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A lot of public latrine poses a very serious problem to the people of Awka and also to other places across the country. The problem of open defecation which some people often refer to as going to the bush or bush shitting has persistently been difficult to address in Awka and Nigeria because of the unavailability of good public and home toilets both in the cities and local communities or villages. A lot of people live without proper sanitation in Awka and these people have to decide on daily basis how to organize defecation without feeling ashamed or fear. Two hypothesis were formulated? To test the relationship between outbreak of disease and public latrine and the need for provision of latrine in public places. Data used for the study were collected from primary and secondary sources including questionnaire survey of the residents in Awka. From the analysis, it was found out that enough latrine are not provided in public places like markets, public compounds and even hostels thereby making the least provided to be overused and uncared for. The tests result shows that good latrine and the quality of life of the residents are significantly related. The recommendations made in the study include adequate provision of public toilets and toilets facilities as well as financing and maintenance of toilet facilities. It is hoped that the suggested measures of this study will go along way to improving the life residents in Awka territory.


Title page                                                                 i

Approval page                                                          ii

Declaration                                                              iii

Dedication                                                               iv

Abstract                                                                   v

Table of content                                                       viii

List of table                                                              xiii


CHAPTER ONE                                              

1.0.  Introduction                                                     1

1.1.  Background of the study                          1

1.2.  Statement of research problems                      5

1.3.  Research question                                           7

1.4.  Goals and objectives                                        8

1.5.  Statement of hypothesis                                  9

1.6.  Theoretical framework                                     9

1.7.  Scope of the study                                           11

1.8.  Significance of the study                                  12

1.9.  Limitation and constrain of the study              13

1.10. Operational definitions                                   13


CHAPTER TWO              

2.0.  Literature review                                              15

2.1.  The nature of public latrine                             15

2.2.  Environmental pollution                                  16

2.3.  Sanitation                                                        18

2.4.  Surface water quality                                       20

2.4.1.   Sources of water waste                                21

2.4.2. Strategies for controlling and managing waste    22

2.5.  Biological processes in latrines                        23

2.6.  Non-biological processes in latrine                  27

2.6.1. Filling rates                                                    28

2.6.2. Draining of liquid out of the pit                     28

2.7.  Public latrine management technique             31

2.7.1. Management                                                  31

2.7.2. Training of caretaker                                      33

2.7.3. Public health education                                 33

2.7.4. Maintenance                                                  34

2.7.5. Economy and fees                                          35

2.7.6. Monitoring and supervision                           35

3.8.  Summary of the review                                    36



3.0.  Description of the study area                           37

3.1.  Brief history of Awka                                        37

3.2.  Location of the study area                                38

3.3.  The physical characteristics                            39

3.3.1. Topography and geology                                39

3.3.2. Climate                                                          41

3.3.3. Vegetation                                                      42

3.3.4. Hydrology and surface drainage                     42

3.3.5. Soil                                                                43

3.3.6. Population of the area                                    43

3.4.  Physical feature of Awka                                 44

3.5.  Social/economic features                                46

3.6.  Urban structural plan                                      48

3.7.  Land use pattern classification                        49

3.8.  Major area having public latrine                      50



4.0.  Research methodology                                     52

4.1.  The research design                                         52

4.2.  Sources of data                                                53

4.2.1.   Primary source of data                                 53

4.2.2.   Secondary data                                            54

4.3.  Methods of data collection                               55

4.4.  Methods of data analysis                                 59

4.4.1. Determination of sample size (population)     60

4.5.  Procedure for data collection                           61

4.6.  Constrains of data analysis                             62



5.0.  Data analysis and survey                                 64

5.1.  Analysis and presentation of responses           64

5.2.  Problems of public latrine                                74

5.2.1. Pollution of the environment                         74

5.2.2. Pollution of water sources and food               75

5.2.3. Abuse of public toilet                                     75

5.2.4. Lack of maintenance                                      76

5.2.5. Lack of public health education                     76

5.3.  Strategies for Managing public latrine             76

5.3.1. Safe and clean environment                          77

5.3.2.   Provision of public toilets                            78

5.3.4.   Maintenance and management                    78



6.0.  Findings, Recommendation/Conclusion         79

6.1.  Summary of findings                                       79

6.2.  Avoiding risks of disease outbreak                   80

6.2.1.   Open defecation                                           81

6.2.2.   Not washing your hands                              82

6.2.3.   Leaving dishes on the ground                      82

6.3.  Recommendation                                             83

6.4.  Conclusion                                                      84

References                                                       86

Questionnaire                                                  89


Table 3.1.         Land use pattern                                 50

Table 5.1.         Questionnaire response rate                64

Table 5.2.         Respondents method of human

excreta disposal                                    65

Table 5.3.         Type of latrine used                      66

Table 5.4.          Attitude of people towards public latrine   67

Table 5.5.          Problems encountered with public latrine 69

Table 5.6.            Do you encourage the use of public latrine    70

Table 5.7.         Do you think the problem facing

public latrine system can be solved       70

Table 5.8.         Benefits of good sanitation practice

with the use of public latrine                 71

Table 5.9.         How often is your latrine cleaned          72

Table 5.10.       Terms of maintenance                          73




The issue of environmental health is a local, state, regional and national concern. As a result of man’s increase on population, his influence upon the environment and strive for survival has invariably neglected and unconsciously ensured the pollution of his environment.

Public latrines date back to the second century B.C and became quite popular with the Romans. The poor generally used pots, which they were supposed to empty into the sewer, or they visited public latrines.

Lord Amulree tells of an interesting anecdote: The site where Julies Ceasar was assassinated, the Hall of curia in the theatre of pompey, was turned into a public latrine due to the dishonor it had witnessed. The sewer system like a little stream or river, ran beneath, carrying the wastes away to the cloaca maxima, Amulree (1973).

The Romans recycled their waste water from the public baths by using it as part of the sewage that flowed under the latrines, serving as sort of a flushing system. Terra cotta piping was used in the plumbing that ran from the few homes that could afford it. The Romans were the first to seal pipes in concrete in order to resist the high water pressure developed in siphons and elsewhere. In addition, Romans employed special officials called Aediles in order to superice the sanitary systems in the cities since the fifth century B.C Stambaugh (1988).

WHO and UNICEF (2000) stated that public latrine has serious consequences to health. It can be easily seen on the example of illness like diarrhea that continues to be a major killer disease in the developing world, due to the fact that a rather basic problem of how to deal with excreta still remains unresolved.

According to WHO (2004) 1.8 million people die every year from diarrhea diseases including cholera of which 90% are children under the age of five, mostly in developing countries. Who also stated that an improved water supply reduces diarrhea morbidity 25% to 6%, if severe outcomes are included, whereas improved sanitation reduces diarrhea morbidity by 32%.

It is this vein that the united nations children fund (UNICEF) embarked on community led sanitation programme in selected communities to teach people the importance of sanitation especially in the area of defecating in open places; this is not unrelated to the lingering challenge of building health friendly toilets in every household, public places as well as offices.

It is gradually becoming a tradition that is a natural behaviour, to see men and even women openly urinating on walls of offices and homes, not minding the potential environmental hazard such an act has on residents in the environment.

Defeating and urinating in open or undesignated spots is a habit that must be discouraged in every society because it poses serious health risk to the populace and defies the benefit of sanitation.

Sanitation as a method of containment and sanitization of public latrine is of utmost importance as it prevents spread of diseases and protects both human and environmental health. The lack of care of public latrine is something that is very common in most communities because people lack awareness of the environmental implication the human lives. The recommendations will provide a very good data for the formulations of public latrine system and its problems in Awka capital.

Furthermore, it will stimulate planning for effective health education and proper environmental protection and management. It will also create more curiosity for understanding and solving the problems associated with public latrine systems in Awka and similar problems in other places of the state.



        It is obvious that the attention of government is directed towards solid waste disposal and evacuation, but public latrine system and its associated problems, which competes favourably with solid waste and pollution of our environment, causing most health hazards and infectious diseases is highly negleted.

The rate at which sources of drinking water is contaminated by siting latrines very close to wells and other water sources is alarming. Public latrine system and direct discharge of untreated sewage into water bodies leads to Entrophication, which causes death of acquatic lives.

This situation is also capable of propagating outbreak of endemic diseases like cholera, thereby depriving the inhabitants of the area of their sources of good drinking water. Public latrine system and is associated problems is really a serious problem that reads immediate attention because it constitutes health hazards if not properly managed.

It has been observed that during the era when bucket and bush “fresh style” toilet system were in vogue, death were common due to incessant out break of cholera and dysentery, which is as a result of contaminated food and drinking water. Smith (1979) said that clean and safe environment is one of the greatest assets one can give to his generation.

There has been a lot of write-up on public latrine system, but none has succinctly addressed the associated problems. This study will go a long way investigating the problems that are associated with public latrine.

