In a rapidly urbanizing world, poor environmental sanitation has emerged as a majorchallenge, threatening the health and livelihoods particularly of the poor. It is also nowclear, that if business continues as usual, the sanitation related MDG to halve by 2015, theproportion of people without sustainable access to basic sanitation will not be met.
Mere provision of toilets is not enough to ensure good environmental sanitation. Excreta from toilets needs to be transported and disposed of safely without creating an environmentalhealth hazard. While in the large cities of industrialized countries this is usually achievedthrough centralized wastewater management systems with advanced treatment technologies,such systems tend to be expensive and difficult to operate.
Smaller, decentralized, wastewater management and treatment systems such as constructedwetlands can be a viable alternative for many urban areas in developing countries. Constructedwetlands are relatively inexpensive to build where land is aff ordable and can be easily operated and maintained even by the community.
This manual, drawing upon a number of examples in Nepal, provides basic guidance on thedesign, construction and operation and maintenance of constructed wetlands and alsoindicates situations where this may not be a feasible alternative.