Category Archives: Economic Benefits

Eight ideas to fund access to water and toilets for all by 2030

Eight ideas to fund access to water and toilets for all by 2030 | Source: The Guardian, September 19 2016 |

Some $114bn is needed each year to reach the SDG on water and sanitation. Our panel of experts share their ideas on how to raise the money 


How do we raise the funds needed to improve access to water and sanitation for millions? Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

1 | Crack down on illicit financial flows and tax evasion
An estimated $1tn [£0.8tn] flows illegally out of developing countries and emerging economies each year – more than they receive in foreign direct investment and aid combined. Beyond bleeding the world’s poorest economies, this propels crime, corruption and tax evasion. Most of the money is lost through trade mis-invoicing – where trade invoices are manipulated to change the value to secretly move money across borders. Folks in the water and sanitation sector could help promote the importance of raising more domestic revenue by combating tax evasion and avoidance, and push for some of that money to go towards water and sanitation projects. Christine Clough, programme manager, Global Financial Integrity

2 | Increase public investment
The most important route towards financing sanitation and water is increased domestic government investment. For example, a recent estimate of the annual sanitation financing gap in Ghana is $93m [£71m]. Ghana’s GDP is around $38bn [£28bn] and its total tax revenues amount to about 21% of GDP – a pretty good percentage for a low- to middle-income country. But the Ghanaian government currently invests only $7m [£5m] yearly in sanitation: a tiny, trivial amount. If it were instead to invest 0.5% of GDP in sanitation, we’d be looking at about $190m [£145m] – more than enough to cover the country’s financing gap. The bottom line is that countries need to use equitable taxation to support the provision of basic services for poorer citizens. Guy Norman, director of research & evaluation, WSUP

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Live Q&A: $114bn a year needed for water and toilets – where will it come from?

Live Q&A: $114bn a year needed for water and toilets – where will it come from? | Source: The Guardian, Sept 8, 2016 |

How do we raise funds needed to reach the millions without access to water and sanitation? Discuss with an expert panel on 15 September, 3–4.30pm BST

About $28.4bn (£21.2bn) is spent each year to provide access to water and sanitation around the world. If this investment is maintained, by 2030 everyone will have access to drinking water, an adequate toilet, and a suitable place to wash their hands.


Access to clean and affordable water and a safe place to go to the toilet will cost $114bn a year. Photograph: Rupak de Chowdhuri/Reuters

But the sustainable development goals go beyond just basic access; they envision a world where everyone has access to clean and affordable drinking water and a safe place to go to the toilet. This level of access will cost $114bn a year, the World Bank estimates.

The water and finance communities need to find ways to triple current levels of investment, and they need to do it quickly. “We’re already one year into the SDGs,” says Bill Kingdom, global lead for water supply and sanitation at the World Bank’s Water Global Practice. “If we carry on with business as usual for the next year, that’s two years gone, and that $114bn a year becomes $127bn for the remaining 13 years.”

Which innovative ideas could realistically help raise the additional $85.6bn needed annually? What will make the water industry attractive to lenders? How do we address the privatisation of services and make sure water and sanitation is affordable for all?

Join an expert panel on Thursday 15 September, from 3pm to 4.30pm BST, to discuss these questions and more.

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Broken glass and needles: the waste pickers scraping a living at Jordan’s landfills

Broken glass and needles: the waste pickers scraping a living at Jordan’s landfills | Source: The Guardian, August 27, 2016 |

At Al Huseyniyat landfill, Syrian refugees salvage recyclables illegally. Efforts to formalise their work offer hope 


Muhammed Abu Najib Temeki, 48, a father of nine from Deraa in Syria, pushes a cart of recyclable waste towards an Oxfam recycling centre in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Photograph: Sam Tarling/Oxfam

Without warning the bulldozer accelerates, cutting through mounds of waste at Al Huseyniyat landfill in northern Jordan. A lingering stench intensifies as the machine scoops up an armful of rubbish, discharging clouds of flies over a group of people rifling through bin bags nearby.

No one notices the disturbance. Their gazes are trained downwards as they sift through the morning’s waste. “We look for plastic, aluminium, metal, clothes – anything we can sell or keep, or sometimes eat,” says Mohammed Ali, an Egyptian who makes a living salvaging recyclables from the site.

Ali manages a team of 15 waste pickers – men, women and children – most Syrians from nearby Za’atari refugee camp. They earn around 10 Jordanian dinar (£10.90) a day. “It’s not a lot but I make enough to manage on,” says Nawras Sahasil, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee who supports his wife and two children on the 250 dinars a month he earns from the landfill.

