Clean toilets save lives. But with billions of people lacking access to basic sanitation around the world, which toilet best meets each person’s and family’s need? Since 2008, one of the most popular guidebooks used to help answer that question has been the Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies.
Now, the Compendium, published by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), is available in Nepali, complementing the English, French and Spanish versions available.
As a tool, the compendium sheds light on the diverse sanitary solutions which can help poor people across the developing world lead healthier and happier lives. With abundant information about sanitation technologies scattered throughout numerous books, reports, proceedings and journals, this unique Compendium centralizes all the available main information.
Promoting a systems approach, where sanitation devices and technologies are considered as parts of an entire system, the Compendium is split into two parts: System Templates and a description about how to use them; and illustrated Technology Information Sheets.
While the System Templates primarily address engineers and planners dealing with infrastructure delivery, the Technology Information Sheets allow non-experts to understand the main advantages and limitations of different technologies and the appropriateness of different system configurations. This approach allows all stakeholders to be involved in selecting improved sanitation technologies and the promotion of people-centred solutions to real sanitation problems.
Eight different System Templates, presenting logical combinations of technologies, are described and evaluated. By combining these templates with 52 different illustrated Technology Information Sheets (describing the main advantages, disadvantages, applications and the appropriateness of the technologies required to build a comprehensive sanitation system), ensures the selection is context specific and suitable for local environment (temperature, rainfall, etc.), culture (sitters, squatters, washers, wipers, etc.) and resources (human and material).