It’s not all about toilets: Debunking 7 myths about urban sanitation on World Water Day

It’s not all about toilets: Debunking 7 myths about urban sanitation on World Water Day.
[1] Myth #2: Poor people are not willing to pay for sanitation services In fact: Poor people are willing to pay for sanitation services, and they do, even when they receive sub-standard services.
Investments needs are huge — 40% of estimated funds needed to extend universal access to safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene are needed for urban sanitation.
Myth #4: Investing in urban sanitation is not productive In fact: Sanitation investments provide demonstrated health, economic, social and environmental benefits that are essential to turn cities into vibrant economic centers.
Myth #6: Solving urban sanitation is all about toilets In fact: Providing access to a toilet, a latrine or a sewer connection is only part of the solution.
The full sanitation service chain needs to be sustainably managed.
Myth #7: Sanitation produces waste that is a nuisance to be eliminated In fact: Human waste contains valuable nutrients.
We must develop locally relevant and innovative solutions along the sanitation service chain that put customers first and focus as much on service management as on technology.
City planners and other sector decision makers should consider the tradeoffs along the service chain between, for example, providing basic access to a toilet to all versus providing sewers and advanced wastewater treatment to the few.
Debunking these myths is part of our effort to help sanitation sector professionals in transforming their thinking and practices to deploy both old and new solutions in smarter ways to achieve sustainable, equitable and safe management of excreta for a whole city.

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