New World Bank Report Explores Impact of SOIL’s Sanitation Service
Business as usual in sanitation isn’t working, argues the World Bank. In cities experiencing rapid urbanization, they suggest that “the traditional approach to urban sanitation, premised on extending sewerage networks and building wastewater treatment plants, will not be sufficient to deliver citywide sanitation services for all.” And, in the Bank’s newly released report on Container-Based Sanitation (CBS) solutions, they argue that alternatives are needed to deliver inclusive sanitation in these contexts.
To help better understand the safety, affordability, and viability of CBS services like SOIL’s, the World Bank undertook a study of our work in Haiti, along with fellow Container-Based Sanitation Alliance (CBSA) members Sanergy, x runner, and Clean Team Ghana.
In the ground-breaking new report, the World Bank provides an overview of the service characteristics, shares emerging lessons from our work, and provides areas for future research and analysis to support the expansion of the critically needed services.
What were the major takeaways from the study?
- CBS services like SOIL’s are resilient to floods and drought.
- Customer satisfaction with our existing services is high.
- Collection service reliability is high (though they need contingency plan’s like SOIL’s for operations during moments of crises).
- The level of treatment provided by CBS is higher than treatment provided to other waste management solutions in the contexts where we work.
- CBS services are priced similarly to alternatives.
- Reuse products generated by CBS service providers, like SOIL’s agricultural-grade compost, conform to high safety standards.
- Customers reported that the solutions were superior in regards to hygiene, comfort, and convenience.
Though the CBS services the World Bank researched are all working on cost reduction strategies and increasing revenues from user fees and reuse products, the researchers found that more “reliable sources of subsidies will likely be required to sustain the operations.” They explain that most urban sanitation services are subsidized around the world, and as such, and they recommend that public authorities explore ways to subsidize CBS services to help ensure financial sustainability to achieve inclusive citywide sanitation. Another lesson learned is that governments looking to foster CBS services could do so by “adopt[ing] a conductive policy and regulatory environment.”
Ultimately, the World Bank identified CBS approaches as playing a key role in ensuring the provision of citywide inclusive sanitation.
As SOIL has grown our household CBS service in Haiti over the years, we have held on to our founding vision of a world where access to safe sanitation is accessible to all and we’re excited to watch global momentum grow in support of what we believe to be improved interventions for rapidly growing urban communities everywhere.