Tag Archives: sustainable sanitation

UN Secretary-General launches the “Sustainable Sanitation: Five-Year Drive to 2015”

United Nations, 21 June 2011—UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, Ugandan Minister of Water & Environment the Hon. Maria Mutagamba, and His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, today launched the “Sustainable Sanitation: Five-Year Drive to 2015” (http://www.sanitationdrive2015.org), a push to speed up progress on the Millennium Development Goal target of improving global sanitation by 2015.

The launch took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York, with members of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation and other dignitaries in attendance.

The Millennium Development Goals include a target of halving, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation. With 2.6 billion people – half of the population in developing regions – still without access to improved sanitation, the target is lagging far behind, and without urgent and concerted action globally it will be out of reach.

On 20 December 2010 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling upon the UN Member States to “redouble efforts to close the sanitation gap”.

The resolution established a global push, “Sustainable Sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015″, to focus attention on the Goal and to mobilize political will, as well as financial and technical resources.  The resolution also made history by calling for an end to open defecation, the most dangerous sanitation practice for public health.

Over 1.1 billion people have no sanitation facilities at all, and practise open defecation. According to UNICEF, inadequate and dirty water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene are the main causes of diarrhoea, which each year kills at least 1.2 million children under five. The organization says diarrhoeal diseases are mainly excreta-related; therefore it is crucial to protect people from contact with faeces. Improvements in sanitation can lead to an almost 40% reduction in illnesses caused by diarrhoea.

Achievement of the sanitation goal, UNICEF says, will have far-reaching and lasting effects on the health and well-being of millions of people.

WSSCC is playing a key role in developing the advocacy strategy and materials and will work collaboratively with other partners supporting the initiative.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation is an independent body established in March 2004 by the UN Secretary-General to give him advice as well as to galvanize action on water and sanitation issues. Chaired by His Royal Highness the Prince of the Netherlands, the Board is composed of a wide range of dignitaries, technical experts, and individuals with proven experience in providing inspiration, moving the machinery of government, as well as working with the media, the private sector and civil society. See: http://www.unsgab.org/

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council is an international organization that works to improve access to sustainable sanitation, hygiene and water for all people. It does so by enhancing collaboration among sector agencies and professionals who are working to provide sanitation to the 2.6 billion people without a clean, safe toilet, and the 884 million people without affordable, clean drinking water close at hand. WSSCC is hosted by UNOPS and contributes to development through knowledge management, advocacy, communications, and the implementation of a sanitation financing facility. WSSCC supports coalitions in more than 30 countries, and has a broad membership base and a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. http://www.wsscc.org

For further information, please contact:

Leanne Burney, UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation
Tel: 212 963 5003, Email: burneyl@un.org

Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF Media
Tel: 212 326 7586, Email: rwallace@unicef.org

Martina Donlon, UN Department of Public Information
Tel: 212 963 6816, Email: donlon@un.org

Amanda Marlin, WSSCC
Tel 41 79 650 2629, Email: amanda.marlin@wsscc.org

Dave Trouba, WSSCC
Tel 41 79 261 5400, Email: david.trouba@wsscc.org


2nd ADB-DMC and Partners Sanitation Dialogue, Manila, Philippines, 23-25 May 2011

Conference logo

Organised by: Asian Development Bank with support from partner organisations (by invitation only)

This 2nd ADB-DMC and Partners Sanitation Dialogue will focus on making sanitation a viable and sustainable service – overcoming constraints and demonstrating benefits from shifting away from the business-as-usual mindset to innovative and cost-effective solution options. Emphasis will also be given towards environmental sanitation, which needs to be seen as a necessity if any improvement on health and standard of living is to be achieved. The event will also be used to launch the ADB Regional Technical Assistance on Promoting an Asia-Pacific Wastewater Management Revolution.

Target Participants: High-level government officials representing ministries of Finance, Health, Environment, and water-related ministries, city mayors, and representatives of water, sanitation and sewerage utilities, development partners, donor agencies, nongovernment organizations and private sector companies.

Read the Programme

For more information and to contact the organisers go to the ADB web site

SuSanA engagement in the five year drive for sustainable sanitation

Concept note: SuSanA engagement in the five year drive for sustainable sanitation

Link to Concept Note

As a follow-up to International Year of Sanitation (2008) and in the effort to attain sanitation and hygiene Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, Sustainable Sanitation 5 Year Drive to 2015 (5YD) was conceptualized by the United Nation Secretariat Advisory Board (UNSGAB) members. The idea being that, ‘the 5YD is an advocacy vehicle to keep sanitation high on the political agenda, promote national coordination, improve sanitation monitoring while supporting sustainable sanitation solutions – all in all in an effort to meet the sanitation target. The Drive aims to invigorate, galvanize and re-focus international, regional and national activities in the field of sanitation and maintain the momentum through raising awareness and facilitating action. The concept was drafted based on a recommendation made in The UN-Water Global Annual Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS) report of 2010.

