Sustainable Sanitation Alliance - West Asia and North Africa

The SuSanA WANA programme encourages the ongoing work towards achieving sustainable sanitation and SDG 6 in the region

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) is an informal network of people and organisations who share a common vision on water and sustainable sanitation, and who want to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

As part of SuSanA’s core management group, BORDA launched the SuSanA West Asia and North Africa (WANA) regional programme in late 2017 to encourage the ongoing work towards achieving sustainable sanitation and SDG 6 in the WANA region. The programme highlights the important role sanitation plays in sustainable development and aims to help push sanitation further up the sustainable development agenda across the region.

Through this programme, SuSanA is opening its knowledge pool and making its content relevant to the WANA region. The programme is currently focusing on Arabic-speaking countries in West Asia and North Africa.

Regional Knowledge Exchange on Sustainable Sanitation and SDG 6

UN Water has highlighted a stark reality: Billions of people around the world do not have access to safe water, basic sanitation and handwashing facilities. An estimated 67% of the WANA region still lacks safely managed sanitation services, which results in unsafe disposal of human faeces in open fields, in bodies of water, or mixed in with solid waste. With much of the wastewater left untreated, water pollution is becoming a serious issue – hygiene, health and even water availability across the region are under threat.

There is increasing recognition that these challenges are not widely known and are not capturing the interest of regional media. Media outlets in the region tend to focus on war and conflict, and bypass other regional and national challenges including water scarcity, sustainable sanitation and community hygiene.

The SuSanA WANA programme is therefore working to connect with regional journalists and engage their interest in writing stories about SDG 6 and sanitation challenges in the region, which will play a significant role in increasing the social and political awareness of water and sustainable sanitation issues.

Increasing Use of the “Shit Flow Diagram”

There is a growing consensus that the challenges of excreta and septage management can be met by monitoring the sanitation service chain and identifying its strengths and weaknesses, from containment to emptying, transport, treatment, safe disposal and resource recovery. For this kind of assessment, the Shit Flow Diagram (SFD) is an excellent tool.

The SuSanA WANA programme aims to enable governments and sanitation practitioners to recognise the need for sustainable sanitation by providing them with the necessary tools (such as the SFD) to help identify baseline situations and possible interventions. To that end, the WANA programme has translated the SFD manual from English to Arabic, and hopes to be able to train engineers in the region to use it.

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