Our mission is to raise awareness at international, national and local level among all stakeholders; professionals and people, that sanitation is key to achieve sustainable water cycle services and to achieve water and sanitation and a healthier life for all, reducing child mortality and stunting. Through partnerships that strengthen capacities and support utilities, local authorities and civil society organisations, the targets of SDG 6 can be achieved and the human rights to sanitation and water can be realised.
In water scarce regions we need ‘toilets’ without the need for sewer or water connections, and low-cost approaches to treating faecal sludge that results in usable products, such as energy or fertilizers. This will encourage new public and private providers and partnerships to collect and treat waste. The European Initiative for Sanitation and Health aims to build these new partnerships, addressing the challenge on Sanitation with an inclusive approach. Inclusive meaning that it is about people. People that need sanitation, people that work to provide sanitation facilities and services in governments, utilities and companies, but also people in knowledge institutes and in Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). We ensure active participation of all stakeholders to realize sustainable solutions and achieve the final goals: Sanitation, Water and Health for all by 2030.
Some of the areas where sanitation needs will be greatest in the coming 15 years are already suffering water shortages and facing rapid population growth, so the impetus of the SDGs towards integrated development planning for water use, reuse and recycling between sectors and to protect ecosystems (in Goals 6, 12 and 15) is particularly welcome. A range of “sustainable sanitation” systems are available that minimize water inputs and enable its safe, efficient recycling. To shift to sustainable sanitation provision, countries will need to integrate sanitation into sustainable development planning, institutions and policies in a way that helps maximize the benefits and minimize trade-offs. We also need to keep developing innovative ways to work with communities that not only motivate people to abandon open defecation, but also to reuse sanitation wastewater and “humanure”.
We emphasize capacity building of people and institutions. Awareness raising comes first. When people realize and see the benefits of sanitation to their health, livelihoods and communities they will take responsibility to extend, maintain or improve their sanitation systems. Local ownership is key for success of sustainable development.
For this reason, a game changer is needed; an approach that puts sanitation at the first place and at the highest priority for meeting the SDGs. EuSAIN will introduce a new holistic approach that includes all stakeholders from public and private sector and civil society.