ADB Institute Renews Sanitation Partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  

AKP Phnom Penh, April 21, 2020 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Institute has renewed for three years a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in urban sanitation and human waste management.

In a statement released in Tokyo on Monday, the institute said “the COVID-19 crisis highlights a critical need for sanitation improvements to ensure public health.”

The ADB Institute noted that “a large part of the population in developing Asian countries still lacks access to clean water and sanitation services.”

Under the partnership, policy guidance and training will be offered “to help government officials and development partners promote investment in accessible, affordable, contamination-free citywide inclusive sanitation services,” it said.

Programmes are to be coordinated with institutions in India and the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands as well as the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Japan Sanitation Consortium, Toyo University, UN-Habitat and UN University.

Private sector partners include Japanese water treatment company Daiki Access Co,. Ltd. and Japanese toilet makers Lixil Group Corp and Toto Ltd., the statement said.

Chul Ju Kim, deputy dean of the ADB Institute, said the COVID-19 pandemic was a “stark reminder that further efforts are required to adopt innovative solutions in water and sanitation through data gathering, analysis, and policy dialogues.”

Roshan Shrestha, deputy director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said “great progress” had been made toward meeting sanitation needs in the region.

“But there is much more to be done to promote infrastructure investment and policy frameworks for closing remaining gaps,” he said.

“Regional exchanges of leadership and policy guidance … can help break new ground to mitigate health risks and build more resilient communities.”

The partnership between the ADB Institute and the foundation dates back to 2017.

The ADB itself is the largest contributor to water supply and sanitation infrastructure in Cambodia, providing about 25 percent of external assistance to the sector.

In announcing a US$49 million financing to the sector in October last year, the bank said 73 percent of rural Cambodian households had access to improved water supply in 2017 but only 11 percent of these had piped water.

Moreover, the ADB said, about 41 percent of rural residents still practice open defecation which can cause diarrhea and other public health problems.

By Sao Da