Technical Brief: Climate Resilient Sanitation in Practice

Author: Unicef and GWP

Year: 2022

Climate change is drastically changing the world we live in. It devastates lives, causes changes in the environment, undermines progress made in improving access to sanitation, and hampers achieving the goal of universal access to climate-resilient sanitation. Addressing this ongoing threat is slowed by a general lack of understanding of the threat posed by climate change to sanitation services and how sanitation contributes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Climate change impacts sanitation by damaging service delivery through floods, sea-level rise and extreme weather hampers the effectiveness of sewerage treatment systems. Additionally, poorly managed sanitation emits GHG. Many national
policies focused on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and/or climate change neither prioritize
sanitation’s climate response nor do sanitation programmes incorporate climate-resilient approaches.
The sanitation sector still lags in adapting to the impacts of climate change and taking advantage of
major climate funding opportunities.
The objective of this technical brief is to help sector stakeholders better understand the rationale for
climate-resilient sanitation, approaches to climate-resilient sanitation, and available resources for
programming. It provides information and examples on:

i) incorporating climate resilience into sanitation programming;

ii) available resources that support a better understanding of the rationale for including climate resilience in sanitation; and iii) opportunities for climate financing and how the WASH sector can better access it.

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