Climate change is among the major challenges that are increasing the risk of extreme weather events, such as increases in the strength and frequency of heavy precipitation, floods, and drought. Technologies currently promoted for improving access to sanitation are vulnerable to climate-related threats. In today's context where nearly 2.5 billion people do not have access to sanitation, climate change is an additional hurdle in ensuring them access. Climate change, its impact on sanitation systems and their scope of adaptation must be addressed to accelerate sustainable sanitation coverage. This paper attempts to analyse the vulnerability and potential adaptability of certain sanitation systems with a focus on floods and will provide guidance on systems selection. The waterless system with urine diversion has the components necessary to cope with a flood situation, while the waterless system with alternating pits and the pour flush system with twin pits are less suitable. The (semi-)centralized treatment system is the least adaptable system. This paper recommends action research on the vulnerability and adaptability of sanitation systems in order to make informed choices based on future climatic projections to ensure sustainable sanitation systems in the face of climate change.
Vulnerability and adaptability of sanitation systems to climate change
Anjali Manandhar Sherpa, Thammarat Koottatep, Christian Zurbrügg, Guéladio Cissé; Vulnerability and adaptability of sanitation systems to climate change. Journal of Water and Climate Change 1 December 2014; 5 (4): 487–495. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wcc.2014.003
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