In Asia and the Pacific, around 1.7 billion people still lack access to safe toilets or latrines, 780 million people still practice open defecation, and around 80% of wastewater is discharged into the environment without treatment.
Last year, the Asian Development Bank created the Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund to help provide safe sanitation to families in Asia’s cities and rural communities who still lack access to basic sanitation facilities and services. ADB is leveraging the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s $15 million contribution to finance more than $28 million in non-sewered sanitation and septage management projects across the region in the next five years.
Recognizing that increasingly complex urban and coastal environments require new approaches to septage management, three projects have received funding support from the Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund:
- South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub
The South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub (k-hub) is a network of four research and training institutions in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka supported by ADB to facilitate information and experience exchange within South Asia among city managers, utility staff, policy makers, academics and the private sector for improved service delivery. The k-hub activities will include support to national centers in developing business plans that structures the national centers’ work and capacity needs for promoting innovative urban sanitation.
- Pilot and Demonstration Activity Facility
The trust fund has set aside $2 million for ADB’s Facility for Pilot and Demonstration Activity. The new funding will support the testing and validation of pilot approaches to policies, technologies and business models to improve sanitation management and water services delivery with the intent to replicate and scale-up successful approaches across the region.
- Septage Management in Coastal Towns in Bangladesh
An additional $1.6 million grant from the Trust Fund will support pilot innovations in sanitation and septage management as part of a planned ADB loan to Bangladesh for coastal town infrastructure improvements. The new grant will support pilot projects in eight towns to improve septage collection and treatment systems. The grant will also support capacity building for improved septage operation and maintenance in addition to promoting private sector participation in septage management.
“The ADB and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation share the similar vision of bringing innovative solutions to Asia’s sanitation sector, said Amy Leung, Director of the Urban Development and Water Division in ADB’s Southeast Asia department. “We are proud to support new testing and pilot implementation of innovative solutions to hasten access to safe sanitation for Asia’s urban poor.”
“Open defecation and inadequate toilets, sewers, and wastewater treatment systems lead to massive amounts of untreated human waste in the environment, harming the health and well-being of children,,” said Brian Arbogast, director of the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are delighted to have new partners like the ADB applying creative thinking to more effectively managing human waste to improve people’s lives.”
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. For high-resolution photos and b-roll footage, please follow this link.