SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing (ICCO Cooperation, Bangladesh)
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TOPIC: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing (ICCO Cooperation, Bangladesh)

SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing (ICCO Cooperation, Bangladesh) 13 Aug 2014 12:37 #9722

  • esthapit
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Dear SuSAN members,

ICCO Cooperation, together with our partners iDE and DSK,is implementing the SanMark City Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The project has been basically designed to explore the critical gap that currently exists in introducing, adapting and sustaining affordable on-site sanitation technologies on a large scale. The project aims to successfully adapt and develop commercialization channels for 4 improved on-site sanitation technologies for urban areas of Bangladesh.

The flyer is attached and we will share with you the progress of the project shortly.

Thanks, Eliza
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Eliza Sthapit
Strategic Partnership Coordinator-South & Central Asia
ICCO Cooperation

Re: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing- quick glimpse 20 Aug 2014 09:31 #9815

  • esthapit
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Here are more details about our grant:

Title of grant: SanMark-CITY
• Subtitle: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing - Fostering Adaptation and Evolution
• Name of lead organization: ICCO Cooperation
• Primary contact at lead organization: Leonard Zijlstra
• Grantee location: The Netherlands
• Developing country where the research is being or will be tested: Bangladesh

Short description of the project:

The Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) report 2012 of the World Bank highlights the continuing corrosive effect that poor sanitation and public health has on the Bangladeshi economy. Health-related losses are estimated at over 4 billion dollars, the equivalent of 5% of GDP. (Economic Impacts of Inadequate Sanitation in Bangladesh, WSP 2012), and human waste still drives forty-nine distinct disease vectors throughout Bangladesh.

Most of the existing sanitation interventions in Bangladesh have been based on pit latrines and septic tanks. It appears that some households were offered little choice in terms of the type of system that was installed. Neither of these technologies are particularly sustainable from a technical point of view in the absence of good faecal sludge management systems. A survey of several sanitation projects in 2010 showed that in many cases pit filling and operation and maintenance were concerns for households. Further, in crowded slum areas there may not be sufficient space to install latrines and service their emptying. This report highlighted the lack of sustainable sanitation options for slum areas, and high-water table and flood-prone districts.

Technology and business driven solutions have a major role to play in helping to deliver better sanitation for the poor in Bangladesh. This project includes to explore the potential of four toilet technologies to overcome some of the challenges faced in delivering a sustainable impact on this problem. It takes a market-led approach, and will focus on the role of the private sector to develop commercial ventures which are sustainable and scalable as the implementation vehicles. In line with lessons learned about inclusive innovation, it recognises that development and implementation requires collaboration with a number of partners including NGOs, research organizations, government authorities, and building on existing service providers.

Drawing on its growing thought leadership in combining sanitation technology, ICCO Cooperation along with two other implementing partners i.e. International Development Enterprises (iDE) and Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (DSK) proposes to “adapt and evolve” four promising SanTechs similar to those developed through the Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenges (RTTC) and Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) to the realities and market systems of urban Bangladesh through the “Sanitation Marketing for Urban Onsite Sanitation in Bangladesh”, or “SanMark-CITY” project.

SanMark-CITY will explore critical gap that currently exist in introducing, adapting, and sustaining affordable sanitation technologies at scale for slums in urban Bangladesh and will inform key stakeholders in the public, private and nongovernmental sectors on how best to support the diffusion of such technologies for maximum impact.

The project has four objectives and through achieving these objectives, it would be possible to provide alternative toilet options to the poor slum dwellers of Bangladesh, which are affordable, environmentally sound, hygienic and approved by the institutes like Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE). Through the business promotion interventions of the project, tested and approved toilets would be easily available in the market, which will enable the slum dwellers to get access to those. Besides, through direct involvement of DPHE in the project, it would be possible to make the toilets available at the Municipality level throughout the country in future.

Goal(s):

The overall objective of the SanMark-CITY project is to successfully adapt and develop commercialization channels for 4 improved on-site sanitation technologies for urban areas of Bangladesh.

These sanitation technologies are (for details see flyer in post above):

Objectives:

1. To test four selected toilet technologies and localize design to demonstrate their potential to meet the sanitation needs of urban poor communities in Bangladesh in sustainable, affordable way
2. To develop business model of viable toilet technologies
3. To explore and identify the commercial capacity and supply chain in Bangladesh to meet the demands of consumers, suppliers and large-scale sanitation programs
4. To facilitate knowledge management, dissemination and roll-out on a large scale

Start and end date: 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2015

Grant type: Global Development Grant Number OPP1097054

Size: USD 699,587

Research or implementation partners: International Development Enterprises (iDE) and Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (DSK)

Links, further readings – results to date: www.sanmarkcity.org

Current state of affairs:

Project is being implemented according to the plan. Few adjustments had to be made, which were done through consultation with the responsible Program Officer of the foundation.

