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).
In the Humanitarian Innovation Fund Gap Analysis for water, sanitation, and hygiene issues, field staff identified environmental management of surface water as an area of concern, although this was not reflected at a head office level. This difference of perspectives could be an under-reporting of this aspect of environmental sanitation to the global humanitarian community or a failure of experts to communicate the required response to surface water management in camps for displaced people.
Pit latrine linings for emergency sanitation facilities require different performance criteria from those for pits used in longer-term development work. Various international initiatives are currently under way to develop new methods of supporting the pits used for latrines in emergencies, but before a solution can be found, the problem needs to be defined. Current field guidance lacks the level of detail required by humanitarian workers to construct durable pits in a timely manner.
When the Asian tsunami struck the Andaman Islands, nearly 7,000 people were relocated in six camps. In spite of the large number of bathing and sanitation facilities built, water and sanitation conditions remained unsatisfactory in four of the camps. The facilities had been constructed without consulting their users.