Quick facts about sanitation
- Over 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to a basic toilet, leaving them with no choice but to defecate in the open, a practice that subjects women and children in particular to shame, embarrassment and the risk of assault.
- An additional 1.5 billion people have only a basic toilet, such as an open pit, which does not protect their health.
- The lack of sanitation access worldwide contributes to 1.5 million deaths from diarrheal diseases among children under five each year.
We decrease open defecation and increase access to and use of improved sanitation, especially among low-income households, by working through communities and the private sector.
In both rural and urban areas, we overcome supply and demand barriers to latrine access and use by understanding what makes investment in sanitation attractive to households and what makes investment of capital attractive to the private sector:
- In rural areas, we implement market-based programs, in which we create businesses that improve the accessibility, quality and price of toilets. Consumers can then easily purchase a range of context-appropriate sanitation products and services as well as access finance options. Additionally, we have several Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programs, which empower communities to work together to end open defecation practices.
- In urban areas, we facilitate the development of pay-for-use toilet franchises run by local entrepreneurs in urban slums to provide affordable, safe, private, clean and well maintained environments for people that lack the ability — due to cost, space or land ownership constraints — to construct household toilets.
We have sanitation programs in Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Laos, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Niger and Senegal; and Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programs in Liberia, Papua New Guinea and South Sudan.
- Community-Led Total Sanitation programs: We emphasize a comprehensive behavior change communications (BCC) strategy to create health impact at the population, community and household levels.
- Market-based sanitation programs: We apply private-sector analysis and approaches to encourage market-based delivery of sanitation products and services.
- Catalyzing Markets for Urban Sanitation in West Africa
- PSI Vietnam: Social Marketing for Improved Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
To address unsafe water, poor hygiene and limited sanitation in rural communities, PSI Vietnam launched a market based sanitation initiative in rural areas of the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands.
- Constructing Septic Tanks On-Site Using Ferrocement
This technical brief from PSI’s Sanitation Service Delivery (SSD) project describes the procedure for constructing septic tanks using ferrocement.
- Conducting Soils Evaluation for On-Site Wastewater System Design
This technical brief from PSI’s Sanitation Service Delivery (SSD) project describes the procedure for conducting soil evaluations accurately and without a laboratory or expensive soil sieve.
- Business Model Development for Fecal Sludge Management: Insights from Bihar, India
In 2014 PSI began implementing Project Prasaadhan to address critical gaps in fecal sludge management in Bihar, India. Read about the project's key highlights on this poster presented at the 4th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research.
- Market-based Approaches to Sanitation: A Review of the Evidence
This review illustrates the components of market-based approaches to improved sanitation and how they can be used to sustainability and scale.
- SanMark Study to Assess Demand and Supply Chain Barriers among Rural Communities in Three Provinces in Central Vietnam
In 2015, PSI/Vietnam conducted a landscaping study in targeted provinces exploring the sanitation demand and supply chain supporting the application and scaling up of sustainable models of sanitation
- Learning From Bihar, India: an Evolutionary Process and the Impact of a Market Development Program to Create a Functioning Sanitation Market
Market failures are not treated as final, but rather become the target of programs or policies to improve them.
- Efficiently Identifying and Addressing Market Failures in Urban Sanitation in West Africa
Coverage of improved sanitation in West Africa is among the lowest in the world. The Sanitation Service Delivery Program (SSD) is a USAID/West Africa urban sanitation project implemented in Benin, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana by PSI in collaboration with PATH and WSUP. The goal is to improve urban sanitation outcomes through building and testing scalable, market-based models with an initial focus on Cotonou (Benin), Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire), and Accra and Kumasi (Ghana). Improved sanitation coverage in these countries’ urban areas is currently low.
- Rural Sanitation Rapid Market Scan Report
In 2014, PSI/Vietnam conducted a rapid market scan to identify market barriers and potential opportunities to improve rural sanitation access in Dien Bien and Vinh Long, two provinces with the worst sanitation indicators in all of Vietnam. Leveraging PSI/Vietnam’s understanding of rural markets and consumers, the rapid sanitation market scan was designed to identify practical insights from rural households and community influencers, as well as rural supply chain actors linked to sanitation product and service provision. This report describes the market scan findings and offers concrete recommendations to inform future programs.