Mobile Toilet and Fecal Sludge Management in Dhaka City: User perspectives and People’s Perception

Md. Shafiqul Islam, Saief Manzoor-Al-Islam


The study on mobile toilet explores user’s perspectives, attitude, and issues of fecal sludge management. Several data collection tools (participatory rural appraisal) were applied for this study. Individual interview, key informant’s interview, focus group discussion, and case study were conducted in collecting primary information on above-mentioned issues. The concept of the mobile toilet is very new in Bangladesh. Only few mobile toilets are available in Dhaka city. Two types of mobile toilets exist in Bangladesh. Fixed types on location basis and another one is mobile and event-based. Floating and working peoples are using it on the basis of emergency. Eventually, travelers are used it during unusual period (urgency). Several facilities provided by mobile toilet operators including water, soap, toilet tissue, and bathroom sleeper. At night they provided light for safe use. Several problems were mentioned by the female users. These include shyness; peoples look at them, lack of cleanliness, warm condition inside the toilet, and few extents lacks of enough water. Women are very shaky in using the mobile toilet in open locations. The male respondents were also reported that bad smell, lack of toilet tissue, soap and water is the common problems. Operators have drawn several points on benefits of mobile toilet likely people can use it during urgency (diarrhea, dysentery, and emergency evacuation), low cost per use, friendly environment, and user-friendly. This opportunity reduces open evacuation in Dhaka city and minimizes environmental pollution. On the other hand, they opined that drug users used the mobile toilet for longer time taking drugs, few people steal toilet tissue, soap, and light too. Usually several bottles, cans passed away into the pan. Women also disposed their napkins inside the toilet during menstrual periods as opined by the operators. This leads to the congestion of sewerage connections, and it is too difficult to clean. Local extortionist (Racketeer) creates pressure to the operators for money. It was reported that there were three options for fecal sludge disposal. They usually connect the toilet to the existing sewerage line. If there are no sewage connections, they go tank disposal. They used separate containers and disposed in the canal or rivers. The third option is the pit options, but it is limited due to lack of enough space in the context of a city like mega Dhaka city. Thus, mobile toilet is providing multifaceted benefits by addressing emergency and reducing environmental (air and water) pollutions. Fecal sludge could be used for generation of renewable energy and organic fertilizers through biogas technology. Connections of electricity, water, and sewerage could be the solutions of the smooth operation of the mobile toilet and fecal sludge management.

Aus. Aca. Busi & Eco. Rev Vol 4(3), July 2018, P 175-187


Attitude; Fecal Sludge; Floating People; Mobile Toilet; Urgency

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