VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 12 POSTED ON: 3/24/2011
Discussion paper Total sanitation in South Asia the challenges ahead This paper has been prepared for the second South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN). May 2006 WaterAid/ Liba Taylor Headlines < Government sanitation services are not reaching the poorest and most vulnerable people and are not addressing the specific needs of women, children and disabled people < There is a looming urban sanitation crisis in South Asia and governments are not tackling this with the sense of urgency required < Current levels of investment in sanitation are not sufficient to meet national and international sanitation targets < The rush to meet national and international sanitation targets WaterAid - water for life is resulting in construction of latrines only, so called The international NGO dedicated latrinisation, and not in total sanitation exclusively to the provision of < National monitoring systems continue only to count latrines and safe domestic water, sanitation do not provide information on the number of totally sanitised and hygiene education to the communities and on the sustainability of sanitation facilities worlds poorest people. Introduction Introduction T he majority of people improved sanitation, and in urban The South Asian Conference on in South Asia still lack areas the figure is 34% (United Sanitation (SACOSAN) held in access to adequate Nations, 2005). The clear links Dhaka in 2003 was a landmark sanitation. The latest UN between access to adequate event in meeting the challenge of Millennium Development Goals sanitation and poverty reduction ensuring access to adequate (MDG) report indicates that in have been repeatedly sanitation for all South Asians. The South Asia in rural areas 76% of demonstrated. conference resulted in the first the population do not use ever regional, ministerial level Declaration on sanitation in which governments committed to accelerate progress in sanitation and hygiene through a people- centred, community-led, gender- sensitive and demand-driven approach. SACOSAN gave new momentum to the sanitation sector and many countries have made exemplary efforts to meet the commitments made in the Declaration. Governments in India and Bangladesh have launched national level sanitation programmes and increased budget allocations to sanitation; in Nepal the Government has drafted national sanitation and hygiene guidelines; in Bangladesh a national sanitation strategy has been approved; and in all three countries innovative approaches are being adopted by governments, for example awards for sanitised communities.1 Yet if the vision of a South Asia WaterAid/ Caroline Penn free of open defecation and with people living in dignity is to 1 Examples for this paper are taken only from Bangladesh, India and Nepal. 2 become a reality, governments need to take a number of actions in response to key emerging issues: 1. National sanitation programmes must be refocused to reach the poorest and most vulnerable people and address the needs of women, children and disabled people. These programmes should be implemented by local governments and NGOs and citizens should be made aware of their entitlements from the programmes. 2. Policies must be formulated and programmes and investment plans initiated through multi- stakeholder processes, to tackle WaterAid/ Marco Betti the looming urban sanitation crisis, recognising the right of all community, NGO teams. increases in access to people to sanitation. These Governments need to publish sanitation will, on present programmes should include annual performance reports on trends, result in the deaths of mapping of all slum areas and sanitation. an extra 10 million children appropriate technologies, such as globally by the time the MDG community managed toilet blocks. SACOSAN 2 provides governments target is finally reached in 2026 with an opportunity to (WaterAid, 2005:1). 3. The level and quality of demonstrate their commitment to financing for sanitation must be act on these issues through the We also urge governments to further increased. Islamabad Declaration. Our reaffirm the commitments they recommendations on how these made in the Dhaka Declaration. 4. Sanitation monitoring must be issues can be tackled are given in In particular governments must strengthened to focus on all this paper. With only another four reaffirm the need for gender- aspects of total sanitation and go SACOSANs prior to 2015 it is sensitive sanitation programmes beyond counting latrines. critical that ministers begin to act and the commitment to Monitoring and declaration of with a sense of urgency. The establish an inter-country totally sanitised areas should be failure to deliver the required working group on SACOSAN. done by joint government, 3 Key issues Key issues in moving forward on the SACOSAN 1 agenda S ince the first SACOSAN Sanitation services in 2003 there have are not reaching the been a number of poorest people initiatives by governments to N accelerate sanitation coverage. In ational sanitation Bangladesh, India and Nepal, coverage is increasing yet WaterAid and partners have been sanitation services are not supporting these. However, based reaching the poorest and most on knowledge and insights from vulnerable people (WaterAid, our work with communities, and 2005:2). In the Dhaka Declaration our experiences, research and (2003) countries noted that it is analysis of these government the vulnerable and marginalised initiatives, we are concerned that population in urban and rural a number of key emerging issues areas that suffer most from are yet to be satisfactorily minimal access to sanitation addressed by governments across facilities. However, new the region. These issues, our programmes are still not reaching modest attempts to address them these people. In Nepal two-thirds and our recommendations to of districts have sanitation governments are outlined below. coverage below the national average and these are the poorest and most inaccessible districts (WaterAid Nepal, 2004). In India the Governments Total Sanitation Campaign provides subsidised latrines to poor households. Yet due to limited participation of communities in decisions over which households should receive subsidised latrines, and lack of information about the campaign in remote villages, many poor and vulnerable households are not covered by the campaign. In Bangladesh, drawing experiences from other public subsidy programmes, there is concern that subsidies provided by national programmes through local government institutions are WaterAid/ Anita Pradhan not always reaching the poorest. 4 WaterAid and partners have been researching and highlighting this issue by publishing comparisons of district sanitation There are various reasons why this coverage and raising concerns of is happening. Some are related to subsidy leakage with governments. geography: latrine components are We are working with the private expensive in remote areas and there sector to establish sanitation remains a lack of technical production centres in remote areas, sanitation options for the poor and making materials available at vulnerable living in difficult affordable prices. We are following geographical locations, such as gender and poverty-sensitive flood-prone areas. Other reasons approaches in our projects and we are legal: governments are reluctant promote child friendly latrine to provide services to people living designs. We are also piloting on non-tenured land, where most of disabled friendly technology the urban poor reside. And others options. are institutional: local government institutions are inexperienced at We have also initiated a series of managing large scale, pro-poor Citizens Action projects across the sanitation programmes. Yet the region, working with communities to outcome is the same everywhere, achieve accountability in the everyday: the poor face the indignity provision of water and sanitation of open defecation. services. In these projects people learn about their rights, entitlements and responsibilities under various government water and sanitation programmes, research and map their current access to sanitation and then engage with service providers in a dialogue to secure improved service provision. Governments need to conduct reviews, in consultation with all stakeholders, to find out whether national sanitation programmes are actually reaching the poorest. Then governments need to establish, implement and evaluate improved mechanisms for reaching the poorest. Where possible these programmes should be implemented by local governments, strengthening their capacity in the process. Government funding should also be provided for NGOs to support local government in delivering sanitation services. All citizens need to be made aware of their entitlements under these programmes. 5 Governments are not ready to address the looming urban sanitation crisis R apid urbanisation across South Asia is putting a strain on urban sanitation systems. In many towns and cities piped sewerage systems do not even exist. Where they do exist connectivity is generally low and the poor and vulnerable are not connected. One in three city dwellers lives in slum areas and the number of slum dwellers in South Asia has increased by a quarter over the last decade (United Nations, 2005). Slums are very rarely connected to city sanitation infrastructure and the sanitation situation is deplorable. Official data on sanitation is WaterAid/ Liba Taylor generally insufficient and unreliable, and that for urban areas is worse. This means that the actual status of sanitation in and sanitation and plans on how generate adequate funds towns and cities in the region is services will be provided to people themselves, nor access financing, not known. Where some data are living in slums. New national to address their sanitation needs. available, analysis shows that sanitation programmes launched progress towards the MDGs in after SACOSAN 1 are focused on One of the main reasons for this urban areas is slower than in rural rural areas only. Many larger crisis is the indifference by the areas. urban centres have access to urban middle classes who cocoon infrastructure projects funded by themselves from the effects of donors. However, research shows poor sanitation, either by availing Governments do not seem to be that many of these projects do not themselves of the minimal prepared to tackle this looming result in improved services for the networked sewerage that does crisis. Bangladesh, India and poor (WaterAid, 2006). Smaller exist or by moving to self- Nepal still lack comprehensive urban centres can neither contained colonies with policies on urban water supply 6 WaterAid and partners have been raising these issues with governments, highlighting the need for more realistic urban sanitation coverage figures. We have been encouraging governments to formulate sanitation policies for urban areas. WaterAid has recently conducted research on the effectiveness of WaterAid/ Jim Holmes Asian Development Bank projects in serving the poorest independent sanitation provision. There is also a lack of data on with sanitation sanitation in urban areas and this is compounded by confusion over (WaterAid, 2006). what sanitation actually means in an urban context and by a lack of an At the same time accepted definition. Institutional responsibility for urban sanitation we are striving to remains unclear. It is often split across a number of departments, develop and resulting in lack of coordination. In many countries local urban bodies popularise are mandated to provide sanitation services yet lack the financial resources effective urban and the technical know-how to do so. sanitation technologies such as community managed sanitation blocks. These technologies are Governments need to urgently designed to meet review the sanitation situation in urban the specific needs areas and develop, adequately resource and of women and implement urban sanitation policies and children, who are programmes, through multi-stakeholder review particularly processes, recognising the right of all people to vulnerable to the sanitation. These programmes should include impact of poor mapping of all slum areas and appropriate sanitation. technologies, such as community managed toilet blocks. 7 WaterAid/ Anita Pradhan Inadequate and inefficient financing for sanitation WaterAid/ Marco Betti C urrent levels of investment in sanitation are not sufficient to meet national and international sanitation targets. Where financing is available disbursements are slow and the absorption of funds is low. Sector financing calculations for Nepal estimate that only 8% of sector expenditure goes to sanitation. This is happening despite the fact that sanitation coverage lags behind that of water (25% versus 71%) and there is an annual financing gap of US$6million for household sanitation alone if the Millennium Development Target for sanitation is to be met (WaterAid Nepal, 2004). In India it is calculated that there is a shortfall of $6.4 billion in financing needed to be bridged between 2002 and 2015 to reach the MDG sanitation target in rural areas. However allocations and annual increases continue to be skewed towards rural water supply where WaterAid/ Anita Pradhan coverage is relatively higher (WaterAid India, 2005). 8 WaterAid has been calculating the financing gaps WaterAid/ Abir Abdullah in meeting sanitation targets in Ultimately this stems from the low on sanitation are often not known. all the countries priority given by governments to Furthermore, financial transfers where we work. We sanitation. This results in minimal from central to local government have been using funding for sanitation when through multiple layers result in these calculations limited development resources are delays in fund disbursement and to demonstrate to allocated across sectors. In most low utilisation of allocated funds. governments and countries national budgets do not The decision by the Government donors the need for provide a separate allocation for of Bangladesh to allocate 20% of more and better sanitation. This means most the local government annual financing. funding for sanitation is lumped development programme to with that for water and most is sanitation is a positive example of spent on water supply projects. how this can be addressed by Actual allocations and expenditure governments. Governments need to publish estimates of financing required to meet national sanitation targets, current expenditure and available resources. On the basis of these estimates, increased priority needs to be given to sanitation in national budgets. Governments must review the financing flows of national sanitation programmes and make these as effective as possible to ensure full utilisation of allocated resources. The recent statements on sanitation in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Dhaka Declaration, 2005, show that this forum is beginning to recognise the sanitation crisis. Governments need to explore the possibility of the using the SAARC Development Fund for forwarding the SACOSAN agenda at the regional level. 