Sustainable excreta management
One of the fundamental priorities on the coming century is the development of means of sanitation that is ecologically viable and universally available for the one in three of the world’s population who lack basic access to sanitation.
One of the principal problems to addressing this challenge lies in the way we view the problem; our approach is generally dominated by the Victorian era perspective – use of technologies and systems which are water intensive, high in capital costs and sometimes environmentally damaging. The reality is that there are neither sufficient funds nor capital to accomplish universal sanitation using this ‘traditional’ method.
Despite this, there is still a widespread lack of consciousness about, and confidence in, sanitation alternatives which differ in their approach from the Victorian era described above. The lack of a well articulated portfolio of sanitation alternatives deprives both communities and planners the choice and access to viable sanitation options. The consequences are far reaching and result in highly detrimental health, economic and societal impacts to a significant proportion of the world’s population.
To advance the objective of universally accessible sanitation, it is necessary to urgently address the technical, institutional and social barriers that constrain making a full complement of sanitation alternatives available to communities throughout the world.