Innovative WASH options in situations of severe overcrowding

  • F H Mughal
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Innovative WASH options in situations of severe overcrowding

Innovative WASH options in situations of severe overcrowding

The above report, commissioned by the UK Department for International Development, gives interesting findings on WASH in severe overcrowding situations:

"The ‘Innovation in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene’ case study shows that although the general picture is one of incremental change, priorities have shifted between the three subsectors, leading to differences in the pace of innovation in each area. Early findings show that competitions are leading to a shift in the priorities of the government, making sanitation more visible and important.
In some cases, e.g. refugee camps, extending the lifespan of latrines is more important than the technology used.

Private sector involvement is essential for improved pit emptying technologies, such as the modified pedal-powered (manual) Gulper technology and eVac have both been used in Malawi and Rwanda, respectively. An automated SMS service from the government has been used to decrease costs of faecal sludge removal in Senegal.

The delegated management model (DMM) approach to improve water utility services specifically for the urban poor in Kenya is similar to innovative approaches used in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Manila.

Community-led and social innovations, such as DEWATS and CLTS, are popular in South Asian countries. Some cities have piloted city-wide Learning Alliances to trigger cross-learning in communities. Social marketing, as well as business and financing models, are other innovations which can be incorporated in up-scaling WASH projects for the urban poor.

Approximately 6,000 people have benefitted from SOIL’s growing container-based sanitation (CBS) EkoLakay and EcoMobil toilet using their innovative social business plan in Haiti. Latrines based on innovative CBS designs have helped almost eliminate open faecal defaecation (OFD) in Haiti.

e-vouchers that can be spent on hygiene items are used in Syrian camps. The Urinal Project by Cewas Middle East provides a safe odourless unisex alternative to using camp toilet blocks. In Lebanon, GPS technology and installation of flow-o-meters will now be used to improve accountability for household sanitation services. "


It is interesting to read “competitions are leading to a shift in the priorities of the government, making sanitation more visible and important.” While it is good to note that, in Pakistan, I don’t think government has made sanitation more visible, despite report on pp. 14).

This is noteworthy: “In some cases, e.g. refugee camps, extending the lifespan of latrines is more important than the technology used.” Do the forum users agree to this: “extending the lifespan of latrines is more important than the technology used?”

The report can be seen at:
opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/bitstream/ha...ence=206&isAllowed=y


F H Mughal

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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Innovative WASH options in situations of severe overcrowding

F H Mughal wrote: This is noteworthy: “In some cases, e.g. refugee camps, extending the lifespan of latrines is more important than the technology used.” Do the forum users agree to this: “extending the lifespan of latrines is more important than the technology used?”


That's a very broad statement, but I guess I know where this comes from. For example in the work I did earlier this year, there was such a high influx of new arrivals (and limited funding), that usually latrines that were meant to be just temporary gap fillers ended up being used for months as limited resources had to be given to new arrivals.
In such cases any discussions about technology were quite moot, but finding ways to increase lifespan cheaply and with little oversight necessary were vital.

However I doubt that such situations can be generalized as the above quote somewhat implies, and if there would have been better technology options available sort of "off the shelf" immediately instead of the temporary ones build, then extending lifespan and related issues would have been much less severe.

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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Innovative WASH options in situations of severe overcrowding

Yes, I agree, as you say, - - temporary gap fillers, in the situation you mentioned.

But, I think, the statement (extending the lifespan of latrines is more important than the technology used) appears to have been made in a broader context. It will be interesting to hear what other forum users say.

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F H Mughal

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