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It is generally accepted that excreta disposal is given less priority in emergencies than other humanitarian interventions such as healthcare, food and water supply. This is despite the fact that many of the most common diseases occurring in emergency situations are caused by inadequate sanitation facilities and poor hygiene practice. Many aid agencies are aware of these facts and wish to give a greater emphasis to excreta disposal. The purpose of this manual is to provide practical guidance on how to select, design, construct, and maintain appropriate excreta disposal systems in emergency situations. Relevant situations include natural disasters, relief for refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, and complex emergencies, focusing on rural and peri-urban areas. This manual presents a process that can be followed to assess the current excreta disposal needs and priorities and to design and appropriate programme to respond to those needs.

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