PROJECT TOPIC: IMPACT OF PUBLIC PIT TOILET SYSTEM AND ITS ASSOCIATED PROBLEMS
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- Department: Urban regional planning
- Study Level: Undergraduate
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Access to public toilets in now an inalienable right. Sanitation has continued to occupy the forefront in global effort towards sustainable development. This study aimed at assessing the users’ perception of the quality of toilet facilities in Udi LGA of Enugu State. The objectives are to assess the availability of water and hand washing materials in the toilets, observe the hygiene condition of the toilet surroundings and evaluate the level of satisfaction of the toilets users with toilet facilities in the study area. The study adopted the convenience sampling technique to sample 130 users. Analysis was conducted with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), and the data are presented with the aid of frequency tables, graphs and charts. This study unveiled that public toilet facilities have not been effective in the delivery of sanitation services to the users in Udi LGA of Enugu State. Although the privacy of users is guaranteed in the public toilets, they expressed strong dissatisfaction with these facilities as a result of dirtiness, bad odour nuisance from flies and poor maintenance of the facilities. Proximity and lack of alternative are the main reasons for using these toilets. The users express the willingness, readiness and ability to pay an average of N40 to use improved toilets in the study area. Therefore, involvement of the private sector in the provision of toilet facilities and further in-depth study on the health impacts of using public toilets in the study area is recommended.
1.1 Background to the study
Public Health is paramount to the growth and well-being of any society because only healthy people can be productive.
Sadly, Nigeria is a country that has been plagued with various disease epidemics over the decades. The reason for this is always due to a lack of basic hygiene which is linked with open defecation. Solving this challenge and protecting public health would save the country billions of dollars.
Public toilets should be seen as a core component of environmental design, adding to a city‘s quality and viability (Greed, 2004). Provision of public toilets is not only a matter of land use, but also an essential design and planning concern to make cities more accessible, inclusive, and convenient for all members of society. Public toilet provision often overlooks the needs (and even the existence) of women, children, disabled people, and the elderly. Ensuring public toilet provision is available to everyone can be considered essential to removing a serious barrier to wider participation in public life (Knight and Bichard, 2011). Moreover, evidence indicates that inclusively and well-designed neighbourhood outdoor spaces
positively contribute to people‘s health and quality of life (Aspinall et al, 2010). Therefore, in this study, it is argued that designing public toilets affects how people use land and participate in social life. Many people, such as the elderly and disabled, travel seldom, rarely go outside and avoid long journeys because of the lack of and/or inaccessible design of public toilets (Greed, 1996). Many older adults avoid travelling and social interaction because of the scarcity of public toilets or their inaccessibility. Furthermore, where public toilets are provided, poor design and signage can preclude independent use, particularly for people living with dementia. Urinary incontinence and faecal are common problems in older people and especially those with dementia, particularly at the moderate to severe stages (Andrea Tales et al, 2017).
The necessary of healthy living triggers the need of good toileting system. Consequently, the need for public toilet system is of necessity and of great importance for the society.
Interestingly, public toilet is a room or small building with toilets (or urinals) and sinks that does not belong to a particular household. Rather, the toilet is available for use by the general public, customers, travellers, employees of a business, school pupils, prisoners etc. Public toilets are commonly separated into male and female facilities, although some are unisex, especially for small or single-occupancy public toilets (Greed, 2004). Increasingly, public toilets are accessible to people with disabilities. Public toilets are known by many other names depending on the country. Examples are: restroom, bathroom, men's room, and women‘s room in the US, washroom in Canada, and toilets, lavatories, water closet (W.C.), ladies and gents in Europe.
Local authorities or commercial businesses may provide public toilet facilities. Some are unattended while others are staffed by an attendant. In many cultures, it is customary to tip the attendant, especially if they provide a specific service, such as might be the case at upscale nightclubs or restaurants.
According to Aspinall et al, 2010 public toilets are typically found in many different places: inner-city locations, offices, factories, schools, universities and other places of work and study. Similarly, museums, cinemas, bars, restaurants, entertainment venues usually provide public toilets. Railway stations, filling stations, and long distance public transport vehicles such as trains, ferries, and planes usually provide toilets for general use. Portable toilets are often available at large outdoor events. In many Asian, African, and countries heavily influenced by Muslim cultures, public toilets are of the squat type, as this is regarded as more hygienic for a shared facility.
