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Standardization aims to raise the levels of quality, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchangeability within an industry. In the case of sanitation, it helps to ensure high quality of sanitation systems and sanitation service delivery.

Since the entry into force of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, access to quality sanitation services and infrastructure is considered a key element for improving the living conditions of populations. Indeed, in sub-Saharan Africa only 28% of the population have access to basic sanitation services[1]. Thus, it is essential for African States and key players in the sanitation sector to improve the quality of sanitation services and facilities in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Aware of the importance of taking concrete actions for better sanitation management at the continental level, the African Water and Sanitation Association (AAEA) included a session focusing on the importance standardization during the 87th meeting of its Scientific and Technical Council (CST). Held from July 26 to 28, 2021, these meetings included a session led by the Director General of the Senegalese Association for Standardization (ASN), Mr. Abdourahmane Ndione under the theme: standardization, a key tool for sustainable and inclusive sanitation in Africa.

In Senegal and West Africa, ASN plays a crucial role in solving the sanitation problem. The national standards that it helps to develop aim to guarantee compliance with standards that guarantee the safety and health of populations, and preserve the environment. Thus, during this session on standardization in the service of sanitation, Mr. Ndione returned to the process of development and adoption of the NS 17-074 standard which defines the requirements relating to the planning, design , the construction, operation and maintenance of non-collective (autonomous) domestic sanitation works.

Capitalizing on this opportunity, the Director General of ASN also presented the international standards for on-site sanitation, namely ISO 30500, ISO 24521 and ISO 31800, considered to be the main standards in the sector. These standards adopted in several countries and at the ECOWAS level concern both infrastructure and non-collective sanitation services, more specifically:

The ISO 30500 standard provides general performance and safety requirements for the design and testing of on-site sewerage systems as well as pre-engineered integrated treatment units.

The ISO 24521 standard prescribes guidelines for the on-site management of basic domestic wastewater services and deals with activities relating to drinking water and wastewater services.

The ISO 31800 standard specifies requirements for faecal sludge treatment units, prefabricated and energy self-sufficient units for local resource recovery, and safety and performance requirements.

Consequently, it is important to emphasize that improving the access of African populations to quality sanitation services and infrastructure that respect human dignity and preserve the environment requires the dissemination and strict application of standards. national and international by all sanitation stakeholders. On the other hand, it is also essential that these standards be integrated into sanitation policies in order to promote their full application in the sector as well as for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. [1 ] WHO/UNICEF 2017.