Assessment of the faecal sludge management practices in households of a sub-Saharan Africa urban area and the health risks associated: the case study of Yaoundé, Cameroon

Wilfried Arsène Letah Nzouebet of the University of Yaounde I, Faculty of Science, Wastewater Research Unit, Cameroon carried out a study to assess on-site sanitation facilities in Yaounde on the basis of the eight proposed indicators of hygienic safety, sustainability and functionality of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target 7 definitions of improve sanitation.

Data for the study were collected on the design of toilet facilities, management and functionality through a semi-structured interview and observations of 602 randomly selected toilet facilities in 22 different urban settlements of Yaounde. In addition, information about education and socioeconomic status of householders, management and functionality of toilet facilities and health status of the users were collected.

Results from the revealed several methods of excreta disposal and noted that approximately 3 % of households had no latrine and practiced open defecation. It also showed that 79% of latrines were covered at the top with concrete slabs while 69% with ground lined below floors. Households that lacked proper toilet facilities frequently suffered from orally transmitted sanitation-related diseases, with higher prevalence recorded in rainy seasons.

The study thus recommends improvement in the management of sanitation facilities in some settlements of Yaounde in order to guarantee adequate sanitation in a healthy environment.