Many public toilets are permanent small buildings visible to passers-by on the street. Others are underground, including older facilities in Britain and Canada. Contemporary street toilets include automatic, self-cleaning toilets in self-contained pods; an example is the Sanisette, which first became popular in France. An Indian version of these automated toilet pods, remotely monitored by sensors, are the Electronic Public Toilets or e-Toilets; they have proliferated across the country since 2014, as part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the campaign launched that year to end open defecation (Andrea et al, 2017).
Another traditional type that has been modernized is the screened French street urinal known as a pissoir (vespasienne). An updated cylindrical urinal that lowers beneath street level out of the way and pops up during hours when it is needed is the Urilift Pop Up Urinal. It is typically installed in entertainment districts and is operational only during weekends, evenings and nights. This urinal brand, invented in the Netherlands, also offers a pop-up toilet for women.
Private firms may maintain permanent public toilets. The companies are then permitted to use the external surfaces of the enclosures for advertising. The installations are part of a street furniture contract between the out-ofhome advertising company and the city government, and allow these public conveniences to be installed and maintained without requiring funds from the municipal budget.
Various portable toilet technologies are used as public toilets. Portables can be moved into place where and when needed and are popular at outdoor festivals and events. A portable toilet can either be connected to the local sewage system or store the waste in a holding tank until it is emptied by a vacuum truck. However, portable composting toilets require removal of the container to a composting facility.
The standard wheelchair-accessible public toilet features wider doors; ample space for turning, lowered sinks, and grabs bars for safety. Features above and beyond this standard are advocated by the Changing Places campaign. Features include a hoist for an adult, a full-sized changing bench, and space for up to two caregivers
(Aspinall et al, 2010).
Public toilets have frequently been completely inaccessible to certain people with disabilities.
As an "away-from-home" toilet room, a public toilet can provide far more than access to the toilet for urination and defecation. People also wash their hands, use the mirrors for grooming, get drinking water (e.g. refilling water bottles), attend to menstrual hygiene needs, and use the waste bins. Public toilets may also become places for harassment of others or illegal activities, particularly if principles of Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) are not applied in the design of the facility.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Public toilets are one of the most common human excreta disposal systems in countries and their use is on the rise as countries aim to meet the sanitation-related target of the Millennium Development Goals. There is concern however that the discharges of chemical and microbial contaminant from public toilets to underground water may negatively affect human health.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The goals of this study are:
1. To systematically review empirical studies of the impacts of public toilets on the residents of Udi Local Government
Area of Enugu State.
2. To evaluate public toilets standard.
3. To identify knowledge gaps regarding the potential for and the consequences of public toilets on citizens of Nigeria.
1.4 Research Question
1. What is the significant impact of public toilet on the residents of Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State?
2. What is the standard of public toilets in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State?
3. How much knowledge do Nigerians have on the potential and consequences of public toilets?
1.5 Scope of the study
1. This study is limited to Udi Local government area. Its focus is on the impact of public toilet and its associated problems.
4. We should appreciate the fact that standardized public toilet system is necessary as well as essential in the well-being of the citizens and growth of any community.
5. Therefore, for the purpose of clarity, simplicity and avoidance of ambiguity, this work will briefly elaborate the impact of public toilet system and its associated problems in Udi Local government area. However, this piece of work might not be a hundred percent (100%) exhaustive treatment of the associated problems but a considerable work has been done.
1.6 Significance of the study
The study aims to quantify the impact of public toilet on the residents of Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State. However, interpret findings, analyze implications, and convey high level results and implications to national decision-makers for sustainable and better environment of Udi residents and other communities where public toilets are giving less attention in Nigeria.
1.7 Definition of terms
Public: This pertains to a state, nation, or whole community; proceeding from, relating to, or affecting the whole body of people.
Toilet System: This is a type of toilet that collects human feces in a hole.
Problems: This is a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.
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myProject.ng (2022), . Impact of public pit toilet system and its associated problems [Online] myProject.ng (2019). Available at: https://myproject.ng/urban-regional-planning/impact-of-public-pit-toilet-system-and-its-associated-problems/index.html . ( Accessed 29, November, 2022 ).