The National Utility for Water and Sanitation in Burkina Faso (ONEA) has recognized the difficulty in providing sewered sanitation to the entire urban population and has opted for a strategy involving onsite sanitation. Most of the country's population is served by onsite systems that generate large amounts of faecal sludge, and are responsible for a high prevalence of water-borne diseases. ONEA and the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) have a collaborative project that aims to establish an enabling environment for the development of the faecal sludge sector at the institutional and technical level. The project's participatory process has allowed the design of a treatment plant adapted to local conditions, and the elaboration of the first institutional framework for faecal sludge management including several new official documents. Several technical studies filled knowledge gaps of faecal sludge characterization, and the feasibility of implementing planted drying beds. Lessons learned are transferable nationally and internationally.

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