Category Archives: Sanitary Facilities

Seeking Sanitation Success – Improve International

Seeking Sanitation Success | Source: Improve International, May 2 2016 |

The sanitation sector has evolved over decades.  Yet, in 2015, the target year for the Millennium Development Goals, much remains to be done: 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation and almost 1 billion people practice open defecation, nine out of ten in rural areas (WHO/UNICEF, 2015). seeking-sanitation-success-fact-sheet-p1

While some attempts to determine what works over time have been made, comparable information is scarce.  This is an important gap to overcome, and to overcome quickly, because Sustainable Development Goal 6 (UN) aims “to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” in just 14 years.

The purpose of this meta-evaluation was to attempt to identify which sanitation approaches in developing countries have been effective and sustainable, so that sector actors can position themselves for achieving universal sanitation services.

This work is divided into two phases: the desk review and expert consultation (Phase I) and in-depth country case studies (Phase II). The Seeking Sanitation Successes Fact Sheet  summarizes the output of Phase I, which recommended countries for Phase II. Please get in touch if you are interested in collaborating on the Phase II research.

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Policy Note: Should Public Toilets Be Part of Urban Sanitation Solutions for Poor Families Living in Slums?

Policy Note: Should Public Toilets Be Part of Urban Sanitation Solutions for Poor Families Living in Slums? April 2016. Emory University’s Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.

Although households would prefer to have private facilities, conditions suggest that shared public toilets will, for the foreseeable future, continue to be the main available option for defecation in the slums of Accra. In this context, efforts are needed to improve existing and new public toilets to make them hygienic and safely managed in order to provide sanitation services that result in public health benefits.

Since public toilets do not meet the JMP criteria for an improved toilet, they also do not meet current government of Ghana standards. This in turn creates a disincentive for local governments to invest in public toilets and related safe management of the fecal sludge as part of their urban sanitation services.

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Studies on container-based sanitation

This bibliography on container-based sanitation will be updated as new reports and studies are published.

2015 Studies

User perceptions of and willingness to pay for household container-based sanitation services: experience from Cap Haitien, HaitiEnviron Urban. 2015 Oct;27(2):525-540. Authors: Russel K, Tilmans S, et al.

Household-level container-based sanitation (CBS) services may help address the persistent challenge of providing effective, affordable sanitation services for which low-income urban households are willing to pay. Little is known, however, about user perceptions of and demand for household CBS services. This study presents the results of a pilot CBS service programme in Cap Haitien, Haiti. One hundred and eighteen households were randomly selected to receive toilets and a twice-weekly collection service.

The results from this study suggest that, in the context of urban Haiti, household CBS systems have the potential to satisfy many residents’ desire for safe, convenient and modern sanitation services.

Container-based sanitation: assessing costs and effectiveness of excreta management in Cap Haitien, HaitiEnviron Urban. 2015 Apr;27(1):89-104. Authors: Tilmans S, Russel K, et al.

Container-based sanitation (CBS) – in which wastes are captured in sealable containers that are then transported to treatment facilities – is an alternative sanitation option in urban areas where on-site sanitation and sewerage are infeasible. This paper presents the results of a pilot household CBS service in Cap Haitien, Haiti. The CBS service yielded an approximately 3.5-fold decrease in the unmanaged share of faeces produced, and nearly eliminated the reported use of open defecation and “flying toilets” among service recipients. The costs of this pilot small-scale service were higher than those of large-scale waterborne sewerage, but economies of scale have the potential to reduce CBS costs over time.

Waste to Wealth Project – UN University

About The Waste To Wealth Initiative at UNU-INWEH:
Lack of appropriate treatment of human waste, especially in rural communities, is unnecessarily contributing to morbidity and mortality. Given that almost all wastewater in developing countries is discharged directly into water bodies and poor water quality contributes to almost 10% of the global burden of disease, it is imperative to develop sustainable approaches to manage this wastewater.

