Ecological sanitation : a sustainable goal with local choices. A case study from Taita Hills, Kenya

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Andersson , M & Minoia , P 2017 , ' Ecological sanitation : a sustainable goal with local choices. A case study from Taita Hills, Kenya ' , African Geographical Review , vol. 36 , no. 2 , pp. 183-199 . https://doi.org/10.1080/19376812.2015.1134336

Title: Ecological sanitation : a sustainable goal with local choices. A case study from Taita Hills, Kenya
Author: Andersson, Matias; Minoia, Paola
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Global Development Studies
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: African Geographical Review
ISSN: 1937-6812
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/215214
Abstract: Sanitation has been a core development-related keyword since the Millennium Development Goals were launched, but its improvement in sub-Saharan Africa has been considered generally slow. So far, sanitation needs have been mainly addressed technically and economically while lacking proper intersection with related conditions, such as health education, cultural and environmental contexts, gender and ownership. These elements seem now to be considered by the new Sustainable Goals launched in 2015. More emphasis is given to the importance of providing differentiated, instead of homogenized, guidance to any process of change and material intervention, including sanitation projects. These cannot be reduced in terms of external environmental-engineered cycle connecting households but have to be valued for the way they involve people’s bodies, ecosystems and livelihoods. This paper presents the results of a research conducted in Kenya, and particularly in Taita Hills, an area mainly served by pit latrines and hit by environmental degradation. The research was meant to understand local perceptions and attitudes toward implementation of different types of ecological sanitation solutions that make possible the establishment of a closed loop of nutrients connecting food production and sanitation. The findings indicate the importance of local cultures and personal preferences in defining sanitation choices, particularly in rural areas, starting by the consideration of local livelihoods and preexisting systems serving the human waste disposal cycles. Keywords: sanitation, ecological sanitation, sustainable development goals, cultural sustainability, Kenya
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
519 Social and economic geography
5203 Global Development Studies
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