Society / Health & Science
Friday, 22 Sep 2017 18:15 EAT
The Water Innovation Engine, a pioneering partnership led by the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to stimulate bold new ideas and approaches in the water sector, has launched the global "Urban Sanitation Challenge" with the announcement of a multi-million-dollar investment in five projects in Africa, Asia and South America.
The financial support helps advance the Japan-based manufacturer, LIXIL, towards its goal of providing safe sanitation to 100 million additional people by the end of 2020 -- a 4 percent reduction in the 2.3 billion worldwide who lack access today -- that would represent significant acceleration of the world's pace towards a key United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for 2030: sanitation for all.
The other scale-up projects:
Sanitation (Kenya): Improving dignity, health, and the environment through clean, safe, and efficient sanitation services.
Pivot Works (Rwanda): Converting the human waste of Rwanda's capital city, Kigali, into renewable fuel.
Laguna Water (Philippines): Bundled water and sanitation services for Laguna's informal settlements.
X-runner (Peru): Bringing reliable, safe, and sustainable sanitation to low-income urban households lacking toilets
The projects include an innovative line of affordable plastic toilets equipped with a simple, gravity-powered self-closing trapdoor that makes pit latrine outhouses safer, more sanitary and less unpleasant. The products, marketed under the SATO brand of Japan's LIXIL Group Corporation, are now being used in 14 countries, with more than 1.2 million toilets installed, improving the lives of 6 million people.
With the new funding, production will be scaled up to reach 15 million additional users. Across its global sanitation and hygiene activities, LIXIL aims to provide safe sanitation for 100 million additional people worldwide by the end of 2020.
Each year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene. In 2015, 2.3 billion people still lacked even a basic sanitation service, and 892 million people still practiced open defecation.
The writer, an experienced journalist, is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press