Poor lighting at water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities may reduce the usage of latrines and other services such as bathing areas and water collection points; especially by women and children. Generally, poor lighting may contribute to fear of crime and specifically Gender-Based Violence (GBV), which may, in turn, further reduce the use of the WASH facilities. For example, in Haiti, teenage girls surveyed by the United Nations (UN) Stabilisation Mission stated that they were afraid to use latrines at night because of the lack of lighting (Emery et al., 2011). Improving lighting is intended to mitigate GBV, promote feelings of safety and increase usage of WASH facilities.
This literature review is part of a Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF)-funded research project, conducted by Oxfam and the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) on lighting for safer sanitation use, with the specific aim of reviewing existing literature and good practice on lighting, fear of crime and sanitation. It also informs the development of data collection tools for use in the three fieldwork study countries of Iraq, Nigeria and Uganda.
The detailed review is focused on the following research questions:
1. Are there any existing recommendations/guidelines around lighting WASH facilities in camp settings?
2. What do WASH and GBV experts think about the potential for lighting at WASH facilities? Do they have a preference for the kind of lighting that would be logistically easiest/most effective?
3. What evidence exists that indicates improved lighting at WASH facilities in camp settings could reduce GBV?
4. What evidence exists that indicates improved lighting at WASH facilities in camp settings can improve WASH facility use?