Tag Archives: sustainable sanitation

Full-chain sanitation services that last

Full-Chain-Sanitation-cover2.6 billion people are waiting for a toilet and the faecal sludge of an additional 1.5 billion people never gets treated.  In the face of these indeed formidable challenges, the sanitation sector seems to have forgotten to celebrate the growing sense that we are getting a grip on how to tackle the problem of non-sewered sanitation.  A new IRC paper [1] is an invitation to everyone to contribute by commenting on the framework and by sharing lessons learnt.

The framework presented for non-sewered sanitation is based on a few key principles:

  • Sanitation is a public good and hence, national and local governments have a key responsibility to ensure that sanitation services that last are provided to all.
  • The parameters for a sustainable sanitation service need to be built around access and use; operation and maintenance and safe faecal sludge management.
  • The framework identifies political and individual commitment as a key condition for sustainable sanitation services.
  • In addition, a sanitation service contains the following components: the enabling environment, the creation of demand, the supply chains, and well aligned financial arrangements and incentives.
  • With increasing sanitation coverage, the focus of a sanitation service needs to shift from increasing access to and use of latrines (getting onto the sanitation ladder) to O&M and the safe disposal or productive uses of faecal sludge.

The framework serves as a starting point for the development of a functioning sanitation service.  However, the main argument of the framework is not towards a certain approach for demand creation or sanitation marketing but towards including and interlinking all four components and to consciously create political support for sanitation – creating a sustainable service that lasts.

We welcome your feedback and comments to further improve the framework and we are especially keen on learning from you how different components of sanitation framework can and are being operationalized and interlinked.

Most of all we want this framework to support the improvement of our collective impact so that the long wait for 1.6 billion can end.

Looking forward to hear from you,

Joep Verhagen

[1] Verhagen, J. and Carrasco, M., 2013. Full-chain sanitation services that last : non-sewered sanitation services. The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. 14 p. : 2 boxes, 1 fig., 2 tab. 13 ref. Available at: <http://www.irc.nl/page/79976>

Sustaining sanitation – Pan European Networks interviews Joep Verhagen

Joep-Verhagen-PEN-interviewIn 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 services costs 5-20 times more than building a latrine

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.

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Help a local journalist examine the sustainability of a water and sanitation project in Benin

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:
http://spot.us/pitches/1411-les-porteurs-deau.

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.

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First ever National Sustainable Sanitation Conference in Haiti

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.

Agenda:

  • 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

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

Utilizing Results-Based Financing to Strengthen Sanitation Services

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