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1.1 Background of the study
Public conveniences should be seen as a core component of environmental design, adding to a city’s quality and viability (Greed, 2004). Provision of public convenience is not only a matter of land use, but also an essential design and planning concern to make cities more accessible, inclusive, and convenient for all members of the society. Public convenience provision often overlooks the needs and even the existence of women, children, disabled people, and the elderly. Ensuring public convenience provision is available to everyone can be considered essential to removing a serious barrier to wider participation in public life (Knight and Bichard, 2011). Moreover, evidence indicates that inclusively and well‑designed neighbourhood outdoor spaces positively contribute to people’s health and quality of life (Aspinall et al, 2010). Many people, such as the elderly and disabled, travel seldom, rarely go outside and avoid long journeys because of the lack of and/or inaccessible design of public convenience (Greed, 1996).
A public convenience is a room or small building containing one or more toilets and urinals which is available for use by the general public, or by customers or employees of certain businesses. Public conveniences are commonly separated into male and female facilities, although some can be unisex, particularly the smaller or single-occupancy types. Increasingly, public conveniences are accessible to people with disabilities.
Public convenience may be provided by the local authority or by a commercial business. They may be unattended or be staffed by a janitor or attendant (possibly with a separate room). In many cultures, it is customary to tip the attendant; pay toilets charge a small fee for entrance, sometimes by use of a coin-operated turnstile. Some venues such as nightclubs may feature a grooming service provided by an attendant in the room. Portable toilets are often provided at large outdoor events.
Public conveniences are typically found in schools, offices, factories, and other places of work; in museums, cinemas, bars, restaurants, and other places of entertainment; in railway stations, filling stations, and on long distance public transport vehicles such as trains and planes.
1.2 Statement of problem
It is common practice for people to answer the call of nature in the open field or use so-called “flying toilets”, which results in a poor sanitary, health and
environmental situation (Drewko, 2007).
Public restrooms can bring relief to a community in more ways than one. They enable greater use of public areas, increase foot traffic in commercial areas which boosts local economies, they support recreation and meet basic human rights requirements for sanitation.
But while the benefits of a clean, serviceable and well-placed public restroom are many, these benefits can be negated when vandalism, anti-social behaviour and poor hygiene makes unprovidable.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The objective of this research includes;
1. Examine if there is public convenience existing in Nsukka Urban
2. To examine the problem of providing public convenience in urban centers
1.4 Significance of the study
Public conveniences are not only needed for regular purposes but also important during a particular occasion or event (Shamim, 2011). According to Durojaiye as reported by Okiri (2012), Nigerians celebrate anything, especially in the South-West. However, when they are celebrating, there are no conveniences. According to Somerset (2011) wherever people go, outside of their own home, toilet facilities are needed for the enjoyment of the area by visitors and also residents who may be some distance from their home. They can make a significant impact upon the comfort of individuals and families who visit public spaces and their perception of the area as a desirable place to visit.