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Terms & Synonyms

Official WHO Definition

Place or building, not normally within a house or other building, for deposition, retention and sometimes decomposition of excrete (WHO 1992)

Other Definitions


Interpretations and Explanations

There are numerous technical options for excreta management, many of which, if properly designed, constructed, operated and maintained will provide adequate and safe service as well as health benefits. It is necessary to choose technically, economically and financially feasible options for sustainable excreta management. Equally important is the involvement of all stakeholders playing a role in sanitation development, including users or customers, community organisations, authorities, entrepreneurs and women (WHO 1992).On-site installations comprise so-called ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ systems. Pit, ventilated improved pit (VIP) and urine-separating latrines are operated without flush water and are designated ‘dry’. Pour-flush latrines and septic tanks are ‘wet’ systems in that they require water, albeit only two or three litres in the case of pour-flush latrines (WHO 1992).


WHO (1992)  A guide to the development of on-site sanitation

WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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