Recent studies have questioned the effectiveness of conventional WASH approaches in reducing diarrhea, and proposed that exposure to animal faeces is currently an under-recognized threat to human health. There are a number of possible pathways producing these health risks. Water scarcity can mean the use of shared water sources among people and animals for drinking and hygiene purposes, increasing the risk of zoonotic disease. Poor sanitation and management of animal feces, including children playing in proximity to animals, can result in fecal contamination of both animal and human food. Many of these challenges are particularly prevalent in rural areas, where sanitation access remains low in many regions, and highlights the potential opportunities for application of a One Health approach to sustainable sanitation. A One Health approach emphasizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, and often involves transdisciplinary collaboration.

About the Event

This exploratory session will introduce SuSanA’s new discussion brief on WASH and health, and involve discussion on opportunities for application of a One Health perspective to address sanitation challenges, including what kind of approaches can be applied when it comes to working with animals. The discussion will inform the SuSanA WASH and health brief.


13:00 – 13:05 – Introduction to session aims and SuSanA’s brief on WASH and health – Jona Toetzke, German Toilet Organization

13:05 – 13:13 – Importance of animal feces in WASH interventions – Om Prasad, WaterAid

13:13 – 13:20 – Perceptions of risk and value of animal excreta – Linus Dagerskog, SEI

13:20 – 13:28 – Smallholders’ perspectives and practices related to animals and animal diseases – Klara Fischer, Swedish Agricultural University

13:28 – 13:55 – Discussion on opportunities for application of a One Health approach moderated by Sarah Dickin, SEI

13:55 – 14:00 – Closing Remarks

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About the Organizers


SuSanA is an informal network of people and organisations who share a common vision on sustainable sanitation and who want to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG6. Learn more about our definition of sustainable sanitation here .