The United Nations General Assembly defines sustainable development as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Providing and maintaining quality water, sanitation, and/or hygiene services that last forever is challenging. It is unacceptable when services and projects fail after just a few years.
- A broken handpump,
- a full pit latrine, and
- a school handwashing station without soap
are just a few issues faced by too many people in the developing world. Sustainability should not be just a concept; it needs to be applied. Starting with the planning process, it is important to address the complex issues of sustainability such as financing, MERL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Resolution, and Learning) during and post-implementation, as well as roles and responsibilities. This page provides a snapshot into the sustainability world and links to initiatives, websites, and resources that will be useful for organizations (implementing NGOs, donors, and other key stakeholders to incorporate sustainability into everyday practice.
WASH Advocates, in collaboration with Aguaconsult, Global Water Challenge and IRC International Water and Sanitation Center have created SustainableWASH.org, a platform for the sustainability conversation including an organizational sustainability self-assessment tool and resource portal.
Addressing sustainability is not easy and takes time, but we need to start somewhere.