Blog - Page 8 of 11 - SaniPath
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THREE Great Features of the Sanipath Tool

The SaniPath team has created an exposure assessment tool for low-resource, urban areas with poor sanitation. Key features of the tool include its accessibility, its easy to understand results, and its potential to influence policy.

1. The SaniPath Tool is easy to use and understand

The SaniPath Tool was designed to be used independently by a variety of organizations interested in improving urban sanitation. A detailed user guide for data collection and laboratory work, automated analyses, and output that can be understood by anyone with a basic scientific background, make the tool easy to use and understand. Minimum requirements for use of the tool include:

  • A funding source (ex: local government or international organization)
  • A lab with the ability to detect E. coli and technicians to carry out the procedures in a sterile environment
  • A team with experience conducting surveys
  • A local group to distribute results to government and policy makers


Policy Note: Should Public Toilets Be Part of Urban Sanitation Solutions for Poor Families Living in Slums?


Shared sanitation in urban areas is commonplace in Ghana. Approximately 73% of the urban population relies on shared sanitation facilities, the highest of any urban area in the world.(1) Pay-per-use public toilets are a particular type of shared sanitation facility, and, in Ghana, these typically cost between 15 to 30 pesewas per use (US $0.08–0.15).(2) In 2006, it was found that 41% of households in Accra, Ghana rely on public toilets.(3) Due to the cramped nature of Accra’s urban communities, construction of private toilets is often neither spatially nor financially feasible. However, public toilets do not meet the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation’s definition of “safely managed” sanitation. This can create a disincentive to use public finances to build and safely manage public toilets even though they may be the only viable option in the short and medium term.(4) Poor sanitation costs Ghanaians up to


Quantifying Contact with the Environment: Behaviors of Young Children in Accra, Ghana

Authors: Peter Teunis, Heather Reese, Claire A. Null, Habib Yakubu, Christine L. Moe

Abstract: To better understand the risks of exposure for young children to fecal contamination in their environment, we systematically characterized and quantified behaviors of 154 children, 0-5 years old, in four high-density, low-income neighborhoods in Accra, Ghana. A repertoire of six different activities and five different compartments (categories of locations within the household) was developed, and about 500 hours of ordered structured observations of activities and locations of individual children were collected. READ MORE

Quantification of exposure to fecal contamination in open drains in four neighborhoods in Accra, Ghana

Authors: Stephanie R. Gretsch, Joseph A. Ampofo, Kelly K. Baker, Julie Clennon, Clair A. Null, Dorothy Peprah, Heather Reese, Katharine Robb, Peter Teunis, Nii Wellington, Habib Yakubu, Christine L. Moe

Abstract: In low-income countries, rapid urbanization adds pressure to already stressed water and sanitation systems that are critical to the health of communities. Drainage networks, designed for stormwater but commonly used for disposing of waste, are rarely covered completely, allowing residents to easily contact their contents. This study used spatial mapping, documentation of physical drain characteristics, microbiological analysis of drain samples, and behavioral observation to comprehensively examine drains as a route of exposure to fecal contamination in four low-income neighborhoods in Accra, Ghana. READ MORE

La Herramienta SaniPath: Evaluación de riesgos de salud pública de la gestión de lodos fecales inseguros en los barrios pobres urbanos

K Robb
Latin American Sanitation Conference (LatinoSan) (March 2016)

During LatinoSan, Kate Robb gave a presentation on the development and validation of the SaniPath Tool. During the presentation, Kate provided an overview of the SaniPath Tool and provided examples of SaniPath results from both Ghana and India. Kate also revealed upcoming plans to further develop the tool. LatinoSan is held every three years and brings together individuals and groups from academia, public sector, and private sector to highlight the importance of sanitation and safe FSM in countries’ agendas.