Citywide Inclusive Sanitation

15 May 2020

A successful city is one where all citizens live productive, healthy and dignified lives in an environment free from faecal contamination. Human waste must be managed in ways that safeguard the urban environment, including water and food supplies.

Far from being a reality, this vision is under increasing threat. With limited financial and human resources, a changing climate and rapid, unplanned urbanisation, cities are struggling to cope. ‘Business as usual’ is not working. However, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide new impetus to ensure access to sustainable water and sanitation services, to keep cities safe and resilient, and to ensure citizens’ health and wellbeing.

Citywide inclusive sanitation means that: everybody benefits from adequate sanitation service delivery outcomes; human waste is safely managed along the whole sanitation service chain; effective resource recovery and re-use are considered; a diversity of technical solutions are embraced for adaptive, mixed and incremental approaches; and onsite and sewerage solutions are combined, in either centralised or decentralised systems, to better respond to the realities found in cities in developing countries.

Cities need to develop comprehensive approaches to sanitation improvement that encompass long-term planning, technical innovation, institutional reforms and financial mobilisation. They will need to demonstrate political will and technical and managerial leadership to focus on durable drivers for innovation, and to manage funding for sanitation in new and creative ways.

Additional details

PublisherBill and Melinda Gates Foundation
ApproachesCity-wide approaches, Sanitation approaches

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