Public Private Partnerships for Sustainable Sludge Management Services in Faridpur, Bangladesh (Practical Action, Bangladesh)

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Public Private Partnerships for Sustainable Sludge Management Services in Faridpur, Bangladesh (Practical Action, Bangladesh)

Here is a grant that I am working on in my role as city level implementation management in Faridpur:

Title of grant: Public Private Partnerships for Sustainable Sludge Management Services in Faridpur, Bangladesh
  • Name of lead organization: Practical Action, Bangladesh Practical Action (Charity in England and Wales Reg. No. 247257)
  • Primary contact at lead organization: Uttam Kumar Saha, Head, Energy & Urban Services Program, and Rafiul Islam, Coordinator (Technology Promotion) - my role is mainly city level implementation management, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Grantee location: UK
  • Developing country where the research is being tested: Bangladesh
  • Start and end date: March 01, 2014 to November 30, 2017 (research phase: March 01, 2014 to December 31, 2014; and implementation phase: December 01, 2015 to November 30, 2017)
  • Grant type: City Partnerships for Urban Sanitation Service Delivery (DfID co-funded), see here in BMGF grant database ) and see also here on the forum where this grant scheme has been discussed:
  • Grant size in USD: Total USD 1,334,469 (BMGF funding USD 1,214,469; research phase: USD 25,999 and implementation phase: USD 1,188,470) - This is the sum of funding for six months research phase and three years implementation phase. In research phase the BMGF gave 145,999 USD among which 120,000 USD was UKAid funding.
Short description of the project:

The municipality of Faridpur have elaborated its vision for a “sustainable and safe city-wide faecal sludge management system serving all municipal residents and institutions in Faridpur municipality by 2025”, to achieve sustainable FSM component of the City Development Plan. This vision involves addressing the three systemic problems that create binding constraints on the emergence of scaled, environmentally safe, and financially sustainable private sector-led functions in the faecal sludge system. This project proposes to implement a set of activities that will further elaborate the investment needs of the municipality and support it to access investment financing, while taking initial steps to pilot, and test the economics of scale-up of solutions to the systemic problems identified. The proposed solutions to be supported in this project are:
  • Setting standards of containments for monitoring the construction and uses and capacity building of local masons for construction of standard containments to improve the containment standards throughout the city;
  • Forming public private partnership for collection and transportation with sweeper groups (informal pit emptiers group) by sustainably building capacity of collection and transportation services;
  • Promotion of safe disposal at the new treatment plant (planted drying bed and unplanted drying bed) instead of disposing of it unsafely in the environment;
  • Treatment infrastructure development and public private partnership for treatment plant operation by creating an operational treatment plant by constructing the plant and forming SLA (service level agreements) with private treatment Plant Operator (TPO) to run the plant.; and
  • Formation of a coherent national regulatory framework and guidelines for faecal sludge management, combined with the current limited national capacity and devising a sectoral coordination mechanism to coordinate the sector stakeholders by establishing a sludge network.
A multi-stakeholder Steering Committee (SC) will be formed to regulate and facilitate the entire faecal sludge management service at city level. And the project will be organised in terms of a 6 month inception phase, 18 months of piloting, and 12 months of testing the economics of scaling up.


To establish effective and consistent sludge management services across the whole of Faridpur City sustaining itself through results-based public private partnerships, ensuring the city’s sustainably healthy environment and its people health.

  1. To establish sustainable city-wide faecal sludge management system serving all municipal residents in Faridpur municipality by 2025
  2. To finalise the National FSM Regulatory Framework and strengthening sectoral coordination for improved knowledge and learning exchanges
Research or implementation partners:

Center for Urban Studies (CUS), Dhaka & Faridpur Municipality in research phase as sub-grantee/partner; and Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (DSK), International Training Network (ITN)-BUET, and Faridpur Municipality during implementation phase

Links, further readings – results to date:

Presentation at BMGF-DfID City Partners Meeting (for information about the meeting see ) Hanoi, Vietnam, January 2015: (first file in the list)

Briefing paper presentation at WEDC Conference in July 2015 with the title: "Faecal sludge management in Faridpur, Bangladesh: scaling up through service level agreements"
Paper & presentation: (second and third file in the list)

Human Sludge: National Framework where to focus: (blog)

Can we recycle human waste into a useful resource? (blog)


Our website pages:

Current state of affairs:

Faridpur FSM:
  • Project Partnership signed with Faridpur municipality following project orientation and details discussions on implementation strategy and roles and responsibilities of project partners;
  • Staff recruitment in key positions completed, provided orientation and individual and team work plan prepared;
  • Training was organized on Business Modelling and Performance based Contracting for municipal and project staff;
  • Organised national workshop on FSM Business Model;
  • Mobilised both Harijan and Muslim Sweepers group to form a business cooperative and Muslim Group applied to Department of Cooperatives for Registration;
  • Designed of the sludge treatment plant with assistance from Mr. Andy Peal of UK and Professor Feroze Ahmed of Bangladesh;
  • Different committees e.g. Project Management Committees, Steering Committee etc. on boarded at city level;
  • Drafted business modelling framework with financial analysis;
  • Initiated the development of online demand management and monitoring system development;
  • Conducted study to assess national market for organic fertilizer;
  • Submitted write-up as good practices and abstract for SACOSAN VI.
FSM Regulatory Framework:
  • Signed partnership with DSK and ITN BUET;
  • Developed questionnaire, checklist and guideline for city level consultations;
  • Organised 5 consultation workshops; and
  • Sectoral coordination process initiated and held two meetings so far with SNV Netherlands, WSUP.
Biggest successes so far:
  • Mobilised both Harijan and Muslim Sweepers group to form business cooperatives and Muslim already registered as private enterprise with the Department of Cooperatives;
  • Designed of the Sludge Treatment Plant with the assistance from Mr. Andy Peal, UK and Professor Feroze Ahmed, Bangladesh and initiated the construction of the Sludge Treatment Plant;
  • City-wide FSM business modelling drafted and started piloting; and
  • National FSM Institutional and Regulatory Framework for Bangladesh initiated with the National Forum on Water and Sanitation
Main challenges / frustration:

Local political conflicts along with prolong rainy season delayed the construction of the sludge treatment plant for three months.

Rafiul Islam
Coordinator (Technology Promotion)
Energy & Urban Services Programme
Practical Action, Bangladesh
H-28/A, R-5, Dhanmondi
Dhaka 1205, Bangladesh
T: +88 02 8650439, Extn 142;
F: +88 02 9674340
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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