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Wastewater and Faecal Sludge Management

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Financing Mechanisms

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Operation and Maintenance

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The Wider Caribbean Region faces multiple challenges in the wastewater and sanitation service provision. About 70% of the region’s population lack access to safely managed sanitation and hygiene. Approximately 80% of the wastewater is being discharged to the environment without any treatment as a result of weak legislative, political and regulatory frameworks and lacking financial means to maintain the infrastructure. This causes severe pollution of groundwater, soils, watersheds and ultimately the Caribbean Sea, thereby disrupting the natural water cycle.

GEF CReW+ is a partnership project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that is being co-implemented by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 18 countries of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR). The concept was approved in November 2017. GEF CReW+ is being co-executed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Organisation of the American States (OAS) and the Secretariat of the Cartagena Convention on behalf of the IDB and UNEP respectively.

The GEF CReW+ project provides solutions in the fields of policy, financing, technology, as well as communications and knowledge management to mitigate the effects of non-treated wastewater on the environment and public health. 

Sanitation for Millions executed activities in eleven of the project countries as well as activities of regional scope until June 2023. For more details, see below.

In Belize, activities include the development of a national policy and strategy on wastewater management, the elaboration of a finance model that promotes the installation of septic tanks for sewerage collection, and the conduction of complementary studies for a wastewater treatment plant on Caye Caulker.

In Colombia, GEF CReW+ develops a regulatory and economic mechanism to incorporate environmental and management aspects in the water and sanitation tariff reform and optimizes the wastewater treatment plant of San Antero de Cordoba, including the implementation of a reuse system based on environmental and socio-economic studies.

In Costa Rica, GEF CReW+ realizes an update of the National Water Plan, improves rural communities’ access to funds of the Canon Ambiental de Vertidos for sanitation and sewerage investments, and conducts a feasibility study for a wastewater treatment plant in the ASADA La Fortuna.

In the Dominican Republic, GEF CReW+ contributes to the update of wastewater discharge standards, develops a financial sustainability scheme for the sanitation sector, and rehabilitates two wastewater treatment plants in Sabana Yegua and at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo.

In Guatemala, GEF CReW+ updates the national watershed management guide and ensures its proper application through the elaboration of a capacity building plan.

In Honduras, GEF CReW+ elaborates a marine-coastal quality norm, an environmental vulnerability map, a financial action plan, and a business model in the field of wastewater management for the municipality of Omoa, and designs and implements a wastewater treatment system in Omoa.

In Jamaica, GEF CReW+ develops a national policy on wastewater and faecal sludge management as well as a business plan for the reuse of treated effluent from a facility run by the National Water Commission.

In Mexico, GEF CReW+ contributes to the protection of the karst system by updating relevant regulations and norms, identifying financing options and mechanisms for wastewater treatment plants in Quintana Roo, installs new eco-technologies for water abstraction, storage, use, and treatment, fosters community water quality monitoring, and develops and rolls out a community water governance strategy, including community training and awareness-raising.

In Panama, GEF CReW+ develops an instrument for the implementation of Panamanian water and sanitation legislation in the community of Nuevo Cartí, and designs and implements actions plans and business models to address integrated water and wastewater management.

In Suriname, GEF CReW+ develops a National Policy and Strategy on Wastewater Management, promotes the identification of funding sources and project formulation through capacity building in a multi-institutional working group, and realizes a feasibility study and the design of a faecal sludge management facility located in Ornamibo, including capacity building for the operation and maintenance of the new infrastructure.

In Trinidad and Tobago, GEF CReW+ develops specific reuse standards in harmony with the current water policy framework and in line with international standards, and supports the policy positioning on a new tariff and corresponding communication strategy.

More Impressions

„For us, “WASH models that work” means simple, scalable and inclusive infrastructure and routines for safe sanitation and hygiene at public institutions.“


Project Countries

Sanitation for Millions is currently implementing activities in Jordan, Pakistan, Uganda, and with CReW+ in eleven countries of the Wider Caribbean Region. Explore our work on the country pages and learn how we improve access to safe sanitation and hygiene as well as wastewater management and reuse.