Sanitation approaches: evidence from Nigeria


The 'Sustainable Total Sanitation (STS) Nigeria project –implementation, learning, research, and influence on practice and policy', funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, inclusion and sustainability of total sanitation approaches for the poor and underserved in Ekiti and Enugu States in Nigeria.

It also aims to generate learning on sanitation approaches –  Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and sanitation marketing (SanMark) – and contribute to wider national and regional good practice. The STS project had four components: implementation, action learning, formal research and advocacy. The formal research component involved an impact evaluation of the two main interventions (CLTS and SanMark) over four years (2014-2018) carried out by our research partner, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). 

Attached are links to learning briefs and research documents that highlight the evidence gathered and learning from this project regarding sanitation approaches in Nigeria.


Community-led total sanitation (CLTS)

CLTS is one popular approach to increasing sanitation coverage. CLTS works with an entire community to identify the negative effects of poor sanitation, especially the practice of open defecation, and empowers them to collectively find solutions. 

Improving CLTS targeting: Evidence from Nigeria

This brief provides quantitative evidence to support the use of CLTS in urban areas, and suggests a simple rule of thumb that allows more efficient programme targeting. Using this information can improve the targeting of CLTS in Nigeria, and possibly other countries, freeing up scarce resources to identify and test complementary sanitation approaches suitable for more urbanised communities.

Improving targeting and outcomes of CLTS in Nigeria (poster)

The poster was presented at the WASH Futures Conference in Brisbane, Australia (2016). Drawing from knowledge gained as part of the STS project, this poster investigates how to improve targeting and outcomes of CLTS.


Sanitation Marketing

Sanitation Marketing, also known as ‘SanMark’, is an emerging field that combines social and commercial marketing approaches to scale up demand and supply of improved sanitation facilities. It involves a more comprehensive demand and supply strengthening strategy drawing on social and commercial marketing as well as behaviour change communication approaches. As part of the STS project, WaterAid Nigeria, in collaboration with community members in two states - Enugu and Ekiti states, developed an affordable, accessible and durable sanitation product named the Water Easy Toilet (WET).

Learning Brief: An approach to sanitation marketing

This brief outlines WaterAid’s experience and learning in marketing of affordable, robust sanitation marketing products and services in Nigeria.

Sanitation marketing case studies from the STS project

This report provides details on the Water Easy Toilet (WET), the SaTo pan and customer experiences with their new toilet.

Sanitation deep dive report

The ‘deep dive’ (i.e. market research) was undertaken as part of the Sanitation Marketing component of the STS project in Nigeria. Qualitative field research was completed to understand consumer preferences (consumer = household members needing a toilet) and commercial supply chains for rural sanitation in the STS project states (Ekiti, Enugu, Jigawa). The aim of the deep dive was to help us understand both the consumer side and the goods and services businesses related to sanitation. 

Four core research questions within the market research:

  • What is a ‘good latrine’ for our target market? What features should it have (and not have) and how much should it cost

  • What will our target market gain personally from investing in a ‘good’ latrine? 

  • How can we make the process of learning about, purchasing and installing a good latrine a lot easier, quicker and more reliable

  • How can businesses deliver sanitation products and services that offer value for money and are profitable for them to produce and sell on their own?