Proof of concept of estimates for the unsafe return of human excreta to the environment

2015 - 2018 • The Water Institute, Gillings School of Global Public Health (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), UNC

Purpose

To develop, field-test and disseminate new and improved ways to measure and assess the public health significance of, untreated human waste in the environment

Activities

Phase 1:

There is a need to track human excreta beyond their initial deposit in toilets through to their final return to the environment, to ensure that the population is properly protected from the diseases spread by this waste. The Water Institute team, in collaboration with the University of Alabama and with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will develop and pilot approaches for international agencies and countries to (1) estimate the fraction of human excreta unsafely returned to the environment, and (2) estimate where in the sanitation chain this occurs.

The work is intended to inform the expected Sustainable Development Goal Target to reduce the amount of human excreta unsafely returned to the environment. The “global scorecard” for excreta management developed will assist governments, funding agencies and development agencies to address progress and the need for improvement more effectively, both from an improved understanding of the situation, and from the clearer insight into the global situation.

Phase 2:

An ongoing project entitled “Proof of Concept of Estimates of the Unsafe Return of Human Excreta to the Environment” has explored the feasibility of developing national indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals for sanitation at the national level. The value and impact of the existing work would be significantly enhanced by further, relatively modest efforts in a number of areas.

Location

Detailed location of main activity  Countries of activity

Objectives

To develop, field-test and disseminate new and improved ways to measure and assess the public health significance of, untreated human waste in the environment

Further information

Research or implementation partners: University of Alabama, USA

Filter tags

Behaviour change Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Faecal sludge treatment processes Global Health and hygiene North America Other Political processes and institutional aspects United States University, education or research institution

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