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close this bookSanitation Promotion (SIDA - SDC - WSSCC - WHO, 1998, 292 p.)
close this folderThe challenge - A sanitation revolution
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe problem of sanitation - WSSCC Working Group on Promotion of Sanitation
View the documentCommonly held wrong assumptions about sanitation - WSSCC Working Group on Promotion of Sanitation
View the documentSanitation research needs - WSSCC Working Group on Promotion of Sanitation


The challenge before us is to begin a sanitation revolution. This part outlines the nature of the challenge before us. The articles are purposefully short and ideas are presented in a crisp, to-the-point way.

The first article. The problem of sanitation, is a combination of two papers written in the first and last meetings of the Working Group on Promotion of Sanitation. The first part of the article presents an analysis of the problem and the second part points to a direction for the future. This article is an opinion piece based on Working Group discussions. However, it has been successfully used in a number of countries as a promotional tool to bring to the attention of key decision-makers that sanitation is a global problem needing urgent attention. It presents to the reader the complexity of the task ahead but tries to simplify it by advising that we adhere to three key principles: equity, health protection and environmental protection.

The second article, Commonly held wrong assumptions about sanitation, reminds us that much of the problem in this field derives from misconceptions and harmful attitudes. This piece can be used to stimulate discussion at promotion workshops or in programme planning meetings.

The third article, Sanitation research needs, is included to inspire external support agencies and national governments to fund research in these areas. This list is not exhaustive and should be regarded as initial, based on discussions to date.

This introductory part of the book, probably more than any other, makes us realize that the promotion of sanitation will not be easy. It will be difficult to agree on the way forward: what technologies? what promotional methods? who knows best? Use the articles contained in this section as discussion-starters at meetings, as discussion and debate are forms of raising the profile of sanitation.