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Capacity building for ecological sanitation
Concepts for ecologically sustainable sanitation in formal and continuing education
This publication dealing with educational aspects linked to ecologically sustainable sanitation (referred to as ecosan) is the result of a substantive collaborative effort between UNESCO's International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and the German Technical Cooperation Agency GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH, Eschborn). Educational institutions, universities, and technical schools can contribute to the mainstreaming of the new sanitation paradigm by fully integrating the discourse and criteria for sustainability into their curricula. They should make clear that defining criteria for sustainable sanitation is a political act and influences what is the accepted, legitimate form of sanitation, including the impacts from sanitation on other sectors. Sanitation capacity building should take the stakeholders in a sanitation project not as objects, but as partners for jointly developing sustainable sanitation solutions. The education system has to prepare students to think about urine and faeces and grey/black water as resources. Emphasis has to shift from the simple disposal to the hygienisation of contaminated flow streams, and to resource conservation and safe reuse. Teaching must make clear that health and a healthy environment is a prerequisite for human productivity, and productivity determines economic well being. The present publication therefore constitutes a means of providing educational tools, up grading existing ones, and suggesting revised teaching plans. The educational platform being developed under IHP auspices could serve as an opportunity to include ecosan-related subjects in modernized course curricula.