Access to toilets in public spaces: a question of dignity and inclusion
What can we do to improve the provision of toilet facilities in public spaces?
To support the implementation of diverse solutions adapted to different contexts, SIWI and IDB are developing a catalogue of good practices. The catalogue, presenting about 10 action sheets with 40 cases in about 20 countries around the world, will be published later this year.
Based on the diagnosis, the mapping and characterization of toilet services in public spaces, and through a participatory process with stakeholders, both cities developed roadmaps of actions needed to increase availability and improve service delivery.
The participants proposed the following actions:
- Include the guidelines for the provision of toilet facilities and drinking water services in public spaces in municipal policies, as articulated in the human right to water and sanitation and the SDGs.
- Define binding regulations and technical standards for the setup of toilet facilities in public spaces, and specify the actors and their responsibilities.
- Build a multisectoral strategy to guide the implementation of actions that guarantee the sustainability of the system in the short, medium and long term, with a defined budget and responsible parties.
- Develop awareness campaigns for citizens on the proper use of toilets in public spaces.
- Conduct studies on the supply and demand of toilets in public spaces.
- Establish tariffs and cross-subsidies based on users’ ability to pay and strategic alliances with donors and private sector to finance public toilet facilities.
- Map, characterize and disseminate information for users on toilets in public spaces.
- Establish service delivery models that are sustainable and responsive to user needs.
- Form working groups with diverse stakeholders, including vulnerable populations, to define appropriate solutions.
With these studies in San José and Barranquilla, SIWI and the IDB are hoping to inspire other cities in Latin America to invest in actions to promote sanitation facilities in public spaces. Addressing the needs of people in the most vulnerable situations is critical to build more inclusive and resilient societies.