toilets in seasonally flooded houses in the Brazilian Amazon. The objective was to improve the health of inhabitants using adequate sanitation technology and health education. The focus of the present study was the assessment of that intervention. We compiled information from reports, local assessments, and interviews with users. In 2012, 14 years after the beginning of the project, 44% of the double-vault toilets were still in use. The main benefits noticed were awareness of the importance of toilets for reducing outdoor human waste and providing comfort, privacy, and safety for families. The sanitation project succeeded in reducing open defecation and raised the interest and demand for toilets. However, there is still a need for improving the construction of toilets and to better adapt them to flooded environments. We also include suggestions for improving the toilets and their use in flooded areas.
Sustainability of a sanitation program in flooded areas of the Brazilian Amazon
Maria Cecilia Rosinski Lima Gomes, Edila Arnaud Ferreira Moura, João Paulo Borges Pedro, Maria Mercês Bezerra, Otacílio Soares Brito; Sustainability of a sanitation program in flooded areas of the Brazilian Amazon. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 1 June 2015; 5 (2): 261–270. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/washdev.2015.123
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