9 WaterAid and Monitoring of sanitation is still partners are raising these concerns with limited to counting latrines governments and undertaking research in A fter SACOSAN 1 many only. Use of household latrines, hand officially sanitised governments increased efforts washing and other hygiene practices communities to highlight to accelerate sanitation coverage and provision of latrines in schools and the extra work that needs to and this is to be commended. Yet public places are not being monitored. be done to achieve actual the rush to meet targets is resulting Monitoring systems continue to count total sanitation. We are also in construction of latrines only, so latrines only and do not provide collating all data on called latrinisation, and not in information on the number of totally sanitation coverage, total sanitation. In the Dhaka sanitised communities and most highlighting inconsistencies Declaration (2003) countries importantly on sustainability. and weaknesses of various demonstrated their understanding of Furthermore there are questions over surveys, and pushing for the broader nature of total the validity and accuracy of monitoring agreement on definitions and sanitation. The Declaration data for sanitation. use of agreed questions in highlighted that the thrust of all national surveys. In sanitation programmes should be Nepal, WaterAid is This is caused by pressure to on the elimination of open supporting a government demonstrate results, created by defecation and other unhygienic task force which aims to national and international targets. practices, as well as the promotion produce reliable data at the When in a hurry to deliver, building and of good hygiene practices. There is local level. In all the counting latrines is far easier than evidence however that countries are projects WaterAid supports it promoting hygiene and measuring falling short of this principle. promotes use of community behaviour change. In most countries monitoring mechanisms there are no coherent management where communities Across the region communities are information systems for the sector and themselves measure being declared as totally sanitised no third party validation of coverage behaviour change. on the basis of latrine construction figures. Governments need to adopt minimum standards in declaring areas as totally sanitised. These must include: < No open defecation. < Hygienic latrines available to and used by all. < Proper maintenance of latrines for continual use. < Improved hygienic practice. < Proper management of solid waste, household wastewater and storm water. Governments need to ensure that their national sanitation programmes include all the components required to achieve totally sanitised communities according to this definition. Monitoring and declaration of totally sanitised communities should be done by joint government, community and NGO teams. Governments need then to publish regular annual updates on sanitation coverage using both hardware (ie latrine construction) and software (ie latrine use and hand washing) indicators. In these reports all data should be disaggregated on the basis of gender and poverty so it is clear who is benefiting from improvements. Coupled with publishing of financial information recommended above, this will provide a picture of the status of the sanitation sector and a basis for realistic delivery plans. WE CALL ON THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE REGION TO EXPRESS THEIR COMMITMENT TO TACKLING THESE KEY ISSUES IN THE ISLAMABAD 10 DECLARATION AND BY IMMEDIATE ACTION. WaterAid and W aterAid and its partner organisations are committed to work with all stakeholders and make their contribution to improving sanitation in the region for the poorest and most partners vulnerable. WaterAid aims to scale up its work in sanitation. By 2010 WaterAid will be helping 1.5 million people gain access to commitment to sanitation every year through its projects and partners. sanitation The calls in this paper have been endorsed by WaterAid country programmes and partners across the region. WaterAid Bangladesh Partners Association for Realisation Assistance for Slum Dhaka Ahsania of Basic Needs (ARBAN) Dwellers (ASD) Mission (DAM) Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (DSK) Green