The Five Year Drive was officially adopted by Resolution A/RES/65/153 of the UN General Assembly on December 20, 2010 and now serves as a tool for engaging countries as well as non-state stakeholders for improving access to sanitation worldwide.

The official launch of 5YD will take place in the presence of the UN Secretary General during the UNSGAB meeting to be held from 21-23 June 2011 in New York City. In addition regional launches are planned at the 4th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN IV) in April 2011 and at the 3rd African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan3) in July 2011.

Read the full text of UN Resolution 65/153

Southern Africa knowledge node on sustainable sanitation (SAKNSS) launched

Southern Africa Knowledge Node on Sustainable Sanitation banner

The SAKNSS website provides information resources on sanitation in Southern Africa including country information, documents, links and images. The documents and  organisation links are browsable by type, country and theme. Organisations and companies can enter their details online in a contact registry.

The SAKNSS secretariat is based in South Africa and managed by the Water Research Commission (WRC) and implemented through the Water Information Network- South Africa (WIN-SA).

Go to the web site: www.afrisan.org

SPLASH Sanitation Research Programme approves 5 projects

In November 2010, SPLASH, the European Union Water Initiative Research Area Network (EUWI ERA-net), selected the following 5 projects to be funded under the € 2.2 million SPLASH Sanitation Research Programme:

1. Catalysing self-­‐sustaining sanitation chains in informal settlements
Coordinated by the University of Surrey, the Robens Centre for Public and Environmental Health, United Kingdom, and including partners from France, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda

2. Economic constraints and demand-led solutions for sustainable sanitation services in poor urban settlements
Coordinated by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, the Centre for Development and Cooperation, Switzerland, and including partners from Uganda and Switzerland

3. FaME (Faecal Management Enterprise): Providing sanitation solutions through value chain management of faecal sludge
Coordinated by the Swiss Aquatic Research Institute, the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (SANDEC), Switzerland, and including partners from Austria, Ghana, Senegal, and Uganda

4. Maîtrise de la filière assainissement dans un écosystème côtier à Douala et les quartier populaires de Yaoundé au Cameroun
Coordinated by the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Polytechnique de Yaoundé, Cameroon, and including partners from Cameroon and France.

5. Sustainable and resilient sanitation service chains in Maputo province, Mozambique – action research and piloting for benefit of the urban poor
Coordinated by the International Water Association (IWA), the Netherlands, and including partners from France, Mozambique and the United Kingdom.

To see the full information on the composition of the selected consortia go to:

The Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), Loughborough University, UK, has been selected to manage the SPLASH Sanitation Research Programme.

Source: SPLASH newletter, no. 12, Dec 2011

Sustainable Sanitation Practice: The ROSA Project

Issue 4 of Sustainable Sanitation Practice (SSP), published by the EcoSan Club, Austria,  is s special issue that presents the highlights and main findings of the EU-funded ROSA (Resource-Oriented Sanitation concepts for peri-urban areas in Africa) project.
Read the full issue

The ROSA project was implemented in four pilot cities: Arba Minch in Ethiopia, Nakuru in Kenya, Arusha in Tanzania, and Kitgum in Uganda.

The 7 papers included in this special issue show specific aspects of the as well as an outlook on future activities. Topics covered include scaling-up ecosan toilets in Ethiopia, urine-diversion dry toilets in schools in Kenya, urban agriculture in Tanzania, operation and maintenance, and the development of Strategic Sanitation and Waste Plans (SSWPs).

Continue reading

India: achieving sustainable sanitation – lessons from civil society experiences [report]

Step by Step coverA new report [1] by Arghyam highlights the outcomes of research and discussions on the experiences of civil society organisations involved in implementing sustainable sanitation campaigns in India.

Several concerns were raised during the discussions on the the manner in which the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) was being implemented, followed by identification of steps that were needed to ensure social, technical, institutional, financial and environmental sustainability of the programme.

The discussions revealed that:

  • The TSC indeed led to the mainstreaming of sanitation in India. However, more emphasis was placed on hardware targets, while social mobilisation had been largely ignored. Thus, inspite of increase in the coverage of toilets, their usage and sustainability had remained low.
  • Experiences of civil society organisations indicated that a sanitation campaign needed to address a range of social, technical, financial, institutional and environmental concerns to be sustainable, rather than focusing exclusively on the technical aspects.
  • A closer look at the TSC revealed that three critical elements needed strengthening to ensure sustainability:
    • Software: Social mobilisation, capacity building and IEC for behavioural change
    • Hardware: Appropriate technology, integration with water management
    • Governance: Integrated and participatory planning, institution building and convergence

It was important to allocate adequate time and resources, both human and financial, to each of these. Prior experience indicated that civil society organisations had taken between three to five years to implement sustainable sanitation campaigns.

