Productive sanitation and the link to food security
Factsheet of Working Group 5
This factsheet provides information on the link between sanitation and agriculture as well as related implications on health, economy and the environment. It presents examples of treating and using treated excreta and wastewater in a productive way and describes the potential for urban
agriculture and resource recovery in rural areas.
Institutional and legal aspects, business opportunities and management of associated health risks are also discussed. Productive sanitation is the term used for the variety of sanitation systems that make productive use of the nutrient, organic matter, water and energy content of human excreta
and wastewater in agricultural production and aquaculture. These systems should enable the recovery of resources in household wastewater, minimise consumption and pollution of water resources, support the conservation of soil fertility as well as agricultural productivity and thereby ontribute to food security and help to reduce malnutrition.
The implementation and scaling-up of productive sanitation systems is inhibited by weak, non-existing and sometimes prohibiting legislation. It is therefore necessary to develop relevant legislation along the sanitation chain taking into consideration the type of crops, occupational health, food hygiene and other preventive and risk management
measures. This requires awareness raising, advocacy and behavioural change by all stakeholders. Further applied research is also needed to assess risk management options at the interface between agriculture and sanitation to support policy dialogue at the local and national level.
Gensch, R., Dagerskog, L., van Veenhuizen, R., Winker, M., Drechsel, P.
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)
food security, nutrients, reuse, nutrient recycling
Gensch, R., Dagerskog, L., van Veenhuizen, R., Winker, M., Drechsel, P. (2012). Productive sanitation and the link to food security - Factsheet of Working Group 5. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA).