To meet the Millennium Development Goal for sanitation around 440,000 people will have to be provided with adequate sanitation every day during 2001–2015, and the corresponding figure to meet the WHO/UNICEF target of “sanitation for all” by 2025 is around 480,000 people per day during 2001–2025. The provision of sanitation services to such huge numbers necessitates action on an unprecedented scale. This is made even more difficult by the general lack of knowledge on the part of professionals and the intended beneficiaries about which sanitation arrangement is the most appropriate under which circumstances. A sanitation selection algorithm, which considers all the available sanitation arrangements, including ecological sanitation and low-cost sewerage, and which is firmly based on the principles of sustainable sanitation, is developed as a guide to identify the most appropriate arrangement in any given situation, especially in poor and very poor rural and periurban areas in developing countries.

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