Sanitation must be a global priority : from access to treatment and reuse of wastewater. Even though the world had set as an objective for 2015 to reduce by half the percentage of population that does not have access to basic sanitation, today. 2.5 billion people still do not have access to sanitation (WHO-UNICEF, 2014). Access to toilets for all is a priority that needs to be carried out alongside measures to manage domestic wastewater. In developing countries, around 90% of wastewater is released in the environment without any treatment thus polluting habitats and the ressources for the supply of water and ecosystems (PNUE-UN Habitat ; Sick Water, 2010). The consequences of this delay are enormous in terms of public health, gender equality, preservation of aquatic environments and economic and social development.
To improve this situation, the members of the French Water Partnership call for :
Access to basic sanitation for all must remain a global priority, as set out in the 2010 United Nations General Assembly declaration recognizing the human right to drinking water and sanitation ;
Sanitation facilities must always be accompanied by hygiene promotion campaigns. It is not enough to improve sanitation facilities ;
The various steps of the wastewater chain must be taken into account in the implementation of international actions, from collection to treatment and reuse. Initiatives should take into account the following four issues :
- Developing access to collective and non-collective sanitation and hygiene services ;
- Collecting and discharging wastewater ;
- Treating wastewater and run-offs ;
- Recycling and reusing effluents and sludge in ac cordance with local uses and needs.
Local actors must be involved and strengthened. Local authorities play a key role in the implementation and improvement of local public water and sanitation services. Each local authority should develop its own strategy, drawn up in cooperation with all local actors in accordance with local demands and needs. Collaborations should be established with different families of actors (local authorities, associations, private companies and users), together with training and technical support ;
The introduction of sustainable funding that is supplied locally is essential for the viability of the system. The application of the “3 Ts” (tariffs, taxes and transfers) is a particularly important step ;
It is important to improve monitoring systems to assess sanitation access and management of wastewater.