Next Shelter_2

Removing barriers to immediate installation and use

  • 62% of latrines are installed by 6-12 months post-purchase
  • 95% are installed at 15 months
  • 0.2% abandonment rate

While the sales efforts have successfully gotten households to making the first step towards latrine usage, i.e. purchase, it is falling short of instilling a sense of urgency to immediately install and use the latrine. However, from the Pilot Project’s End-of-Project evaluations, it is known that most households do end up installing their latrine eventually. At 450 days (15 months), installation rates are around 95% with a continuing upward trend. This indicates that the vast majority of latrines that are purchased are installed, which is as expected since the latrine cost is a significant cash outlay for a rural household and is not likely to be abandoned. This is confirmed by the most recent SMSU household survey, which shows that abandonment is very low with only 0.2% of households visited having abandoned their latrines.

Despite the eventual installation, there still remains for the household many barriers preventing immediate installation and use. Noteworthy is the strong preference of Cambodian households to build a concrete shelter. Households will wait to install the latrine until they have all the materials and labor ready to install the entire concrete shelter. From a health perspective, it is the underground components that are important for public health, but from the household perspective, it is the superstructure that meets their needs for status and convenience.

In order to decrease the gap between the sales and installation rates, a two-pronged approach would be recommended:

1) Remove the main barrier preventing households from immediate installation and use by developing a packaged shelter product that is easy to purchase, build, and use;

2) Improve behavior change communication interventions to stimulate a greater sense of urgency for the households to install and use.