Like most people here, Sahasil does not have a work permit. While the Jordanian government has gone some way towards easing restrictions on employment for Syrian refugees, the vast majority are still working illegally. Now, a number of organisations in Jordan are looking to formalise the work of waste pickers and harness their role as recyclers to address the country’s mounting rubbish crisis, while developing sustainable solutions for processing waste in the future.

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How One Organization in Hyderabad Is Helping People Manage Waste in a Responsible & Scientific Way

How One Organization in Hyderabad Is Helping People Manage Waste in a Responsible & Scientific Way | Source: The Better India, September 13, 2016 |

Sixty million tons of garbage generated per year; 45 million tons of untreated waste disposed of in an unhygienic manner every day; and about 0.34 kg waste generated by every person daily – when it comes to statistics regarding waste generation and management in India, the numbers looks quite dismal. wvi2

“We have no organised waste management system in India. We just dump waste and leave it around to pollute the environment. And the main reason behind this is that we do not have the concept of waste segregation at all. At most places, waste is simply thrown in the easiest manner possible,” says Mathangi Swaminathan, the Associate Director of Waste Ventures India (WVI) – a social enterprise that is working in the field of waste management in Hyderabad.

Run by a group of environmentally-conscious individuals, WVI provides waste solutions for housing societies and corporate offices by recycling dry waste and composting organic waste. The company offers doorstep collection of waste in two ways:

  • Collection of recyclable waste only.
  • Complete waste solution with collection of dry as well as organic waste.

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Facilitating Access to Finance for Household Investment in Sanitation in Bangladesh

Facilitating Access to Finance for Household Investment in Sanitation in Bangladesh, August 2016. World Bank.

Approach to Blended Finance: The provision of an output-based aid (OBA) subsidy to microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Bangladesh is used to help MFIs develop sanitation products and extend their reach to poorer households.

Microfinance (the provision of financial services to low-income people) is emerging as a viable avenue to facilitate increased access to finance for households to water and sanitation products, and for small-scale water service providers’ business development.

OBA is a form of results-based financing where subsidies are paid to service providers based on verification of pre-agreed water and sanitation project targets defined during project design, thereby offering a strong incentive for the delivery of results.

Combining an OBA subsidy with a microfinance loan helps reduce households’ cash constraints by spreading repayment over time, and makes investment in improved sanitation more affordable overall.


Achieving universal access to water and sanitation by 2030 – how can blended finance help?

Achieving universal access to water and sanitation by 2030 – how can blended finance help? | Source: World Bank Water Blog, August 29, 2016 |

An excerpt: What is “blended finance”?

OECD refers to blended finance as ‘the strategic use of development finance and philanthropic funds to mobilize private capital flows to emerging and frontier markets’.  Blended finance in the water sector has the potential of mobilizing private sector financing for credit-worthy or close to credit-worthy investments. This would allow reallocating public funds to other areas where public subsidies are likely to be needed.

Commercial finance usually brings requirements for greater investment discipline and transparency, which in turn could support improved efficiency in the sector, an objective for most water sector reform efforts around the world. waterblog.png

Domestic commercial finance in particular can be mobilized in local currency, which reduces the foreign exchange risk and can bring down transaction costs, particularly for smaller scale investments to improve efficiency that can generate rapid returns (such as replacing meters or fixing leaks).

Blended finance has traditionally been used as a tool to stimulate interest from the commercial financial sector, with the use of concessional finance then tapering off over time to avoid distorting markets. Given the embedded distortions in the WSS sector in developing countries, where financing is predominantly based on subsidized public funds, it will be necessary to move towards mobilizing more commercial funds over time. Blended finance can be a stepping-stone in that transition.

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Poor sanitation cost global economy US$ 223 billion in 2015

True cost poor sanitation cover

Lack of access to sanitation cost the global economy US$222.9 billion in 2015, up from US$182.5 billion in 2010, a rise of 22% in just five years, according to a new report released on 25 August 2016 by LIXIL Group Corporation (“LIXIL Group”), a global leader in housing and building materials, products and services.

The true cost of poor sanitation, published in collaboration with WaterAid and Oxford Economics, which conducted economic modeling to develop up-to-date estimations of the global cost of poor sanitation, brings to light the high economic burden in low-income and lower-middle income countries.

More than half (55%) of all costs of poor sanitation are a consequence of premature deaths, rising to 75% in Africa. A further quarter are due to treating related diseases, and other costs are related to lower productivity as a result of illnesses and time lost due to lack of access to a private toilet.

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