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.
A Shining Light: How lighting in or around sanitation facilities affects the risk of gender-based violence in camps
Camps are places of refuge for people fleeing conflict and disaster, but they can be dangerous, especially for women and girls. In their first months, many camps rely on communal sanitation facilities – a quick and cost-effective way of meeting immediate needs and minimizing public health risks until a better solution can be developed. Sharing latrines and bathing areas with large numbers of strangers, however, can be frightening.
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.