Improving sanitation in the Niger Delta
Gilbert, Nancy E.
Little progress has been made in addressing sanitation, water and hygiene in the Niger Delta, and currently an estimated 50 million people still practice open defecation in Nigeria. Using the exploratory case study method, and quantitative and qualitative enquiry, the author examined current sanitation practices, efforts made to improve sanitation, the extent to which those efforts have succeeded and what else is needed to improve sanitation sustainably. The results show the immediate need for development of low-cost, durable, and appropriate sanitation technology options, as none currently exist. Once these are developed, keeping in mind consumer needs and wants, high water table and rainfall, shortage of land, and access issues, a more robust supply chain should be developed. In addition, to date the only formal behaviour change framework tried in the region is CLTS with limited results, possibly due to the proximity to water, which other studies suggest impacts the effectiveness of CLTS. Other frameworks such as the RANAS model (in particular adaptations of the accompanying questionnaires), IBM-WASH and Nudge Theory should be tested. Other recommendations include improved government services, access to capacity building and learning about technology options, and opportunities to encourage knowledge-into-practice.