A guide to the development of on-site sanitation
by R Franceys, J Pickford and R Reed

This book, published by the World Health Organisation, provides in-depth technical information about the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the major types of on-site sanitation facility, from simple pit latrines to aqua privies and septic tanks, with numerous practical design examples. It describes in detail the planning and development processes, and the financial and institutional factors that will need to be taken into account. Particular emphasis is given to the need to involve the community at all stages from planning to evaluation, to adapt projects and programmes to the local situation, and to provide continuing support to the community after the system is installed.

This is a useful and practical publication for engineers, health workers, administrators, planners and others concerned with improving sanitation in poor communities. It is available to download free of charge, from the WHO website

UNDP Human Development Report 2006: Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis

Chapter 3 of this report focuses on sanitation. The whole report, or chapter 3 only, can be downloaded from in various languages including English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Paper copies of the report can be ordered from any good bookshop.

Durable Rural Development
by Peter Storey

This is an accessible and practical handbook about sustainable rural development. It describes the basic steps of planning and implementing rural development projects and considers the wide range of needs and priorities facing rural people. There are many case studies illustrating different approaches, as well as practical tools and techniques.

It is available as a CD Rom which costs £8 and can be ordered from the website

Peter Storey, 38 Bellingham Road, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 5JW, UK. Email:

Strategies for Hope

The Strategies for Hope (SFH) Trust has produced over 1 million copies of its materials in English, French, KiSwahili, Portuguese and other languages. The series consists of books, videos and training manuals aimed at promoting informed, effective, community-based approaches to HIV and AIDS, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Many SFH materials document the work of churches and faith-based organisations. The most recent SFH materials include the first three titles in the Called to Care toolkit of practical handbooks designed for use by church leaders with their congregations and communities. SFH also produced the film, What can I do?, about the HIV ministry of Canon Gideon Byamugisha in Uganda, and the Stepping Stones training package. For more information and to order resources, visit the SFH website:

Useful websites

Useful fact sheets on all sorts of topics:

WEDC Technical Briefs

(See Technical Briefs 51, 54, 63, 64, 45, 61 – all available to download free)

Technical Briefs 2, 6, 9, 16, 23, 28 are also very useful. These are not available on the web, but are available in a book called The Worth of Water (IT Publishing, 1991, reprinted 2007). For more information go to

WELL-WEDC Factsheets

Ecological sanitation

Emptying pit latrines

On-site sanitation in areas with a high groundwater table

Why promote sanitation?

End Water Poverty campaign
End Water Poverty aims to change policy and practice in water and sanitation. For more information see