Category Archives: Resources

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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The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) at the World Water Week 2016 in Stockholm

The World Water Week 2016 in Stockholm is lying ahead and the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) will be Co-Convener of several exciting events related to WASH and Sustainable Sanitation. Moreover, the 22nd SuSanA Meeting (27th of August) as well as several SuSanA Working Group Meetings will take place during the SWWW. Make sure to take a look at the official SWWW SuSanA Flyer (link below) to find out more about the event topics and their schedule.

Apart from the events themselves the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance will be hosting an official SuSanA Booth (Booth No. 44) where you can have interesting conversations on the topic or simply read through some of the latest SuSanA publications.

For all people that are interested but not able to join the SWWW there will be a Live Stream of the SuSanA events as well as live Twitter updates using the hashtag #22susana

If you want to register for the SuSanA events at the SWWW you can find the registration link as well as more information here:

Lastly, if you have any questions or comments you can post them on the SuSanA Forum (after registration):



The Role of Network Science in Analyzing Slums in Rapidly Growing Urban Areas

The Role of Network Science in Analyzing Slums in Rapidly Growing Urban Areas | Source: ETH Zurich, Aug 19 2016 |

As Amy Krakowka Richmond and her colleagues see it, military forces operating in nonlinear urban and urban-fringe environments will increasingly have to deal with volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) settings. So, what can these forces do to analyze and anticipate these contexts effectively? Use the latest insights from network theory, argue the authors.

An excerpt: Using Water Resources to Explain Informal Governance Structure

As water is critical for health and wellness of any community, its distribution is absolutely central for maintaining peace and coordination of a region. Urban and peri-urban communities of developing societies offer insights about how both formal government and informal power hierarchy can determine access and control of limited resources. We illustrate the utility of network models by exploring network maps of water availability in urban and peri-urban regions in the developing world. Historically, tension has been fueled when disparate social classes with numerous ethnic affiliations from distinct regions of a state are brought into close proximity and forced to rely on restricted resources. In many cases, political and other influential entities can act as informal gatekeepers, whose role can either aggravate or alleviate such tensions. The complexity of the problem is only made worse by the lack of centralized oversight of the various natural resources, such as water, food, and energy, as well as the physical land upon which these resources are drawn. We suggest that this problem be examined from a systems perspective, by mapping, quantifying and evaluating how well various interdependent systems related to water supply are maintained and balanced. In the figure above we show the various networks that are likely involved in the access and consumption of water.

The water access and consumption network isolates where and how the resources directly impact the population. This network is bi-modal as it is made up two types of nodes: water consumers and water sources. The links indicate which households get water from which source(s). Water is consumed primarily by three sectors: agriculture, households and commercial operations. This network directly reflects constraints to water access—­­how far and how many sources can households access. Households can obtain water from multiple sources. In sub-Saharan Africa for example, a significant portion of the population lacks access to piped water and therefore households rely primarily on springs, communal taps, and open water sources such as lakes and rivers. Analysis of this network can show how water consumption relies on particular types of sources and which suppliers in turn wield the most economic and possibly social and political influence.

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Sewage sludge could make great sustainable fertilizer

Sewage sludge could make great sustainable fertilizer | Source:, Aug 15 2016 |

Ever thought of putting sewage on your plants? Scientists say thermally conditioned sewage sludge serves as an excellent fertilizer to improve soil properties. This was recently published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Nutrition. The major advantage over commercial fertilizers? Sustainable re-use of essential and finite phosphorus resources.

Phosphorus is a key nutrient for all living beings. When deficient in the diet, it severely compromises human health, and when deficient in agriculture, it restricts crop productivity. Without , there can be no food production.

As the source of phosphorus is non-renewable phosphate rocks, there is a strong need for increased recycling to ensure phosphorus security. Efficient use and reduced environmental dissemination of phosphorus throughout the food system is needed to secure the ability to feed a growing global population.

As technological improvements increased the of , it now is a readily available alternative to commercial fertilizers in agriculture. To assess its effectiveness, Andry Andriamananjara from the University of Antananarivo (Madagascar) and his colleagues used a phosphorus radiotracer technique to measure the availability of phosphorus for plants in thermally conditioned sewage sludge.

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Recent sanitation studies

Caught Short: How a Lack of Access to Clean Water and Decent Toilets Plays a Major Role in Child Stunting. WaterAid, July 2016. WaterAid’s new report reveals the extent of the global stunting crisis and the impact a lack of clean water and decent toilets is having on the future of millions of children suffering from malnutrition.

Quantifying Accessibility and Use of Improved Sanitation: Towards a Comprehensive Indicator of the Need for Sanitation Interventions. Nature, July 2016. Results show how a good indicator of the need for sanitation and hygiene interventions can combine evidence of both access and use, from self-reports and objective observation. Such an indicator can inform decisions about sanitation-related interventions, and about scaling programs up or down.

Supporting the Rights of Girls and Women through Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in the East Asia and Pacific Region: Realities, Progress and Opportunities. UNICEF, July 2016. UNICEF provides an overview and analysis of the experiences of girls and women, to establish the current status of MHM programming and action across the region.

Water and Sanitation Entrepreneurs in Indonesia, Vietnam and Timor-Leste: Traits, Drivers and Challenges. Institute for Sustainable Futures, 2016. This paper explores the entrepreneurial traits, motivations, and challenges of different types of water and sanitation entrepreneurs in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Timor-Leste. It also looks at the socio-cultural dynamics that affect women’s involvement in leading water and sanitation enterprises.

WASH Nutrition Integration Compendium of Resources. WASHplus, July 2016. This compendium of WASHplus tools and resources is offered to facilitate WASH and nutrition at the global and country levels.

4th International Faecal Sludge Management Conference

4th International Faecal Sludge Management Conference, 19 – 22 February 2017, Chennai, India

Worldwide, 2.7 billion people rely on onsite sanitation. Yet, there is still typically no management system in place to deal with the resulting faecal sludge (e.g. septage and pit latrine sludge). The result is that the waste typically ends up being dumped directly into the urban environment, with significant health and environmental implications. Creating faecal sludge management (FSM) infrastructure and public services that work for everyone, and keep faecal sludge out of the environment is a major challenge for achieving universal sanitation access.

To address this challenge, a global platform for discussion of FSM was created in 2011 by leading global sector organizations. The aim was to share and brainstorm potential solutions, to formulate policy recommendations that promote best practices, and to identify lessons learned in how to make FSM an integral part of sanitation service delivery. Building on the success of the first three International FSM Conferences in Hanoi (2015) and in Durban (2011& 2012), FSM4 aims to bring together professionals working in the sector, including utilities, service providers, cities, governments, academics, scientists, consultants, donors and industries, to support the global initiative of disseminating sustainable solutions for FSM.

FSM4 will be held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, where the State Government has recently initiated measures to address FSM with regard to policy, regulatory changes, innovative solutions, and pilots. FSM4 will focus on innovative and practical solutions that can be scaled up, including three tracks: research, case studies, and industry & exhibition.


SHARE – PhD in Brief: How effective is sanitation in preventing environmental contamination?

In this video Dr Tarique Md Nurul Huda answers a couple of questions about his SHARE-funded PhD which explored the role of sanitation in peventing contamination of the domestic environment and protecting health in Bangladesh.

For more info on his PhD, visit:…