Journal article Open Access

Gap between Expectation and Convenience of Open Access Public Toilets in Dhaka: A Cross Sectional Investigation

Hossain, S.B.; Kabir, R.; Shahjahan, Md.; Chowdhury, A.; S.M.Y. Arafat

The aim of this study was to explore the extent of availability of open access public toilets in Dhaka and to find out the reasons behind avoiding use of it. The is a cross-sectional study in Dhaka city undertaken between February to May 2016. Data was collected from 384 respondents who live or visit regularly for work in Dhaka. Semi-structured questionnaire was used in data collection through face-to-face interviews. The availability of open access public toilets found strongly associated with the extent of urinate/defecating in open places (p<0.001), Urinary/anal infection history (p<0.001) and opinion of the respondents about relationship between disease and present public toilet situation of the city (p<0.001). While more than 81 percent people replied ‘no/don’t know’ when asked about availability of public toilets near their working places. Male respondents are almost 0.4 times more likely to visit open access public toilets (p<0.001) than females. Around 60 percent of the respondents share dissatisfaction with the cleanliness and over 70 percent with the indoor environment, both are strongly significant (p<0.001) as the main reasons for avoiding open access public toilets. Avoiding open access public toilets is also significantly related to poor water supply system (p<0.001), soap availability (p<0.002), tissue availability (p<0.001) and feeling troubled with room structure (p<0.001) of last visited public toilet. Unhygienic and uncomfortable environment are common features of almost all the public toilets in the city but the situation is clearly ignored by the authorities. The research suggests that almost all the people notify the demand for new and much more public toilets into the city so that they can have access when they are necessity.

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