New sanitation planning tools in IYS 2008

The call for better planning and long-term sustainability in sanitation projects is understandable considering still 2.5 billion people unserved with improved sanitation (and probably the same amount with non-sustainable sanitation). The UN International Year of Sanitation 2008 is chosen by several initiatives as the most appropriate time for publishing new guidelines and planning tools for sanitation.

SuSanA fact sheet "Planning for sustainable sanitation"The new fact sheet of the SuSanA working group “Sustainable Sanitation for cities and planning” summarizes the 3 most important planning documents: Sanitation 21 (IWA), HCES – Household Centred Environmental Sanitation (WSSCC/Eawag-Sandec) and SSA – Strategic Sanitation Approach (WSP). The fact sheet can be downloaded here:

The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in cooperation with the EcoSan Club has published a brochure on planning principles “Solutions in Sanitation – Planning Principles”. The publication is available as download: That link offers also the possibility to order hard copies.

Furthermore NETSSAF also published a participatory planning tool which was distributed at the final conference of the network “Pathways towards Sustainable Sanitation in Africa” in September 2008 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It will be available soon at the webpage of the network.

The ‘Great Stink’ of the 21st Century

INVITATION to a World Water Day 2008 event hosted by Earthscan and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Join us for a panel discussion to launch The Last Taboo*: Opening the Door on the Global Sanitation Crisis – a new book supported by UNICEF, on the global sanitation crisis

thelasttabooTOPIC: The ‘Great Stink’ of the 21st Century

Why do 1.5 million children die each year from diarrhoeal disease? Because tiny particles of excreta get into their mouths. How? Because 150 years after ‘The Great Stink of London’ brought about a sanitation revolution, 2.6 billion people – 40% of the global population – do not have a decent place to ‘go’ and their bodily wastes are left lying about. Diarrhoeal diseases are not ‘water-related’, they are ‘s**t-related’. Until we call a spade a spade, this scandal will continue.

2008 is the International Year of Sanitation, and now is the time to speak out boldly and open up the excretory frontier. Join the speakers to insist that ways be found to overcome the silence which inhibits the access of millions of people from that basic necessity for public health and human dignity – a toilet.

Speakers: Maggie Black, co-author of The Last Taboo; Professor Sandy Cairncross, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Girish Menon, International Operations Director at Water Aid, DFID speaker to be confirmed

When: 20th March 2008

Time: 1pm – 2:30pm

Venue: The Lucas Room, London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, London, UK

Location map:

*About the book
The Last Taboo: Opening the Door on the Global Sanitation Crisis, by Maggie Black and Ben Fawcett, brings this neglected topic out of the closet. This highly readable book is aimed at all readers interested in the causes and consequences of this global sanitation crisis. Discounted copies will be available at the event. Those who can’t make it to the event can purchase copies online.

UNSGAB chair talks about reuse-oriented sanitation

Dear all,

in his speech for the launch of the UN International Year of Sanitation 2008 the UNSGAB-chair Prince Willem-Alexander from the Netherlands pointed out the importance of reaching the water supply and sanitation MDGs in a sustainable way. Reuse of excreta and wastewater is promoted and the agricultural and energetical value of excreta and wastewater is stressed.

From the educational point of view he named the community-led total sanitation campaign in India as a good approach (well, there are pros and cons about that one – would be interesting to hear your opinion on the total sanitation campaign). From a technological point of view, Urine-Diversion toilets are named as a new innovation (considering that more than a million are installed in China it is not really something novel but good that it was mentioned). Other appropriate systems to reach the MDGs are given with “small-bore sewerage systems, pit emptying facilities, low-cost septic tank sludge treatment methods and the development and marketing of biogas technologies” – addressing bigger problems of low-cost decentralized conventional treatment systems… thinking of climate change, it would make more sense for me to invest into upgrading septic tanks to anaerobic digesters and pit latrines into Urine Diversion Dehydration toilets – then we also fight Methane-emissions… but just some thoughts…

The whole speach can be found at:



Welcome to saniblog!

Welcome to saniblog – the world’s first blog on sanitation!

With the launch of the up-coming International Year of Sanitation 2008 on Wednesday, November 21st 2007, and the World Toilet Day on November 19th, I am very pleased to launch the first blog dedicated to sanitation.

As this blog has just been created, please subscribe to this site and stay tuned for more updates within the next few days.