Household Sanitation Condition in Jos, Nigeria: A Profile of Toilet Facilities and the Implication for Urban Policy.


Poor sanitation conditions are responsible for multiple health and environmental problems experienced in Nigeria.

In response to this problem, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the local authorities in Jos have pursued a number of programmes with the aim of helping households improve on their sanitation condition.

This study examines sanitation conditions with specific focus on the types of toilet facilities used by households in the Greater Jos Metropolis.

A cross- sectional survey methodology was employed for this study. The survey conducted lasted for 60 days and information was collected from 1697 households by systematic random sampling.

The survey covered 77 Wards which cut across six Local Government Areas. Based on the data collected the study was able to analyse the profile of households’ toilet facilities and the result indicates that improved toilet facilities which include a WC flush to septic tank.

Simple pit latrine, the Ecosan and the VIP latrine account for 53.3 percent while the un-improved types—uncovered pit latrine, latrine with open pit, hanging toilet, bucket latrine and those without a toilet—account for 47.2 percent.

The adequacy of toilet facilities was examined and the analysis reveals that in spite of government’s sanitation improvement programmes in the study area, the use of un-improved toilet facilities remains considerable, accounting for 47.2 percent of the total.

Of this, the absence of toilet facilities in residential buildings was overwhelming, accounting for 38.1 percent out of 47.2 per cent.

Other inadequate (un-improved) forms of toilet facilities including uncovered pit latrine, latrine with open pit and hanging toilet were in the following proportions: 4.1, 4.8 and 0.2 percents respectively.

The urban policy implications of these findings were examined and appropriate recommendations were proffered.


Background Of Study

Household sanitation covers a wide range of issues including the arrangement for the collection and disposal of human excreta, personal and general household hygiene.

The process of collection and disposal of solid waste and garbage, and drainage systems etcetera. In Nigeria, the minimum standard for the disposal of household excreta is a safe, hygienic and conveniently-located facility.

The expected standard for such a facility is an upgraded traditional Pit Latrine, a Sanplat Latrine, a Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) toilet, a Water Closed (WC) or any expensive technology that can be built and maintained by households with their own funds (UNICEF, 2008).

General household sanitation is global concern and it is in recognition of this concern that the international community working through international organisations and inter-governmental agencies (such as the WHO, UNICEF, UNICEF, WaterAid, European Commission, DFID, World Bank and NEWSAN among others) proposed in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation.

Household sanitation is relevant to attaining sustainable human settlement development and management in a rapidly urbanising world.

It is in view of this that sanitation has been recommended in several international forums including the United Nations Conference on Environment.


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FRN (2006). Nigeria Housing and Population Census, National Population Commission, 2006 (provisional).

FRN (2009a). Report of the Vision 2020 National Technical Working Group on Water and Sanitation. Nigeria Vision 2020 Programme.

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