In an interview with Pan European Networks, IRC Senior Sanitation Specialist Joep Verhagen explains how sanitation efforts need to begin to increase their focus on sustainability.
EU aid for water and sanitation hit a record €1.6bn in 2009, but in March 2012 the EU announced plans to redirect development to ‘the world’s neediest nations’ with fears that this could harm sanitation efforts in Latin America, Asia and possibly some sub-Saharan African countries. Joep Verhagen shares his thoughts on the EU plans and on how knowledge-sharing partnerships and research are helping to provide sustainable solutions to existing rural and urban sanitation problems.
Read the full interview
Sustaining sanitation is much more expensive than building latrines. The 20-year cost of sustaining a basic level sanitation service per person in certain countries is anywhere from 5-20 times the cost per person of building the latrine in the first place.
This is one of the key findings on costing sustainable sanitation services, which are being highlighted in the first month of the WASHCost campaign. The campaign was launched on 24 October, and every month until March 2013, it brings a roundup of fast facts from the WASHCost research project, experiences from several organisations which are using the life-cycle cost approach and ways to get involved.
Lake Nokoué, Benin. Photo: Pacôme Tomètissi
Journalist Pacôme Tomètissi wants to revisit the fishing communities of Lake Nokoué in Benin to examine the sustainability of a 5 million euro EU-funded water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project. You can support his endeavour via the crowdfunding new website Spot.Us at:
In 2010 Pacôme wrote a story about WASH initiatives that were helping to stop pollution of the scenic lake. Poor sanitation was threatening the health and livelihoods of the fishing communities.
Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) and UNICEF are organising Haiti’s first ever National Sustainable Sanitation Conference. It will be held in Port-au-Prince on 12-13 June 2012.
The conference aims to share information about innovative waste treatment technologies such as composting toilets and bio-systems, among NGOs and the Haitian government.
- Overview of National Sanitation Strategy presented by DINEPA’s Sanitation Office (DA)
- Presentations of lessons learned from previous projects and ongoing sustainable sanitation projects in Haiti
- Ateliers focused on different components of sustainable sanitation
- Stakeholder feedback
- Open forum to discuss National Standards for Composting Toilets and Biogas
- Production of a public document summarizing the findings of the conference
SOIL, US-registered non profit, has been promoting ecological sanitation solutions in Haiti since 2006.
For the full announcement and more information go to: www.oursoil.org/national-sustainable-sanitation-conference
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
Results-Based Financing (RBF), which offers incentives for behavior change based on results, has achieved practical success in both the health and education sectors. To date, however, applications of RBF in the sanitation sector have been limited.
In Identifying the Potential for Results-Based Financing for Sanitation, a new Working Paper published by the Water and Sanitation Program and the SHARE consortium, Sophie Trémolet offers practical ideas to apply RBF financing mechanisms to improve the delivery of sustainable sanitation services. Continue reading
Published in July 2011, this second issue of Sanitation Matters focussing on southern Africa has well written contributions from David Schaub-Jones on urban sanitation challenges & opportunities, from Richard Holden on sustainable sanitation systems and from Alana Potter on assessing sanitation service levels. These are complemented by local case studies from Malawi, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Read the full issue published by the Water Information Network – South Africa (WIN-SA) in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Water Research Commission (WRC).
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has granted 3.9 million Swedish crowns (US$ 587,000) for a three-year project on sustainable sanitation in flooded areas in India. The research project is lead by Stockholm Environment Institute in collaboration with the WASH Institute, India, and focuses on sustainable sanitation solutions in areas experiencing recurrent flooding. The state of Bihar is the most flood-prone state in India with more than 16 percent of the total flood-affected area and with more than 22 percent of India’s flood-affected population.
The current sanitation coverage in Bihar is less than 25 % but actual use is much lower.
Flooding and the sanitation-related issues that come with it strongly affect the most vulnerable individuals, children under five, the disabled, elderly and child-bearing women, through diarrheal diseases.
SEI announced the project at the Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene which took place from 9-14 October 2011 in Mumbai, India.
For more on the project go to the SEI web site.
Source: WSSCC Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene
The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) has published two new 8-page factsheets:
- Abraham, B., Fogde, M., Muench, E., Wendland, C. (2011). Sustainable sanitation for schools – Factsheet of Working Group 7. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA).
- Muellegger, E., Freiberger, E., McConville, J., Samwel, M., Rieck, C., Scott, P., Langergraber, G. (2011). Operation and maintenance of sustainable sanitation systems – Factsheet of Working Group 10. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA).