Humanitarian agencies strive to provide sanitation facilities which are safe, accessible and afford users privacy and dignity. Yet in reality, women in particular have many concerns which can prevent them from using the facilities, especially after dark. This report documents field research on whether sanitation lighting reduces risks of gender- based violence in Aburi camp in Nigeria.
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).
Lighting should be provided for WASH facilities in Humanitarian contexts according to several standards. Evidence for this and the practical budget, operational and management responsibilities are less clear. A three-country research project looking at the impact of lighting on WASH use and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) required a multi-disciplinary approach, combining OXFAM's practical implementing expertise with WEDC's research-oriented approach. The research showed how much more is needed for safe sanitation than just building latrines.