Biggest successes so far:
The project is just above 6 months old. Updates will follow shortly

Main challenges / frustration: There is no such issue yet.
Eliza Sthapit
Strategic Partnership Coordinator-South & Central Asia
ICCO Cooperation
Last Edit: 14 Oct 2014 11:59 by muench.

Re: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing- quick glimpse 20 Aug 2014 14:41 #9822

  • JKMakowka
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Looking forward to the results of this.

I am just a bit concerned that the choice of technology options will limit the analytical outcome of this; it looks like it will be a case of comparing apples with oranges as the systems are so different in their method of operation, costs and level of development.

For example the tiger-toilet is (as far as I know) still quite early in development and only a hand full of working examples exist. The functioning principle of the Enbiolet seems to be based on what is also sold microbial pit-additives and sanitation expert opinion is that this is largely a scam (i.e. no need to empty is unrealistic). I can't really comment on the biofil as too little info is given, but the Sun-Mar seems way out of reach in regards to affordability for the targeted Bangladeshi urban slum inhabitant.
Krischan Makowka
WASH Delegate - Philippines
Last Edit: 20 Aug 2014 14:42 by JKMakowka.

Re: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing- quick glimpse 04 Sep 2014 10:50 #10014

  • esthapit
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Thank you JKMakowka for your query. It is absolutely correct that the method of operation of four technologies selected to be tested in the project are different from one another(although biofil and tiger toilet do exhibit some similarities). What has been focused in selecting the technologies is the capacity of on-site faecal sludge management, and all four technologies are capable on this. As we have mentioned, this is a pilot project, a testing period where we want to see which technology would be the most feasible for the beneficiaries we are targeting. We are also learning a lot and making little adaptations as we move. The Knowledge management institute ITN-BUET is involved in the process and is our thinking hub for this. Through their support we will be able to know whether the characteristics mentioned by the technology providers about their technologies are true. The project is still at the first installation phase, and so far our observations are as follows:

 Most of the tiger toilets installed are working fine
 All the enbiolets and biofil are working well

All three technologies : enbiolet, biofil and SunMar, are already in the market in other parts of the world and are used extensively. Only in Bangladesh, it is the first time and therefore this pilot phase is very important. Regarding the high cost that you have mentioned, as compared to the easily available toilet made of rings and slab, it is not only SunMar, but all three others which are quite expensive in Bangladesh. The greatest advantage of the selected technologies however that needs to be considered most is the convenience i.e. no odor, no/less pollution, longevity, easy maintenance etc. Furthermore, one of the main objectives of the project is to making the toilets with locally available materials, which will significantly reduce the cost of each type of technologies included in the project.

Please feel free to come back for further information and/or clarification.
Eliza Sthapit
Strategic Partnership Coordinator-South & Central Asia
ICCO Cooperation

Re: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing- quick glimpse 24 Nov 2014 19:01 #11122

  • KimAndersson
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Dear Eliza,
I’m interested to know more about how your project is progressing.
Do you have further results and lessons regarding the piloting of the four technologies? What is the scale of testing (i.e. number of toilets installed)? Are the toilets being installed in different settings, e.g. both on household level and as shared facilities? How do you overcome possible challenges related to operation and maintenance?

You commented that the technologies in terms of costs are fairly high for the Bangladesh context. What are your strategies to achieve affordability and create a business driven development? You talked about using local available materials, therefore I wonder if you are trying to establish local production of the different models, and your experience doing so?

Looking forward to hear more about your project!

Thanks and best wishes,
Kim
Kim Andersson
Stockholm Environment Institute
Postbox 24218,104 51 Stockholm, Sweden
kim.andersson@sei-international.org

Re: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing- quick glimpse 07 Jan 2015 06:00 #11525

  • esthapit
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Dear Kim,

Thanks for your query. We appreciate your interest in this pilot project where we are working towards making acess to good sanitation feasible and practical in the context of urban slum.

The project is progressing well. As per our plan, we have installed all four types of toilets and these are being used by our target communities. We have held several rounds of community level discussions before the installation and the communities and they have been very supportive towards the intervention. As you are aware, this is a pilot project to test the feasibility of the chosen technologies, and as we expected in the begining,
some toilets are giving some problems, while others are functioning very well. We are taking into account and studying these problems closely to identify mitigation strategies, while also understanding the most viable option for our target beneficiaries.

We have installed 15 units each of Tiger, Enbiolet and Biofil Toilets. Installing Sunmar was quite late because importing this from Canada took quite a bit of time than expected. Until 15 December 2014, two units of Sunmar were installed and three more will be installed by second week of January 2015.

Our toilets have been installed at different settings according to their number of user capacity. Tiger, Enbiolet and Biofil can accommodate 10 to 15 users per day, and these are shared toilets. Sunmar can accommodate maximum 6 users per day, and this is household based.

So far, we have not faced any problem with Biofil, and Enbiolets are also quite okay. Out of 15 units of Enbiolet, two have problems of strong bad smell, while other are performing well. These problems of also helped us devise some local adapation to the existing technologies. For instance, as a response to the feedback of Tiger toilet users on problems of bad smell, worms coming out etc, we made some structural changes in the internal design under the guidance of technology provider.

Sunmar requires special operation i.e. putting composting materials and rolling handle in every alternative day. So far, these have been maintained well in two installed toilets.

We absolutely agree with you that cost of the toilets are relatively high, particularly as compared to the traditional ring-slab toilets of slum and rural areas in Bangladesh. However, preliminarily, we are focusing on the effectiveness of the technologies i.e. whether these are reducing the pollution particularly through managing fecal sludge as well as user friendliness. Accordingly, within February 2015, there will be preliminary assessment of technologies. Toilets passed through this preliminary assessment, will have focus on cost reduction, and there are options to reduce the price e.g. using three inch wall instead of five inches, using brick chips instead of stone chips etc. We will be doing this through guidance of technology providers.
So far, we have constructed all toilets by using locally available materials other than Sunmar.

Effluent coming out of toilets will also be tested by independent research organization in communication with technology providers , to ensure that the discharge meets the environment standards.

Hope you find above information useful. Please donot hesitate to contact us if you require further information.

Greetings and Happy New Year, Eliza
Eliza Sthapit
Strategic Partnership Coordinator-South & Central Asia
ICCO Cooperation
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Re: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing- quick glimpse 25 Jan 2015 14:15 #11755

  • elkv
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Dear Eliza,
greetings from Dhaka! I am very interested in your results from SanMarkCITY in Dhaka, since I am involved in a World Bank project preparation which will include on-site sanitation in Mirpur and Uttara in Dhaka. I am in Dhaka until Feb 1, any chance I can visit your project sites between now and Feb 1? Thank you in advance for your quick reply.

Kind regards

Elisabeth
Elisabeth Kvarnström

Re: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing- quick glimpse 03 Feb 2015 09:57 #11863

  • esthapit
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Dear Elisabeth,
Greetings.

Hope you had a fruitful field-trip to the San-mar sites together with my colleague Sarwar. kindly get back to us if you require further information on this.

best wishes, Eliza
Eliza Sthapit
Strategic Partnership Coordinator-South & Central Asia
ICCO Cooperation

Re: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing- quick glimpse 09 Mar 2015 19:36 #12421

  • elkv
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Dear Eliza,
I did indeed have a fabulous field trip with your colleague Sarwar and his team! I was fortunate enough to be able to tag along with Peter Owusu from Biofil in Ghana, who was doing a follow-up on the systems. Some reflections below that I shared in email form with Sarwar and Peter after the visit and that it may be interesting for the SuSanA readers to partake:

I was positively surprised by the functionality of the Biofil systems that we visited, by the lack of smell from the digesters for almost all systems! The system seems relatively robust and pleasant to use, as long as not too many users are frequenting the toilet. It can be produced with local material and skills, which is a huge advantage compared to some of the other systems tested in the project. If the Biofil system really can show not to accumulate any sludge and with sustained no smell or operational problems, that the “grass flies” are no vectors of disease, and if a sustainable model for O&M can be developed it is certainly an interesting technology for areas of Dhaka where the infiltration works (the dependency on infiltration capacity may be the system’s weakest technical link in the Dhaka setting, the same as for a septic tank to function properly).

It will be most interesting to read the ITN-BUET reports at the end of the testing year, and better understand the effluent quality, the functionality in terms of no sludge accumulation and how it works for the families, tests on decreasing the costs etc. It will also be most interesting to better understand the improvements in terms of effluent treatment that Biofil, to my understanding, are working on. For better overall functionality, in a setting where control of effluent quality is higher than in Dhaka, there is a need, I would assume, to remove (or reuse for the N, P and organic matter) both N, P, organic matter and pathogens from the effluent to comply to discharge standards. I certainly look forward to better understand the Biofil system in the future by keeping myself informed on the progression of the project in Dhaka as well as the development of Biofil in Ghana.

Kind regards

Elisabeth
Elisabeth Kvarnström
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