Systems Strengthening for Sanitation

March 2019

Animation for the IRC WASH Systems Academy on the topic of sanitation. In this animation all the important aspects of sanitation management are shown.

Sanitation services are responsible for the safe management of faecal sludge. Generally, this involves six main processes: capture, containment, emptying, transport, treatment and safe reuse or disposal. A sewer network can substitute the containment and emptying steps. Together, each of these steps ensure the proper management of faecal waste and are collectively known as the sanitation service chain. As a chain, a weakness in one link has implications on the performance of the entire sanitation service.

For a service to be deemed safely managed, all human waste captured at the beginning must ultimately be safely reused or disposed of at the end of the chain. The principal goal being, to keep human faecal waste contained throughout the sanitation chain.

Applying a systems-strengthening approach to the sanitation chain means looking at the chain in its entirety—and making sure that each link is present and secure. It is only by ensuring that each segment of the sanitation chain works well that we can manage faecal waste properly, reduce environmental harm and health risks and ensure safe sanitation services that last for all.

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