Globally, people at the bottom of the pyramid are deprived of adequate sanitation and safe water. Around 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe sanitation. Unhygienic living conditions trigger a propensity to fall sick, increasing recovery time and costs. Evidence shows that diarrhea-related diseases (largely related to inadequate sanitation) cause around 1.4 million deaths annually. Poor sanitation has been associated with many infectious diseases and poor nutritional outcomes. Roughly 165 million children (under five) suffer from long-term nutrition deficiencies.
Below the poverty line people lack adequate resources to purchase a toilet. Therefore, sanitation projects funded by donors and governments donate toilets for free. These are either of a too-advanced technology that cannot be maintained well at local level or are of very low quality and their usage is very low. Donating toilets is not sustainable, as people lack ownership. Instead, local masons need to be engaged to set up sanitation businesses, ensuring life-long maintenance-availability. They also need to be trained on constructing high-quality, affordable and inclusive toilets that are culturally acceptable. Next to this, MFIs need to be engaged and enabled to provide sanitation loans to both consumers and businesses. The role of the local government thereby changes from an implementer to an enabler.
Though incidental successes have been achieved by governments and NGOs, no ‘systems change’ has occurred, their successes have not scaled nor have sanitation markets been formed; they lacked meeting local needs with local supply and have not included the financial sector.
Financial Inclusion Improves Sanitation & Health (FINISH) Mondial is a public-private partnership scaling safe sanitation with an approach that involves the supply and demand side of sanitation. This 6-country program actively engages sanitation entrepreneurs, financial institutions, NGOs and governments to generate household and commercial investments toward long-term sanitation and health improvements.
FINISH Mondial is set to become a € 440 million sanitation program by 2025. FM will create improved health outcomes for 10 million people (2 million households construct a toilet, 50% women). There is direct and sufficient evidence that these improved living conditions will have an impact by reducing the burden of disease. Furthermore, we target 2.5 million children to use sanitation facilities at school which has an additional impact.
FM facilitates improved economic opportunity outcomes by creating the opportunity for sanitation businesses to grow. 2M toilets creates 20M working days, equivalent to almost 77,000 full-time working years. These jobs are stable and provide an income which was not present before. This in turn increases household resilience. In the supply chain (raw material fabrication, transport, storage), local businesses are emerging or strengthened. The local availability of employment opportunities and income earning itself reinforces demand. Women are pivotal as they are often generating the demand as sanitation marketeers. Finally, the carbon and nutrients present in human waste will be recycled for safe use as agricultural inputs and/or in renewable energy.
At systems level, FM measures the progress of outcomes using real-time monitoring, together with local authorities and sanitation marketeers, that provide an up-to-date overview.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, ACTIAM, Sidian Bank, WASTE, Amref Flying Doctors, Aqua for All, ASA, Ministry of Health (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), Cashpor, RDO Trust, Hofokam Microfinance, Family Bank, Amref Health Africa, Practical Action, Max Foundation, Hope for the Poorest, BASA, Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hewasa-Caritas, UNU-Merit and University of Saint Joseph in Uganda.