Senegal: A Marketing Approach Delivers Quality Latrines to Where They’re Needed Most

Women purchase improved latrines at a Sagal promotional fair in Kolda, Senegal. Photo credit: Natural Resources Consulting Engineers
Women purchase improved latrines at a Sagal promotional fair in Kolda, Senegal. Photo credit: Natural Resources Consulting Engineers

People in Senegal desire higher quality latrines than they can build on their own but lack access to improved sanitation products and the financing to acquire them. According to the most recent Joint Monitoring Programme statistics, only a third of Senegal’s rural population has access to basic sanitation. It is also a problem in small cities and large rural towns, which are experiencing rapid growth. To address the lack of affordable and appropriate sanitation options, USAID’s Sanitation Behavior Change and Water for Senegal project, known as ACCES, launched Sagal, a social marketing campaign to promote the purchase of latrines. In the Wolof language, “sagal” translates to “a sense of pride in one’s dignity.” Through this model, USAID connects customers to sales agents, masons, and financing for improved household latrines.

Fatou, a USAID–trained Sagal sales agent, is a crucial partner in this supply chain. Her pitch to potential customers focuses on Sagal’s health and cost benefits with the goal of expanding the brand to her entire commune and ensuring everyone has access to affordable sanitation services. Prior to Sagal, Fatou’s customers relied on poorly constructed open-pit latrines that attracted flies and smelled, or they practiced open defecation. She markets improved latrines as a preventative health measure that benefits the whole community. A key component of Sagal’s brand centers on Lixil’s SATO Pan, a line of affordable, hygienic, and odor-free latrine pans for lower-income households.A self-closing flap at the bottom of the pan blocks odors and keeps away flies.

After Fatou wins over a new client, she makes a follow-up house call with a USAID–trained mason to scope out the installation of the latrine, signs the purchase order, and collects a down payment. Sometimes, the homeowner purchases the latrine using a microloan from a local financial provider. Then the mason returns to install the family’s new latrine.

Sagal has shown encouraging early results. Since its launch in 2018, more than 3,600 improved latrines have been installed in Senegal, providing access to basic sanitation to more than 40,000 people. By harnessing global innovations and engaging the private sector, this promising market-based approach can reach the billions of people who are not connected to centralized sewer systems worldwide.

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USAID Center for Water Security, Sanitation, and Hygiene
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