Assessing the Sustainability of Sanitation Systems in Peri-Urban Areas: Insights from Nepal

Marisha Lamond, Bhim Adhikari


Both the sustainability of infrastructure and positive sanitation behaviour are necessary to maintain the benefits of safe sanitation. Identifying and monitoring the factors underpinning sustainable sanitation are particularly challenging in dynamic peri-urban settings. To determine which factors disproportionately influence progress towards sustainability, a combined assessment of sanitation infrastructure, behaviour, and socio-spatial context was undertaken in Kathmandu, Nepal using a framework called the Peri-urban Sustainable Sanitation Monitoring Tool. Data were collected in four communities using household surveys, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. Out of the three decentralized systems analyzed (pour-flush toilets with a septic tank, urine-diverting dry toilets, and dry toilets), the pour-flush toilets with a septic tank may compromise the benefits of safe sanitation in these communities with improper excreta management and maintenance expenses. It is valuable to understand the sustainable sanitation challenges of peri-urban areas to improve the effectiveness of local sanitation management and to help reach sanitation targets set at a national or global level.


sanitation, sustainability, equity, peri-urban, Nepal, South-Asia

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