One of the problems that are really disturbing in Awka is the insufficiency of toilet facilities. Both in compounds, hostels and public places, there are not enough latrines to serve the people. Talking about streets like Ndum, Oyeoka Onuorah Ichide and Olokwu streets, it is noticed that they suffer from lack of insufficient toilet facilities. As we go ahead in this study, we will look into proffering solutions to these problems.


1.3.  RESEARCH QUESTIONS              

  1. What are the problems associated with public latrine systems?
  2. What are the ways to identify the source through which public latrine system pollutes the air and water source?
  3. What are the problems hindering adequate cleaning and maintenance of public latrine system?
  4. What are the solutions to the rate at which public produces offensive odour in the environment?
  5. What are the problems encountered by users of public latrine?



The goal of this study is to examine the problems associated with public latrine system in Awka capital territory with a view to developing a strategy for enhancing effectiveness and efficiency in Awka territory.

In order to achieve the stated goal, the following objectives are pursued:

  1. To identify the problems associated with public latrine.
  2. To identify how public latrine pollutes the air and water source.
  3. To proffer solutions to proper cleaning and maintenance of public latrine.
  4. To identify the health implication of public latrine and proffer solution to the offensive odour it emits.
  5. To assess the existing toilet facilities within Awka urban to know whether there are problems being encountered by the users and make solutions.




        Research hypothesis helps to give the study a sense of direction and guide of investigation. In view of this, the following hypothesis will be tested to ascertain their validities as regards the study on the problems of pubic latrine systems in Awka.

The following working hypothesis have been formulated for this study:

Ho:  There is no significant relationship between outbreak of disease and public latrine system.

Hi:   There is a significant relationship between outbreak of disease and public latrine system.

Ho:  There is no need for the provisions of latrine in public places

Hi:   There is need for the provision of latrines in public places.





Though theoretical knowledge is crucial in providing a good foundation and better understanding in any academic research of importance, very little theories exists in latrine research. Musoke (2004), is of the view that until very recently most of the research and the resulting literature on the problems associated to latrine in host communities and the subsequent government policies on waste protection have been inspired and guided by the population theory by Thomas Maltus (1798) edited by James (1989) that population growth generally affect the natural resources of a country. He cited pressure on food as in example.

However, a counter thesis developed by Ester Boserup (1965) held a different view that population growth rather has a positive effect on agriculture, which brings host of socio-economic change of the community or the country in general. Many scholars who have based their work on either of the above thought had one way or the other tried to blame or exonerate latrine from all

blames. This study is based on the theory and concepts expounded by Werker (2001), Barth (1994) and Whitaker (2002) whose theories and concepts give room for both negative and positive impacts of latrines presence on host communities on my work associated problems with the use of public latrine.



This study will identify the various environmental problems in public citrine system and its associated problems is Awka capital territory and examine the health implication of public latrine system. This is done through visiting public compounds, market places, schools, churches etc to ensure a wide coverage within the limited time and resources available for this work. Data for this study will be obtained from a sample of occupants through oral interview and questionnaire.

It also entails the issue on how to enlighten the public on the use and maintenance of public latrines. Delimitation might cut across the problem of going from street to street making campaign for this.



This study will serve as an avenue to enlighten the masses especially the inhabitants of Awka on the proper handling of public latrine system and its associated problems. It will go along way to teaching those in town and even go as far as the villages, making sure every inhabitants is taught on the importance of taking good care of their toilets both in their homes and in public places. The findings and recommendations will provide a very good data for the formulation of public latrine system and its associated problems in Awka capital territory.

Furthermore, it will stimulate planning for effective health education and proper environmental protection and management.



This work will arouse more curiosity for understanding and solving the problems associated with public latrine system in Awka and similar problems in other places of the state.



        There is virtually no research without obstacles. This work which has a link in environmental health demand much attention. There are many environmental sanitation problems, but this study is restricted to public latrine system and its problems in Awka. Limitation include insufficient data, lack of time and finance to enable smooth running of the research. This study might be limited to the findings of little data obtained; not withstanding the validity of the study remains unaffected as valid findings were made.





        Here, we try to define every word that is associated with the topic inorder to understand the topic properly and to further give appropriate solutions to the problem.

Public:     It is a word for, of, or known to people in general. It is provided to address the state or government in general rather than an independent individual.

Latrine:    Latrine is a communal toilet in a camp or barrack as well as public compounds where people resides.

System:    A set of things working together as a mechanism or network. It is an organized scheme or method of orderliness.

Problem:  Something difficult to deal with or understand.

Associated: A group of people organized for a joint purpose. A connection or link.



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