Humanitarian crises and sustainable sanitation: lessons from Eastern Chad

Latrine at Farchana refugee camp

Latrine at Farchana refugee camp, Eastern Chad. Photo: Flickr/Sustainable sanitation

How important is sanitation during a humanitarian crisis? Why is it important to explore ecological and sustainable sanitation? Groupe URD looks at the case of Eastern Chad, an example of a major long-term crisis. From an acute emergency in 2003, the crisis has gone through a number of phases. The appropriateness of aid mechanisms is currently being questioned, with a particular focus on sanitation. Sustainable sanitation can help to improve the quality of life of refugees and IDPs as well as local populations. From this perspective, what lessons from Eastern Chad could be useful in other contexts?

Groupe URD concludes that the long-term success of alternatives to conventional sanitation in Chad, as elsewhere, does not depend on the application of particular technologies: it depends principally on the participation of the future users (from the design to the follow up) both in the building of the facilities and the re-use of products. Rather than reproducing a design, it is important to understand the principles of ecological sanitation in order to be able to adapt them to a particular context. The key ideas to be retained from the Chadian experience – which can be applied in many other contexts – are participation, awareness-raising, pilot projects, training and lesson sharing.

Read the full article by Julie Patinet of Groupe URD and Anne Delmaire of Toilettes du Monde

Source: Humanitarian Aid on the Move newsletter, no. 9, March 2012

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One response to “Humanitarian crises and sustainable sanitation: lessons from Eastern Chad

  1. this is the same situaton in most compounds in Zambia not refugee camps but places they call their homes.

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