There is a reoccurring challenge faced in cities around the world where, despite the immediate proximity of trunk sewerage infrastructure, too many households choose not to connect to the sewers for various social, economic or related reasons. In addition, service providers continue to focus their attention and their resources on the design and the construction of the trunk infrastructure, using approaches that don’t always meet the needs of burgeoning cities with their diverse socio-economic neighborhoods. The focus on infrastructure and not on connections affects access to sewerage services. So, even though progress has been made, challenges remain. For example, in Latin America and the Caribbean, even though about 170 million people were connected to sewerage systems in the last two decades, at least 28 percent of the region’s urban residents are still not connected to the sewer lines that run close to their houses.
The funds sunk into trunk sewerage infrastructure and the related wastewater treatment plants cannot realize the full public health and environmental benefits which they were designed to produce if all of the intended properties are not connected. And this means that the disease burden due to poor sanitation remains high and those not connected to sewerage or to another safely managed sanitation system are more likely to suffer from illnesses such as diarrhea and to lose days of work because of those illnesses.
A new World Bank report look at the reasons why so many households still get left behind and remain unconnected to existing or new sewer networks. Based on a review of good practices from around the world, the report outlines the considerations that should be made in developing a successful sewerage connection program. The report also provides an overview and lessons from global experiences in order to identify the elements that can help maximize connections to sewers, including for low-income households, while drawing on the principles of the Citywide Inclusive Sanitation approach.
The report CONNECTING THE UNCONNECTED: Approaches for Getting Households to Connect to Sewerage Networks, was launched on World Toilet Day.