Globally some 780 million people lack access to improved water supplies which are likely to provide reasonably safe and convenient water. Some 2.5 billion people lack access to an improved toilet, of whom 1.1 billion, more than 15% of the world's population, have no toilet at all and must defecate in open public places. These statistics conceal an appalling story of human degradation and inequity which remains one of the worst indictments of the 20th century's development projects.
water@leeds focuses extensively on the question of how to sustainably improve these appalling statistics. Our work is interdisciplinary and we bring together faculties from across the University, including engineers, physical scientists, economists, social scientists, public health experts and governance/institutional specialists to work on specific aspects of WASH. In particular we are interested in understanding how to insert value into sanitation provision so that the benefits of improved public health, improved environmental protection, resource recovery to promote food production, and energy recovery can be better harnessed to drive public and private investment in sanitation.
Currently we have active research activities in Uganda, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Colombia. We are leading the five year programme to promote improved urban sanitation planning through improved mapping of health and sanitation related risks in the global south.