Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Courant Research Centre - Poverty, Equity and Growth (CRC-PEG), Göttingen
70 percent of the rural population in sub-Saharan Africa does not use adequate sanitation facilities. In rural Benin, as much as 95 percent of the population has no access to improved sanitation. This paper explores why households remain without latrines analyzing a representative sample of 2000 rural households. Our results show that wealth and latrine prices play the most decisive role for sanitation demand and ownership. At current income levels, sanitation coverage will only increase to 50 percent if costs for construction are reduced from currently $200 USD to $50 USD per latrine. Our analysis also suggests that previous sanitation promotion campaigns, which were based on prestige and modern lifestyle as motives for latrine construction, have had no success in increasing sanitation coverage. Moreover, improved public health, which is the objective of public policies promoting sanitation, is also difficult to achieve at low sanitation coverage rates. Fear at night, especially of animals, and personal harassment, are stated as the most important motivational factors for latrine ownership and the intention to build one. We therefore suggest that new low cost technologies should be introduced on rural markets and that social marketing strategies should be adjusted accordingly.