Basic sanitation coverage in rural areas and progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 6.2 has advanced significantly over the last decade in several low- and middle-income countries. Sustaining this progress, though, requires safe fecal sludge management (FSM). Policies, interventions, and research on safe FSM have largely focused on urban areas. But as rural access to latrines has increased, so has the need for safe FSM services. Currently, safe FSM services in rural areas are nascent, and less than 2 percent of fecal sludge is treated in South and East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. As toilets become full, rural households risk adopting unsafe FSM practices or reverting to open defecation.
This learning brief, produced by USAID WASHPaLS #2, is based on a desk review of the market, suitable methods along the sanitation value chain, and viable business models involving the private sector for safe FSM in rural areas.