Press release: SNV and ISF-UTS launch publication on sanitation treatment technologies


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Publication highlights studies on practical treatment options for local governments, utility companies, and WASH professionals working in urban sanitation.

The Hague, 25 May 2021 - SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, a not-for-profit international development organisation, has released its latest publication on urban sanitation together with its knowledge partner Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney (ISF-UTS), Australia.

With more than half the world’s population living in urban areas, access to safely managed sanitation in these areas is a public and environmental health priority. Achieving safely managed sanitation for all requires a broad, integrated effort, and treatment and reuse is part of that puzzle. But too often, investment decisions about treatment and/or reuse have been made without sufficient information and knowledge about the practical implications of a particular technology.

SNV has worked closely with knowledge partner ISF-UTS in developing a range of knowledge outputs and events covering a number of topics from sanitation planning and financing to enforcement and sanitation in low-income communities. During SNV’s 2018 Lusaka learning event, ‘Informed Choice in Urban Sanitation Infrastructure Investments,’ it became evident that stakeholders from government, utility companies, and the WASH sector had limited access to documentation of real-life operations and experiences in faecal sludge and wastewater treatment and reuse.

This publication responds to that need, providing insight into the day-to-day realities of decision-makers and operators of nine faecal sludge and wastewater treatment technologies. The cases describe how each technology was selected, how it works, what the realities, challenges and opportunities are of operating it, and how reuse fits into the equation (if applicable).

Antoinette Kome, Global Sector Head for WASH in SNV said, ´This is innovation in practice, written in an accessible form, providing a resource for decision-makers who would like to imagine what an effective and sustainable treatment option could look like.’

Juliet Willetts, leader of ISF-UTS’s WASH research team said: ‘Beyond technical manuals, we urgently need to share the lived experiences of people operating wastewater and faecal sludge treatment systems to enable better informed decision-making. Things don’t go to plan and there is much we can learn.’

As part of the publication, the team tracked and researched better-known and lesser-known treatment and reuse stories in Asia and Africa. The collaboration between SNV teams in country and ISF-UTS researchers, as well as the many contacts that shared information, proved that it is possible to conduct research amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Antoinette Kome added, ‘this publication is a nice example of learning from “the ground” and we hope that these case studies will feed into your own process of reflection and learning.’

Notes to Editors

About SNV

SNV is a not-for-profit international development organisation that makes a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty by helping them raise incomes and access basic services. We focus on three sectors – agriculture, energy and water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) – and have a long-term, local presence in over 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our team of more than 1,300 staff is the backbone of SNV. Learn more about SNV by visiting our website or following us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

For more information contact: Anjani Abella 

About ISF-UTS
UTS-ISF is a university research institute that has been creating change towards sustainable futures through independent project-based research for Australian and international clients since 1997. The Institute is recognised for its research leadership in aid effectiveness and international development to address the global challenges of sustainable and equitable development in Asia and the Pacific. In this work, we focus on development effectiveness, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and climate change adaptation and resilience. ­­

For more information contact: Juliet Willetts