Hill (GH) Mahideb Jubo Somaj NGO Forum For Drinking PHULKI NABOLOK Water Supply & Sanitation Kallayan Somity (MJSKS) Population Services & Rural Health and SHUSHILAN Unnayan Shahojogy Village Education PRODIPON Development Team (UST) Resource Center (VERC) Training Centre (PSTC) Society (RHDS) WaterAid India Partners Research in Environment, Modern Architects of Education And Development ABHIYAN Rural India (MARI) Society (REEDS) Association for Women's Education Gram Swarajya Samiti Integrated Development Janhith Vikas and Development Ghoshi (GSSG) Foundation (IDF) Samithi (JVS) GRAM JYOTI GRAMALAYA (AWED) Bhartiya Jan Utthan Parishad (BJUP) Social Awareness Institute (SAI) Sambhav Social Service Sankalp Sanskritik Swami Vivekananda Youth ADITHI Organisation (SAMBHAV) Samiti (SANKALP) Movement (SVYM) WaterAid Nepal Partners Federation of Drinking Non Governmental Organisation Nepal Water for Health Lumanti Support Group Water and Sanitation Users Forum for Urban Water and (NEWAH) for Shelter (LUMANTI) Nepal (FEDWASUN) Sanitation (NGOFUWS) WaterAid Asia region country programmes WaterAid Bangladesh WaterAid India WaterAid Nepal WaterAid Pakistan House - 97/B, Road - 25 25, Navjivan Vihar, Malviya Nagar Shanta Bhawan, Lalitpur, Nepal Block 14, Civic Centre Block - A, Banani, Dhaka - 1213 New Delhi 110017 GPO Box: 20214, Kathmandu, Nepal Sector G-6, Islamabad, Pakistan Telephone: + 880 2 8815757/ 8818521 Telephone: + 91 11 26692206/ 26693724 Telephone: + 977 1 5552764/ 5552765 Telephone: + 92 51 282 6582 Fax: + 880 2 8818521 Fax: + 91 11 26691468 Fax: + 977 1 5547420 Fax: + 92 51 282 2037 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 11 References Summary of main 1. His Majestys Government of Nepal National Planning Commission (2002) The Tenth recommendations to Five Year Plan 2. South Asian Conference on governments Sanitation (2003) The Dhaka Declaration on Sanitation 3. United Nations (2005) The To ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable Millennium Development Goals benefit from national sanitation programmes Report < Conduct reviews, in consultation with all stakeholders, to find out 4. WaterAid (2005:1) Dying for the whether national sanitation programmes are actually reaching Toilet the poorest. 5. WaterAid (2005:2) Getting to < Establish, implement and evaluate improved mechanisms for Boiling Point reaching the poorest and addressing the needs of women, 6. WaterAid (2006) Getting to children and disabled people. Boiling Point: 2006 Update < Implement sanitation programmes through local government, 7. WaterAid (2006) Water for All? A strengthening their capacity in the process. study on the effectiveness of < Provide funding for NGOs to support local government in Asian Development Bank water delivering sanitation services. and sanitation projects in < Make citizens aware of their entitlements under these serving the poorest of the poor programmes. 8. WaterAid India (2005) Drinking Water and Sanitation Status in To tackle the looming urban sanitation crisis India: Coverage, Financing and < Urgently review the sanitation situation in urban areas. Emerging Concerns < Develop, adequately resource and implement urban sanitation 9. WaterAid India (2006) India policies and programmes, through multi-stakeholder review Country Situation Paper for processes, recognising the right of all people to sanitation. SACOSAN 2, forthcoming < Map all slum areas and support provision of community 10. WaterAid Nepal (2004) The managed toilet blocks in slums. Water and Sanitation Millennium Development Targets in Nepal To increase the quantity and quality 11. WaterAid Nepal (2006) Nepal of financing for sanitation Country Situation Paper for < Publish estimates of financing required to meet national SACOSAN 2, forthcoming sanitation targets, current expenditure and available resources. < Increase financing to sanitation and review the financing flows of national sanitation programmes and make these as effective as possible to ensure full utilisation of allocated resources. < Use the SAARC Development Fund for forwarding the SACOSAN agenda at the regional level. For More information, To strengthen monitoring of total sanitation please contact: < Adopt minimum standards in declaring areas totally sanitised. WaterAid, 47-49 Durham Street London SE11 5JD, UK < Form joint government, community and NGO teams to monitor Telephone: + 44 (0) 20 7793 4500 and declare totally sanitised communities. Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7793 4545 < Publish annual updates on sanitation coverage including information Email: email@example.com on hygiene practices UK charity registration number 288701 To increase regional learning and collaboration www.wateraid.org on the SACOSAN agenda < Activate the inter-country working group on SACOSAN.
"Total sanitation in South Asia"