Waste as a Resource: The economic benefits of nutrient recycling, biogas generation, soil amendment and new livelihoods from wastewater management will be a financial incentive for communities in developing countries to collect and treat their waste.

In terms of public health impacts, 10% of the global burden of disease is related to water, sanitation and hygiene. Child (under 5) mortality is reduced by 2.45 per 1,000 with access to improved sanitation. Returns on investment in improving wastewater management and infrastructure range between 3 and 34, providing resources to reduce poverty, and increase education rates and economic activity.

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Sanitation for all: Scaling up is hard to do – Jan Willem Rosenboom

Sanitation for all: Scaling up is hard to do | Source: Jan Willem Rosenboom, Devex, March 22 2016 |

If you invest even a little bit of your time in keeping on top of developments in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, you will have seen at least some of the blogs, reports and articles reminding us all that the world failed to attain the Millennium Development Goals’ sanitation targets — by a wide margin.

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A school teacher leads a community-led total sanitation activity in Ethiopia. Photo by: Plan International / Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Sustainable Development Goals give us a second chance to get it right, but they seriously up the ante. Instead of “merely” providing half of the unserved population with access to improved sanitation, as the MDGs required, the SDGs tell us we can only declare success once every person, every school and every health facility has — and uses — safely managed sanitation facilities.

We have 15 years to get it right. Given the below-average results we obtained in the past 15 years, it is clear that we should ask some hard questions and examine the evidence emerging from the field, in the hope we can do much better in the next 15 years.

Pilots never fail, and never scale

Anywhere in the world, if we look hard enough, we can find successful, innovative projects changing people’s lives for the better — and not only in sanitation; this is true for every sector.

The assumption that successful pilots will — by some unexamined magic — lead to sustained scale up efforts is mostly false and, as a result, we seem stuck with repeated small-scale successes, rather than impact at scale. In the past I have labeled this observation “Rosenboom’s law on pilots:” Pilots never fail, and never scale.

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Sustainable Solutions for Sanitation Challenges in Informal Settlements of Kigali, Rwanda

Sustainable Solutions for Sanitation Challenges in Informal Settlements of Kigali, Rwanda, 2015. Institute of Policy Analysis and Research – Rwanda.

Dwellers of informal settlements are inclined over time to reject traditional pit latrines for alternative low-cost options that are more sustainable, such as innovative decentralized sanitation and reuse (DeSaR) and water serving sanitation technologies. This is important because these options can play a part in reduction of over exploitation of natural water sources, which continue to be scarce, as a result of population pressure in the country.

DeSaR technologies are also appropriate in informal settlements of Kigali because they occupy less space, do not require emptying by vacuum tankers, pre treatment/composting, provides opportunity for nutrients re-cycling which is environmentally sustainable and, if well maintained, can have minimal harmful effects.

The clean water and sanitation crisis: How we can do better

The clean water and sanitation crisis: How we can do better | Source: John Hewko, Rotary International, Devex, Mar 22 2016 |

Hewko_John

John Hewko

On this year’s World Water Day, more than 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation facilities. One in nine people lack access to safe water, and the number of people who own a mobile phone exceeds the number who has a toilet.

What can service organizations do about this? We know that only improving infrastructure is not enough for sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene improvements.

Instead, for WASH programming that has a lasting impact, it needs to observe several principles: to work with governments to ensure affordable, high-quality services that last generations; investing in people not just hardware; investing in systemic change; spending more time collecting data on what works than we do on writing success stories; measuring success in terms of how many communities have water and sanitation services over time; and learning from past failures.

This last point is vital, because even after decades of intervention, failure rates for water systems in developing countries are still high, with the cumulative “costs of failed water systems estimated to be $1.2 billion,” according to Improve International.

And the development community missed the Millennium Development Goals target on access to improved sanitation, with great discrepancies still existing between urban and rural areas, despite our progress on other goals, such as reducing extreme poverty and improving maternal health.

Broken water pumps are an all too common sight, and are a symbol of water and sanitation projects that have failed the test of sustainability.

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