The Safe Squat - A Solid Investment for Insecure Sanitation Facilities: Willingness to Pay for a Latrine Training Mat to Facilitate Potty-Training in Rural Kenya Open Access

Melgen, Sarah Emilia (2013)

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Evidence suggests that children in developing countries continue to openly defecate long after they are developmentally ready to be potty-trained, despite recent focus to increase access to improved sanitation facilities. In 2011, the Safe Squat potty training tool was piloted in rural Kenya to facilitate children's use of mud-floored pit latrines. The Safe Squat is a wooden platform that gives small children a temporary and secure ground that is easy to clean.


To determine the willingness to pay (WTP) for the Safe Squat in rural Kenya and inform future sales of the Safe Squat mat.


Four focus group discussions were conducted to inform the financial decision making of potential WTP survey participants. WTP surveys (using the Becker-Degroot-Marschak method to elicit WTP through an incentive-compatible bidding process) were carried out in homes of men and women who had been exposed to the mat from mothers who participated in the previous pilot (n=30); and in local markets where men and women might be interested in purchasing a Safe Squat (n=124).


The surveys indicated a need for the Safe Squat - of the 445 children below 10 years of age in both surveys, 138 did not use the latrine unassisted. Of these, 53% of market children were reported to openly defecate, compared to 100% of home based children. Women perceived themselves to have a higher level of financial decision making power in regards to sanitation than did men of their wives. The Becker-Degroot-Marshak method had a low completion rate (in terms of participants who provided monetary offers), but this rate was much higher in home based surveys compared to the market based surveys (n=11/30 vs. n=11/124), indicating that participants previously exposed to the Safe Squat were more likely to purchase it. However, the overall WTP was higher in market based surveys (KSH 304/$3.50) than in home based surveys (KSH 199/$2.30).


Considerations for future marketing should be given toward men and women, emphasizing long term options to women; encouraging prior exposure to the Safe Squat; and selling the Safe Squat in settings where WTP is higher such as markets.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction... 1

1.1 Background... 1

1.2 The Safe Squat... 3

1.2.1 Design... 4

1.2.2 Prior research... 5

1.2.3 Willingness to pay... 5


2.1 Introduction... 6

2.2 What does sanitation entail?... 6

2.3 Trends in Open Defecation... 7

2.4 The Burden on Children... 8

2.4.1 Motivations of children's sanitation behaviors... 10

2.5 What needs to be done to improve sanitation... 11

2.6 Benefits of Water and Sanitation... 14

2.7 Setting the stage for a new sanitation tool... 15

2.8 Willingness to Pay... 17

2.8.1 The Becker-Degroot-Marschak Method... 19

Chapter 3: Methods... 22

3.1 Focus Group... 23

3.2 Follow-up Surveys... 24

3.3 Home Based Survey... 24

3.4 Market Based Survey... 26

3.5 Project Implementation... 29

3.5.1 Sample size... 30

3.5.2 Follow up surveys... 31

3.5.3 Home based survey... 31

3.5.4 Market based survey... 32

3.6 Analysis Methods... 32

Chapter 4: Results. 34

4.1 The targeted population... 34

4.1.1 Focus group demographics... 34

4.1.2 Survey Demographics... 35

4.2 The need for a latrine training mat... 36

4.2.1 Latrine Usage... 36

4.2.2 Latrine Types... 37

4.2.3 Defecation practices... 38

4.3 Financial decision making regarding sanitation... 41

4.3.1 Decision making in regards to latrines... 42

4.3.2 Market practices... 43

4.3.3 Household purchases... 44

4.4 Perceptions of the latrine training mat from focus group discussions... 46

4.5 Survey participants' willingness to pay for the Safe Squat... 49

4.6 Sale of remaining Safe Squat mats... 53

Chapter 5: DISCUSSION... 54

5.1 Economic differences in survey participants between home and market settings... 54

5.2 Gender differences in decision making power... 55

5.3 Limitations... 57

5.4 Recommendations... 59

5.4.1 Marketing segmentation... 59

5.4.2 Previous exposure... 60

Chapter 6: C ONCLUSION ... 62

Bibliography . .. 65


Appendix A: Decision-Making Focus Group Discussion Guide - Fathers Tool. 67

Appendix B: Decision-Making Focus Group Discussion Guide - Mothers Tool. 74

Appendix C: Safe Squat Home Based Survey Tool. 81

Appendix D: Safe Squat Market Based Survey Tool. 96


Figure 1 Child openly defecating [5]. 2

Figure 2 Child using a mud-floored pit latrine [5]. 3

Figure 3 Design used for research in 2012. 4

Figure 4 Flow of a Becker-Degroot-Marschak Method Experiment. 20

Figure 5 Market stand set up. 27

Figure 6 Participant recruitment. 27

Table 1 Basic demographics. 35

Figure 7 Latrine types (market based surveys). 37

Figure 8 Where do children defecate on the compound?. 39

Figure 9 Knowledge of latrine training tools. 40

Table 2 Household latrine decision makers. 45

Figure 10 Progression of survey participants (market). 49

Figure 11 Progression of survey participants (home). 50

Figure 12 A comparison of overall willingness to pay offers from market and home based surveys 51

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