The report highlights a preliminary template formulated by Arghyam on the phases involved in a sustainable sanitation campaign, based on responses from civil society organisations. These consist of four distinct phases that involve planning, laying the foundation, implementation and finally ensuring that the toilets constructed continue to remain in use. The key aspects of the campaign include:

  • Building relationships with the community
  • Selecting appropriate hardware
  • Ensuring the smooth flow of funds
  • Monitoring quality and inculcating a sense of ownership

The report concludes by highlighting the urgent need for documenting other such processes and experiences in different contexts that have been attempted across the country to make the sanitation effort sustainable and argues that these can go along way in facilitating better informed changes at the policy level.

[1] Babu S.V., S. (2010). Step by step : achieving sustainable sanitation : lessons from civil society experiences. (Learning document ; no. 2). Bangalore, India, Arghyam. 63 p. Download full report.

Source:  India Water Portal

ACCESSanitation – Accelerating City to City Exchange for Sustainable Sanitation

ACCESSanitation is a three-year project (December 2009 – November 2012) implemented by ICLEI with funding from the European Union. It aims to to promote and initiate local sustainable sanitation solutions in a total of ten cities – five in the Philippines and five in India – thus improving health conditions, fostering the local economy and increasing food security. As well as benefiting the participating local authorities, the project will also increase awareness on the importance of sustainable sanitation for poverty alleviation among local stakeholders in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Project partners are: ICLEI European Secretariat, ICLEI Africa Secretariat, ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat, ICLEI South Asia Secretariat, Ecosan Services Foundation (Pune) and Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City.

The principle stages of the project are:

  • Creation of an inventory on relevant national policies and strategies in target countries
  • Identification of 10 cities in target countries to participate in the project
  • National training courses with selected municipalities in target countries
  • Three phases of local application including initial rapid assessment of the sanitation situation in participating cities, priority setting, development of action plan and implementation of solutions
  • Regional knowledge exchange and follow-up workshops
  • Final conference
  • Publication and dissemination of project case studies

Second Partner Meeting, Cape Town, 11-13 May 2010

During this meeting, the ICLEI South Asian and South East Asian partners presented and inventory of sanitation programmes being undertaken in their regions.

The technical partners Ecosan Services Foundation from India and Xavier Institute from Philippines presented the training programme on sustainable sanitation to be held in the project cities.

On 14 and 15 May 2010, the project held the first Advisory Board meeting with representation from the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), University of KwaZulu-Natal, UN-HABITAT, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI).

ICLEI South Asia launched a call for Expressions of Interest for cities in the Indian subcontinent to participate in the ACCESSanitation programme. The call closed on 15 April 2010.

ACCESSanitation contact at ICLEI European Secretariat: Barbara Anton, barbara.anton@iclei.org

More information: ICLEI South Asia – ACCESSanitation

National Conference on Cost Effective Sustainable Sanitation – an Indian Experience, New Delhi, India, 28-30 June 2010

Organised by: WAter, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Institute in collaboration with WES-Net India, SPHERE India, UNICEF, Water for People (WFP), Wherever the Needs (WTN) and Plan India


  • to share success stories and approaches in promoting sustainable sanitation in India
  • to define strategies to scale-up good practices


  • Rural Sanitation
  • Urban Sanitation
  • Ecological Sanitation
  • School Sanitation
  • Solid and Liquid Waste Management
  • Sanitation in Emergency Relief
  • Sanitation Demand Creation through Effective Hygiene Promotion
  • Knowledge Management in Sanitation

Registration fee: Rs. 500/-


  • WASH Institute, Email: secretariat@washinstitute.org, Phone: 91 4542 240881; Fax 91 4542 240882
  • R. K. Srinivasan, WES Advisor, Plan India, rk.srinivasan@plan-international.org, Phone: 09717690704

For full details go to the conference web site

Sustainable Sanitation Practice journal

Sustainable Sanitation Practice (SSP) is a new quarterly open access journal on practical experiences with available sustainable sanitation systems. SSP Journal is published by the EcoSan Club Austria, non profit association established in 2002.

The theme of the first issue of SSP journal, published in October 2009, is greywater. It includes five contributions showing results from projects, in which members of the EcoSan Club Austria have been involved:

  • Combined greywater reuse and rainwater harvesting in an office building in Austria: analyses of practical operation
  • Household greywater treatment for peri-urban areas of Nakuru Municipality, Kenya
  • Greywater use in peri-urban households in Kitgum, Uganda
  • Greywater treatment in apartment building in Austria
  • Combined greywater treatment using a membrane bioreactor

The themes for 2010 are:

  • Issue 2: “Successful models for operation and maintenance of sanitation systems” – January 2010, under preparation.
  • Issue 3: “Use of urine” – April 2010, deadline for contributions: 10 February 2010
  • Issue 4: “The ROSA project” – July 2010, deadline for contributions: 10 Mai 2010
  • Issue 5: “Sanitation as a business” – October 2010, deadline for contributions: 10 August 2010
  • Issue 6: “Toilets” – January 2011, deadline for contributions: 10 November 2010

For contributions contact: SSP editorial office, Ms. Isabelle Pavese (ssp [at] ecosan.at)

Sustainable Sanitation Practice journal web page