Long Read
18 November 2015

World Toilet Day: a call for more, sustainable and better-managed toilets

In a world where 2.5 billion people still lack access to improved sanitation and where 1.1 billion still practice open defecation, celebrating World Toilet Day is an urgent call to eliminate the cause of diseases and other dangers. Simavi stresses the importance of good hygiene practices to make sure toilets are properly used and diseases are prevented. And we highlight the importance of taking the whole sanitation chain into account.

Sustainable sanitation chain

Without proper management, faecal sludge is often dumped into waterways, wasteland and insanitary landfill sites

Under our WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) theme, Simavi has worked with several organisations and governments in providing better sanitation by not only building more toilets but also teaching and facilitating faecal sludge management (FSM). Without proper management, faecal sludge is often allowed to accumulate in poorly designed pits, discharged into storm drains and open water, or dumped into waterways, wasteland and insanitary landfill sites. These create a bigger sanitation and environmental problem.

Simavi, through its Sustainable Sanitation and FSM Service Chain, has provided sanitation services in rural and urban communities and trained pit emptiers on how to empty pits and transport sludge safely and hygienically. Simavi also supports the development and implementation of decentralized, low-cost technologies for sludge treatment that doesn’t require large tract of land, environment-friendly and creates opportunities for entrepreneurship among stakeholders.

The UN states that every $1 spent on water and sanitation generates a $4.3 return in the form of reduced health care costs. One of the unique features of the Simavi approach is the collaboration with Micro Finance Institutes (MFIs) to ensure affordable micro finance products and soft loans are available to local entrepreneurs working on the entire sanitation chain. We act as a mediator to channel finances from businesses/investors to small or medium size entrepreneurs that guarantee proper service delivery.

With these continuing efforts, we hope that during the celebration of the World Toilet Day, we can generate more commitments from individuals, groups, governments and institutions to create a sustainable sanitation chain. Happy World Toilet Day!

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