Disaster Risk Management, Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines, and Sanitation Challenges in South Africa

Phindile Madikizela, Shafick Hoossein, Richardk Laubscher, Kevin Whittington-Jones, Mushtaque Ahmed, Nhamo Mutingwende, Jozef Ristvej, Roman Tandlich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current paper provides a review and meta-analysis of the practical implications of disaster risk management related to the ventilated improved latrines in South Africa. This technology is evaluated through its legacy and novel challenges of disaster risk reduction. In the current article, the methodology adopted was a literature review and meta-analyses. The results indicate that the in-situ treatment and breakdown of faecal sludge in the ventilated improved pit latrines is not always taking place and that anaerobic digestion might not always be feasible. New strategies are proposed to manage the sanitation-related risks in South Africa by specifying more exact dimensions for the newly built ventilated improved pit latrines by suggesting the use of novel sanitation additives such as fly ash to enhance on-site and in situ treatment, as well as ex situ treatment of the pit latrine faecal sludge. Regular maintenance can lead to prevention of the dysfunctional character of the ventilated improved pit latrines as a functional sanitation technology and a userfriendly hygiene barrier to the spread of sanitation/WASH-related epidemics or infectious diseases. The implementation of the novel strategies should be enhanced by the application of the (Environmental) Technology Assessment in sanitation service delivery in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6934
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Faecal sludge
  • Health-related impacts of disasters
  • Mechanisms of stabilisation
  • Pit latrines
  • Risk equation
  • WASH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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