Philanthropic Fund promotes sanitation solutions adapted to different territorial realities

Data from the National Sanitation Information System (SNIS) indicate that at least half of the Brazilian population suffers from basic sanitation problems. About 40 million families don't even have a bathroom at home, more than 100 million Brazilians do not have access to sewage collection and 35 million do not have access to treated water. 

Recognizing the complexity of the problem and the importance of inclusive solutions for sanitation, the Inclusive Sanitation Initiative (SI), a Philanthropic Fund that is managed financially by Sitawi, seeks to collaborate with the strengthening and dissemination of knowledge and sanitation practices capable of dealing with the diversity of contexts across the country.

The main objective of the initiative is to contribute to the strengthening and dissemination of a repertoire of solutions, capable of dealing more effectively with sanitation in historically underserved contexts, especially in rural and precarious urban areas, and in small municipalities. The Fund's impact forecast includes strengthening the capacities of community associations, NGOs, service providers and municipal public management, promoting the implementation of effective solutions.

Since 2019, the initiative has been developing its four areas of action:

  • Knowledge Bases: Are you looking to make knowledge more accessible with two collaborative tools? the Glossary and the Publication Base. 
  • Publications and Studies: own studies are developed, in line with research with universities and in partnership with other organizations. 
  • Methodologies and Tools: for internal action in pilot projects and to assist initiatives carried out by other actors and organizations operating in the sector.
  • Pilot Projects: provide adequate local conditions for sanitation, always seeking significant impacts and improvements in the territories involved.

Impact and improvements in territories 

Through the pilot projects, the SI seeks to provide adequate local conditions for sanitary sewage, in addition to contributing to the improvement of operating processes in the territories, and validation of knowledge and solutions.

The actions were carried out in various local contexts of occupation and environmental conditions, such as in the semi-arid region of Bahia, on the urban outskirts of the capital of São Paulo, in an indigenous village in the state of Rio de Janeiro and in a coastal village in Bahia with serious flooding problems.

In the municipality of Barra (BA), in 2019, 40 school cisterns, 8 sewage treatment and reuse systems were implemented, in addition to educommunication actions (a way of educating through the use of media resources) in rural schools. However, after completion, with the pandemic period and changes in school and city hall teams, the instructions on care practices and use of the systems passed on to the teams were lost, and a large part of the cisterns fell into disuse. 

The sewage systems continued to function, as they required less maintenance. In some cases, due to a lack of information, city hall teams intervened with works that affected existing systems. Therefore, since 2022, work has been structuring to revitalize the systems, scheduled for completion in 2024.

Photo: Inclusive Sanitation Collection – Bahia

In Jardim Lapenna, an urban community in the east zone of São Paulo, the initiative worked with the Tide Setúbal Foundation to create an action plan in 2020 to work with sanitation in the community, which identified necessary actions to enable improvements in the community. Since then, the initiative has supported the development of projects for sewage solutions, donated to the city hall for implementation. Actions to deal with flooding are already in the implementation phase.

Photo Jardim Lapenna – Inclusive Sanitation Collection

?Solutions need to be intimately connected with local conditions and dynamics, being defined in the community. Are there still many cases in which support actions are implemented without this sensitivity, and end up not resulting in the necessary improvements?, highlights Tomaz Kipnis, the fund’s program manager. 

Do you want to learn about other pilot projects and understand more about the impact of the fund? Access the website: 

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