Sanitation Ventures works to improve the lives of people with access to poor or insufficient sanitation.

Good sanitation is widely recognised as one of the greatest advances in public health, yet it remains unavailable to billions of poor people in developing countries.

Tackling the global problem of pit latrines

Piped sewage systems and treatment plants are unaffordable, leaving many with no alternatives to on-site systems, which collect, store and supposedly decompose their contents at or near the household. Around 1.7 billion people worldwide still use one of the most basic forms of on-site sanitation, the pit latrine. And they face a recurring problem: the contents does not decompose fast enough or fully, and the pits fill up.

This seriously undermines people’s health and quality of life. As well as flies and odours, users suffer anxiety, embarrassment and significant expense. They can either replace or empty their pit. Both options can be costly or unfeasible due to lack of space – especially in unplanned settlements or emergency camps. People who can’t afford these options have little choice other than to defecate outdoors. This is a serious public health risk – and is also socially demeaning.

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