Approaches in Sanitation - New ADB Publication From Toilets to Rivers - Experiences, New Opportunities, and Innovative Solutions


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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Approaches in Sanitation - New ADB Publication From Toilets to Rivers - Experiences, New Opportunities, and Innovative Solutions

Manila-based Asian Development Bank has recently issued an interesting publication titled: “From Toilets to Rivers - Experiences, New Opportunities, and Innovative Solutions” ( ) that document case histories around the world on best practices.

Case histories have been classified under various eye-catching headings, like innovations, governance, energy recovery, constructed wetlands, on-site sanitation, wastewater reuse, etc. According to ADB, the compilation of good practices and working models intends to show that sustainable sanitation is possible, and aims to inspire replication, institutionalization of sanitation both in policy and practice, and scaling up of investments.

Various project briefs are appealing and note-worthy, and it is clear that the publication is the result of hard work put in by the ADB and IWA staff. They deserve a pat on their back for producing a useful publication.

I have, however, a minor observation. The projects, highlighted in the document, are generally costly approaches. I think, in poor developing countries, low-cost approaches would be more appropriate. In areas, where people resort to open defecation, simple sanitation measures that conveys sewage hygienically and treats in low-cost wastewater treatment plants, are far more desirable than costly propositions.

The document has a section on low-cost sewerage systems ( the simplified sewerage systems, advocated by Duncan Mara of Leeds University, nearly 3 decades back), but that is only one part – conveying of sewage in shallow-depth, small-bore sewer system . The other part, that of low-cost wastewater treatment systems, is missing.

The title of the report says: From Toilets to Rivers. There is nothing on the “rivers” side, though it is known that the treated wastewater, quite often, is discharged in receiving streams. I reckon, the title “Rational Approaches in Sanitation,” would have been more appropriate. Nevertheless, it is an excellent publication, and the colleagues on this Forum must look at the project briefs.

F H Mughal
PS: I'm also attaching the publication, in case the link doesn't work.
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan

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  • ADBWaterforAll
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ADB Water for All news: Speeding Up Sanitation

Dear SuSanA colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the release of the October issue of the Asian Development Bank's Water for All news e-newsletter.


ADB Water Website Manager

Issue 57, October 2013

Speeding Up Sanitation

Online Version -

In Asia and the Pacific, about 1.7 billion people still lack access to improved sanitation, 780 million people still practice open defecation, and around 80% of wastewater is discharged without treatment. The region needs a total of $71 billion in investments to meet the MDG sanitation target. Water for All news introduces the new Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund between ADB and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which promises to bring innovative sanitation solutions in the region. This issue also features a sanitation pilot project in Myanmar and success stories on the sanitation front in Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Promoting Sanitation Innovations
Gates Foundation’s Roshan Shrestha pushes for financing non-sewered sanitation and septage management solutions in Asia.

Filling the Sanitation Fund Gap
Can a new sanitation trust fund finally speed up access to safe sanitation and bring Asia closer to achieving the MDG sanitation target?

Financing Sanitation Technology
ADB and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are working together to achieve sanitation for all in the Asia and Pacific region.

Desludging Dumaguete
Dumaguete City’s septage management program is the benchmark that many towns and cities in the Philippines are trying to replicate.

Weed for Wastewater Treatment
Discover the duckweed plant as a solution to treat volumes of wastewater produced by the largest hospital complex in Bangladesh.

Sanitation for Yangon’s Slums
Poor communities in Myanmar’s capital are improving their sanitation facilities and septage management system through an ADB pilot project.


“Eye on Asia” draws crowd at Stockholm World Water Week
ADB and partners APWF, GWP, ICIMOD and WWF led a simulation game that highlighted cooperation as key to ensure water security in Asia. ADB and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a new partnership agreement to expand and speed up access to safe sanitation in the region. About 100 participants attended ADB’s Eye on Asia event on 3 September.
More >
About >

River basin organizations continue performance benchmarking exercises
Members of the Network of Asian River Basin Organizations (NARBO) in Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand are conducting self-assessment and reporting training in October-November as part of NARBO’s performance benchmarking program. NARBO works toward implementing IWRM approaches in Asia.
About >

Project puts clean water on tap for towns across Lao PDR
An ADB loan to the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic will deliver clean water and better sanitation to residents of 11 small towns in the country.

ADB continues assistance to improve water, wastewater management in Colombo
ADB has approved a $88 million loan to the Sri Lankan government for phase two of the Greater Colombo Water and Wastewater Management Improvement Investment Program.

ADB loan aids Kolkata's push for better water, sewerage services
ADB will provide $400 million in loans to help the Indian city of Kolkata expand and improve water and sanitation systems in peripheral areas of the fast-growing metropolis which are missing out on quality services.


NARBO Online Training Course on Environmental Management (21 Oct - 15 Dec ; Online)

8th NARBO Training on Integrated Water Resources Management (Thulhiriya, Sri Lanka : 27 Nov - 4 Dec)

Knowledge Products

Indus Basin Floods: Mechanisms, Impacts, and Management
A contemporary holistic approach, applying scientific assessments that take people, land, and water into account, to tackling floods in Pakistan's Indus river basin.

Thinking about Water Differently: Managing the Water–Food–Energy Nexus
Water must be recognized as an economic as well as a social good, as water security is crucial to the future of people, communities and nations across Asia and the Pacific region.

Exploring Public–Private Partnership in the Irrigation and Drainage Sector in India: A Scoping Study
Private sector participation has the potential to enhance the performance of India's irrigation and drainage sector, raising productivity and efficiency levels as well as economic returns.

A Story within a Story: Gender and Water in Uzbekistan
This brochure shows how ADB’s water supply and sanitation projects, narrated by project beneficiaries, are addressing gender issues related to water supply and sanitation.

Water @ADB Blog

ADB in Stockholm ― World Water Week 2013

Walking the walk on a green future

On willingness to pay for water


Water for All Website

Water for All News


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Water for All News is produced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide current information to developing member countries, professionals, researchers, private sector, civil society, academe, and their counterparts in the donor community who are interested in water sector issues that affect the pace of development.

ADB provides the information contained in this newsletter and links to its web site solely as a resource. While ADB tries to provide high-quality content on its web site, it does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of this information; and therefore, will not be liable in any capacity for damages or losses to the user that may result from the use of this information. ADB and its affiliate offices, likewise, will not be responsible for any errors, omissions, or inadvertent alterations that may occur in the disclosure of content in this newsletter or on its web site.
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