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Key facts - WHO

  • In 2017, 45% of the global population (3.4 billion people) used a safely managed sanitation service.
  • 31% of the global population (2.4 billion people) used private sanitation facilities connected to sewers from which wastewater was treated.
  • 14% of the global population (1.0 billion people) used toilets or latrines where excreta were disposed of in situ.
  • 74% of the world’s population (5.5 billion people) used at least a basic sanitation service.
  • 2.0 billion people still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines.
  • Of these, 673 million still defecate in the open, for example in street gutters, behind bushes or into open bodies of water.
  • At least 10% of the world’s population is thought to consume food irrigated by wastewater.
  • Cropland in peri-urban areas irrigated by mostly untreated urban wastewater is estimated to be approximately 36 million hectares (equivalent to the size of Germany)
  • Poor sanitation is linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio and exacerbates stunting.
  • Poor sanitation reduces human well-being, social and economic development due to impacts such as anxiety, risk of sexual assault, and lost educational opportunities.
  • Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 432 000 diarrhoeal deaths annually and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and trachoma. Poor sanitation also contributes to malnutrition.


  1. Waste and unoxygenated bacteria are the primary reason for failure of traditional septic systems. When large colonies of these anaerobic bacteria migrate from the septic tank to the disposal field they produce a mucus-like layer of slime, or biomat, which clogs the pores of the soil so air...
  2. The modern-day sewer system has failed. In the United States, our clean water infrastructure was rated a D from the American Society of Civil Engineers (2013). Sewage overflows cause beach closures, spread illnesses, and contaminate the environment. And this is happening in places that actually...
  3. Sewage pathogens appearing in fruits and vegetables grown near septic disposal fields: This document discusses the health hazards of consuming fruits and vegetables that may contain contaminants produced if they are grown over septic drainfields or too close to other sources of effluent from...
  4. This site is about vermicomposting flush toilets – on-site processing of domestic sewage with worms. These aren’t the first vermicomposting sewage systems by any means, but they’re the first (to our knowledge) to be based on open source principles with non-proprietary technology and low cost...
  5. Abstract,International Journal of Waste Resources, 2018 In municipal centers of developing nations, most households are served by means of on-site public health systems like septic tanks as well unsewered toilets, besides the faecal sludges gathered from these methods are usually discarded...
  6. AccessAgriculture Training Video Land in Tororo district in Uganda has been intensively used and the soil fertility is low and declining. This video shows a possible solution - using urine as a fertiliser. Arabic English French
  7. To decommission a pit, it can simply be filled with soil and covered. Although there is no received benefit, the full pit poses no immediate health risk and the contents will degrade naturally over time. Alternatively, theArborloois a shallow pit that is filled with excreta and soil/ash and then...
  8. 20/1/2016 Great strides have been made in improving sanitation in many developing countries. Yet, 2.4 billion people worldwide still lack access to adequate sanitation facilities and the poorest and most vulnerable members of society are often not reached and their specific needs are not met. Moreover,...
  9. Abstract,Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017 Urea hydrolysis is a chemical reaction that occurs in soils, the human body, and in wastewater urine diversion systems. The reaction, which transforms the urea in urine into ammonia and bicarbonate, results in ammonia volatilization and mineral...
  10. Nitrogen pollution of lakes, rivers, and oceans by human urine is a growing problem.Liquid Goldshows how urine can safely be used to grow food, fuel, fiber, and beautiful landscapes while protecting the environment and providing free and safe fertilizer. Featuring a short history of urine use—...
  11. 1/10/2019 An exploration of the need for a shift in the current paradigm of human "waste" and the pleasingly simple science that offers a solution; we will look at the different sanitation situations around the world, how and why they may be problematic, discuss the most appropriate ecological solutions on...
  12. 1/9/2005 This is the third edition of a self-published book. No respectable publisher would touch it with a ten foot shovel. Nevertheless, the book has now been sold around the world, translated into over a dozen languages and published in foreign editions on four continents. It has been talked about on...
  13. 1/1/2002 A composting toilet is any system that converts human waste into compost through the natural breakdown of organic matter. The photo above shows a composting toilet from the late 1800’s. Composting toilets provide a sanitary method to recycle human waste while conserving water and protecting the...
  14. Una guía de “cómo" construir con éxito una letrina natural y sostenible usando el pasto Vetiver El uso del pasto Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides) reemplaza la necesidad de un pozo con revestimiento de concreto, crea privacidad y ayuda activamente a la descomposición de los desechos. Pasto Jiji...
  15. Vietnam Vetiver Network _ VNVN is a for – purpose organization, established since 1999 by Mr Ken Crismier. From 2001 to 2011, this position was handed over by Dr. Pham Hong Duc Phuoc (Nong Lam University) and Dr. Tran Tan Van (Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources). In 2011, the...
  16. Lack of toilets is not a problem unique to Madagascar. TheWorld Health Organization (WHO) estimatesthat 2.4 billion people lack access to basic toilet facilities, and nearly 1bn can’t even do their business in private, practising so-called ‘open defecation’, resorting to fields, street gutters or...
  17. 13/11/2018 The presentation will provide an overview of biochar production and urine diversion technologies. Particular attention will be given to recent developments and related issues. Following the overview the discussion will focus on the potential urine-related uses of biochar. Dr. Barry Gutwein Dr....
  18. Some Thoughts on Sanitation and the Environment ”The Western type of toilet system cannot solve the problem of getting rid of excreta in Third World countries. Nor, indeed, has it solved those problems in the developed world. The Western system is expensive. It uses large amounts of clean water...
  19. Composting toilet (CT) technology is not new to Vanuatu. Before independence, some of the rural schools on Ambae and North Efate, like Onesua, were using these toilets. The CT design in this manual was adapted from a toilet used in Tonga, Kiribati and Fiji. There are many advantages CTs have over...
  20. 19/1/1999 We do not recycle waste. It’s a common misuse of semantics to say that waste is, can be, or should be recycled. Resource materials are recycled, but waste is never recycled. That’s why it’s called “waste.” Waste is any material with no inherent value that is discarded and has no further use. We...
  21. 7/10/2018 Many middle- and low-income countries are experiencing rapid urbanization, which creates a need for services, including sanitation. While some areas in some towns and cities are sewered, most people, especially the urban poor, continue to use various forms of on-site sanitation. These require...
  22. OUR MISSION The mission of Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is to promote dignity, health, and sustainable livelihoods through the transformation of wastes into resources. We achieve this through developing social business models around ecological sanitation (EcoSan), a process...
  23. BORDA Africa is specialised in integrated decentralised sanitation solutions in the fields of wastewater, sludge and solid waste management. BORDA (Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association), founded in 1977, is a civil society expert organisation focused on the provision of essential...
  24. Decentralised wastewater treatment systems – DEWATS In contrast to Europe and North America where 95% of urban areas have conventional and centralised wastewater treatment systems, there are many countries where wastewater treatment systems are inadequate or do not even exist. Building a...
  25. Sustainable resource management in Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines Despite the continued economic growth of about 500 million people, Southeast Asia still has 16-33% of the population living in extreme poverty (annual per capita income less than 1,000 Euros)....
  26. BORDA Las Américas trabaja en cuatro países: México, Cuba, Nicaragua, Haití con su oficina regional situada en la Ciudad de México. Al igual que en muchas regiones del mundo, los servicios de saneamiento como el tratamiento de aguas residuales en América Latina y el Caribe presenta grandes...
  27. Poverty alleviation along with natural resources and climate protection in India, Nepal and Bangladesh: sustainability by improving sanitation and promoting decentralised waste and wastewater treatment. The South Asian countries of operation, mainly India, but also Nepal and Bangladesh, are...
  28. Key facts In 2017, 45% of the global population (3.4 billion people) used a safely managed sanitation service. 31% of the global population (2.4 billion people) used private sanitation facilities connected to sewers from which wastewater was treated. 14% of the global population (1.0 billion...
  29. Abstract,Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2019 Environmental contamination due to solid waste mismanagement is a global issue. Open dumping and open burning are the main implemented waste treatment and final disposal systems, mainly visible in low-income countries. This paper reviews the main...

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