Integrating sanitation and climate change adaptation: lessons learned from case studies of WaterAid’s work in four countries
The links between climate change and sanitation are frequently overlooked in the WASH sector. This paper examines experiences of WaterAid in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, India, and Madagascar where there was some consideration of the impacts of climate change on sanitation. Climate resilience was often not considered explicitly, however, with work instead framed around weather-related threats that are now increasingly frequent and severe. In these case studies, sanitation and climate integration involved adapting on-site sanitation hardware to physical impacts on infrastructure, while some social aspects of climate resilience were also considered. Integration took place primarily at the project level, while climate change consideration seemed absent from wider planning and decision-making. Aside from these case studies, most of WaterAid’s sanitation work does not seem to incorporate climate change. It is recommended that climate resilience is integrated into each stage of sanitation programming, with a more systematic consideration of its potential impacts.