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Development Account Projects

Strengthening capacity of policymakers in South-East Asia to promote policies and develop plans for improved wastewater treatment and reuse in urban and peri-urban areas


This project, jointly formulated by ESCAP and UN-Habitat, seeks to address a critical problem in rapidly growing urban and peri-urban areas of South East Asia – the discharge of untreated wastewater to the environment.  Decentralised wastewater management systems (DEWATS) can provide an appropriate solution to this problem in many situations. DEWATS also make it possible to expand sanitation coverage and thus this project will contribute towards the efforts being made to achieve the MDG target of halving by 2015 the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation.

The project will focus on building the capacity of policy makers and planners for better wastewater management through regional and national level workshops. It will also establish or strengthen existing institutions which can function as resource centres or referral points for expertise on all aspects of DEWATS. Promotional materials and a guidance manual for policy makers and planners will be developed and widely disseminated.

A DEWATS demonstration field project will also be implemented giving policy makers and planners real experience of actions that improve conditions on the ground while also improving environmental sanitation for a targeted community. This proposal builds on the ongoing activities of UN-Habitat and ESCAP and represents a strategic partnership combining ESCAP’s ability to address issues in a regional context and UN-Habitat’s ability to work with partners at the local level, including local authorities, service providers and civil society. 


To strengthen capacities  of policymakers in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to promote policies and  developing plans for improved wastewater treatment and reuse in urban and peri-urban areas

Expected accomplishments:

  • Enhanced knowledge and awareness of national level policy makers, and local government officials on decentralised waste water management systems  (DEWATS) and hygiene amongst urban and peri-urban communities in Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam

  • Enhanced capacity to generate innovative financing from financial institutions and donors for DEWATS in Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam
  • Enhanced capacity in building, operating and maintaining DEWATS in Lao PDR

Implementation status:

In progress.