The mythical ‘sanitation ladder’

This thing here is the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation Sanitation Ladder sanitation ladder

This is a nice diagram, although it is a bit hard to see here. And for some inexplicable reason it is upside-down.

Anyway, you might be able to get the idea: there are a range of ways that we deal with faecal waste. At the ‘bottom’ (top of this diagram) is ‘open defecation’, which is essentially shitting in the street.

The next leg of the ladder is a slight improvement, otherwise known as shitting in a bucket.

Then another improvement such as having access to a shared latrine.

According to this way of understanding, all of the above would be described as ‘unimproved sanitation’, so the final step towards sanitation nivarna would be...

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