Our vision is to transform human and environmental health in urban informal settlements through water-sensitive revitalisation.
More than one billion people live in urban informal settlements globally, where polluted water and inadequate sanitation are leading causes of preventable diseases. Poor health is linked to environmental exposure to pathogens, pollutants and disease vectors in water, food, air and soil.
Conventional approaches to water and sanitation management cannot meet the demands of these communities battling the effects of climate change and rapid urbanisation. And with the acceleration of global urbanisation, it is expected that up to three billion people could be living in urban informal settlements by 2050.
A new approach is needed, one that addresses these problems from the perspective of overall environmental and human health.
Working with communities, governments, local leaders and partner institutions, RISE aims to demonstrate that nature-based solutions – such as wetlands and bio-filtration gardens – can deliver sustainable, cost-effective health and environmental improvements for those living in informal settlements.
RISE is conducting a randomised control trial (RCT) involving 12 informal settlements in Suva, Fiji and 12 in Makassar, Indonesia. In the first phase of the trial, six settlements in each country are undergoing a water and sanitation upgrade. The impacts of the upgrades on the health of the environment and the health of the communities will be monitored, and compared against the other six settlements in each country.
In the second phase of the trial, the other six settlements in each country will be upgraded.
RISE aims to enable these communities to:
- Recycle their own wastewater (both blackwater and greywater)
- Harvest rainwater
- Create green space for water cleansing and food cultivation
- Restore natural waterways to encourage diversity
- Reduce vulnerability to flooding and climate change
We anticipate multiple benefits:
- Improve community health
- Fewer infections
- Better intestinal health among children
- Increased food production
- Decreased gender inequalities by providing domestic sanitation facilities and reliable water supplies
The bigger impact
RISE has the vast potential to improve the lives of the one billion people currently living in urban informal settlements worldwide.
With the first-ever rigorous evidence of effectiveness in hand, our long-term ambition is to expand our approach across the Asia-Pacific and the world, giving millions the opportunity to live healthier and safer lives.