By Prakhar Jain (email) and Aditya Bhol
The run-up to elect a new government brought sanitation to the fore of public conversation in India. Last month, Prime Minister Modi declared sanitation as a national priority, announcing ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, a sanitation programme dedicated to creating clean India by 2019 as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Whether or not this plan succeeds may depend on whether it is simply a repackaged programme such as the ‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan’ that was focused entirely on building toilets in rural India, or a renewed commitment to improve sanitation in both the rural and urban areas. As India urbanizes, demand for effective and sustainable sanitation services will increase. India, with 11% of the world’s urban population currently, accounts for 46% of global urban open defecation [i]. While other developing countries like China, Vietnam, and Peru have already achieved open defecation free (ODF) status in urban areas, India still lags behind. The situation is particularly abysmal in small cities (population below a million) where close to 17% of the population defecates in the open as compared to 4% in large cities (population greater than a million) [ii]. The 2011 national census has shown that these small cities represent more than 91% of total urban open defecation in the country. If we are to catch up, the key is to immediately turn our attention towards small and medium-sized cities.
SNV has produced a short video on the harsh reality of current urban sanitation practices in Bangladesh. Of course they want to change this. That is at least the intention of SNV’s recently launched “Modernising urban sanitation in Southern Bangladesh” project focussing on market-based solutions.
WSUP believes that the issue of gender inclusion is fundamental to effective WASH service provision. To mark International Women’s Day and to recognise the importance of this issue, we have produced a new Practice Note which provides a contextual background on gender issues in WASH, before illustrating what a gender-inclusive approach looks like in practice. This Practice Note is based on direct experience of communal sanitation in Maputo (Mozambique) and Naivasha (Kenya), and demonstrates how the concerns of women and girls can be addressed at every step of programme planning and implementation.
This is a free resource and is available for download by clicking on the image above or visiting our online resource library.
Posted in Africa, Publications, Resources, Sanitary Facilities, Uncategorized
Tagged communal sanitation, gender, inclusive sanitation, International Women's Day, Kenya, Maputo, Mozambique, Naivasha, sanitation, urban sanitation
India, urban sanitation, and the toilet challenge, 2013.
Elledge, M.F., McClatchey, M. RTI International.
This research brief builds upon a literature review and stakeholder interviews in India on urban sanitation to examine the public policy landscape for sanitation innovation in the country. India ranks low in terms of sanitation coverage; the country experiences very high rates of open defecation and significant use of unimproved toilets. The majority of fecal sludge goes untreated into waterways in urban areas. India’s demographic trends show rapid urban growth, both geographically and in terms of population, which is also expanding the gap in access to improved sanitation in urban areas. Adequate government funding and policy implementation is lacking.
The past focus on centralized sewerage systems and simple on-site sanitation is not an acceptable default option, nor is it technically feasible or financially viable given growth patterns. Groundbreaking new technology, management, and operational models are required to solve the sanitation challenge at scale. Recent attention from the donor community, the private sector, and others brings focus to using innovation to solve the sanitation challenge. This review highlights that urban sanitation is under-researched. More work is required to spur funding, inform technology development, and support the policy-enabling environment for bringing in new approaches to improved urban sanitation.
Infographic: ADB and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have set up a joint trust fund to expand non-sewered sanitation and septage management solutions across Asia.
The Gates Foundation will invest US$ 15 million into the new Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund, which will leverage more than US$ 28 million in investments from ADB by 2017.
The Trust Fund will pilot innovations in sanitation and septage management, provide grant funds for innovations in ADB’s sanitation projects, and support polices on septage management and sludge treatment for low-income urban communities who lack access to piped networks or safe wastewater disposal systems.
The Trust Fund will be part of ADB’s Water Financing Partnership Facility (WFPF), which has invested US$ 2.5 billion (out of a total of US$ 8.8 billion) in water supply, sanitation, and wastewater management projects since 2006.
So far the Gates Foundation has funded 85 sanitation research & development projects as part of their grant schemes such as the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge” and “Grand Challenges Exploration“. An overview of these projects and background information is available on the SuSanA website.
The BRAC WASH II programme in Bangladesh, which is co-funded by the Gates Foundation, includes a component for innovative action research on sanitation and water supply.
Source: ADB, 02 Sep 2013
Posted in East Asia & Pacific, Funding, Research, Sanitary Facilities, South Asia, Wastewater Management
Tagged Asian Development Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, faecal sludge management, finance, Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund, urban sanitation
The Local Development Programme of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) announces the next session of the e-learning course Governance in Urban Sanitation, to be conducted from 23 September to 29 November 2013.
The course aims to enhance the capacity of local decision-makers and sanitation professionals to make the most enlightened decisions and investments in the area of urban sanitation. Furthermore, it provides analytical tools to understand the financial and institutional framework of the sanitation sector, taking into account the needs of urban poor communities.
The course is composed of four modules:
Module 1: Introduction to Sanitation
Module 2: Economics, Pricing and Financing of the Sanitation Sector
Module 3: Institutional Aspects of the Sanitation Sector
Module 4: Sanitation and Poverty
This online course has been awarded with the International ECBCheck Quality Label for e-learning.
The course fee is USD 600 and UNITAR stresses that it does not provide any financial assistance.
Full information about the course is available at:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID) have initiated a partnership to focus on solutions for the sustainable provision of sanitation to the urban poor. They are jointly seeking proposals to test how cities can use binding service-level agreements and performance-based contracts with private sector partners as way to ensure the city-scale delivery of sustainable sanitation services.
The selection of the cities will be a two-step process. In Phase 1, up to ten cities will be selected to develop an informed plan and full proposal to solicit a grant. Out of these proposals, 2-3 cities will be selected for a larger Phase 2 grant to support implementation of their proposed plan. The duration of the Phase 2 grant is expected to be 2-3 years. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are priority geographies for consideration.
Phase 1 budgets have a maximum of US$ 150,000, but no budget limits have been set yet for Phase 2.
The application deadline for proposals is 13 September 2013.
In 2012, the Gates Foundation published a study on fecal sludge management in 30 cities across 10 countries in Africa and Asia.
For more information on the “City Partnerships for Urban Sanitation Service Delivery” request for proposals (RFP) go here.