Despite efforts to provide basic improved sanitation to the world's poor, 2.6 billion people still lack improved access. The barriers to providing sanitation are both technological and non-technological. To explore aspects of appropriateness, six communities in rural Bolivia were studied, with a range of wastewater treatment, from flush latrines to centralized sewers. We demonstrate that appropriate sanitation systems in these communities are defined by modular technology and infrastructure, accessibility, minimal use of resources, a representative and accountable water committee, and community training. In the Bolivian communities studied here, condominial sewer systems most closely approached the appropriate technology characteristics we measured.
Access to water for domestic use is a serious impediment to the development of East Africa. Throughout the region, it is common for rural residents to travel distances more than two kilometers every day in search of water sources. Such a burden has led many to the conclusion that per capita water usage must be correlated to water accessibility - those who have poor access will not use as much water. This paper aims to investigate this through a study of water usage in rural East Africa. The study queried participants in three districts of Uganda and one province of Kenya about their water usage habits. The first survey found that rural Ugandans use an average of 15.4 ± 0.5 liters per person per day regardless of their perceived effort in terms of collection times or distances travelled. Results are supported by two smaller studies in Kenya's Eastern Province and in Rakai District, Uganda. In all of these studies, there was no decline in water collected with increasing perceived collection effort. These results suggest that for these communities, the quantity of water used may not depend on the perceived collection effort. Instead, users collect water to fulfill their basic needs.