Please take my Pit Emptying Technology Expert Survey (for research project in rural Bangladesh, BRAC WASH II Programme)
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TOPIC: Please take my Pit Emptying Technology Expert Survey (for research project in rural Bangladesh, BRAC WASH II Programme)

Please take my Pit Emptying Technology Expert Survey (for research project in rural Bangladesh, BRAC WASH II Programme) 24 Apr 2014 15:22 #8320

  • LuanTV
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Dear SuSanA Forum Community,

My name is Luan Vuong and I am a MSc. student in Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering at the University of Leeds. I am looking for fecal sludge management professionals to take part in a survey for a study investigating safety interventions in the emptying of pit latrines. The survey should take no more than five minutes of your time.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7Z9V65H

The main objectives of this study are:

  • to review international best practices for pit emptying,
  • to understand the current practices for emptying single pit latrines in rural Bangladesh, and
  • to identify effective and appropriate safety interventions for pit emptiers and the households they serve

.

Your participation in this survey will assist in the assessment of various pit emptying safety interventions and will be combined with fieldwork in Bangladesh to produce a safety guidance manual for pit emptying. All data and results from this study will be shared with survey participants. Please feel free to contact me for further information. The survey will close at the end of June.

Thank you in advance for your time!

Sincerely,
Luan


Luan Vuong
MSc. in Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering
University of Leeds

This study is part of a larger project entitled, Value at the End of the Sanitation Value Chain (VeSV), completed under the auspices of the BRAC WASH II Programme in partnership with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), NGO Forum for Public Health, and Bangladesh University for Engineering and Technology (BUET). The aim of the VeSV project is to develop business models for a low cost, safe method for the collection and processing of faecal sludge from pit latrines that can be operated by local entrepreneurs and results in the production of a high quality fertilizer that is desirable to farmers.
http://www.ircwash.org/news/introducing-vesv-project
MSc. student
Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering
University of Leeds, UK

Re: Pit Emptying Expert Survey 04 May 2014 22:06 #8446

  • muench
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Dear Luan,

I have just completed your survey. I hope that by posting this, I encourage other experts to also take your survey on faecal sludge emptying technologies - so that you get some good data for your MSc research.

I do enjoy these short Surveymonkey type surveys, and I think your survey is quite well laid out and sufficiently short & sweet.

I am just wondering: you are trying to compare all possible pit emptying technologies that are currently on the market or are being discussed or trialled - some being proven, some being experimental. I think that is tricky. Even with something as well known as the "Gulper", there are actually not so many of them in use worldwide (as far as I know; or at least their performance not very well documented), and Steve Sugden tells us that the Rammer is already better than the Gulper. See here on the forum:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/53-fae...per-for-pit-emptying

So aren't you comparing apples with pears? Especially when you compare a "standard vacuum tanker" with "hand shovels" - they have different fields of applications, and different limits in terms of possible intakes. I think one key aspect is to have standard performance criteria for pumping and standard parameters for pit content characteristics that can be used to compare the different technologies. This is something we have discussed on the forum here (thanks to Jamie Radford):
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-fae...pit-latrine-contents
and here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-fae...12&start=24#8404

In fact, there are also the threads from Mzuzu Uni in Malawi here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport

How many people have filled in your survey to far and are you observing any trends yet? Are you asking the right questions in the survey?

I also encourage you to take part in the above mentioned discussion threads to that you and other researchers in pit emptying technologies can exchange ideas and findings.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Frankfurt, Germany
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Last Edit: 04 May 2014 22:07 by muench.

Re: Pit Emptying Expert Survey 06 May 2014 08:46 #8486

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Elisabeth—thank you for posting to my topic and supporting my research.
And thank you to everyone who has taken the time to participate in my survey, all the feedback has been very helpful.

My primary intentions with this survey were:
1) to review expert opinions on different approaches to improving pit emptying safety,
2) to review expert opinions on how to select a pit emptying device,
3) and to connect with experts interested in my topic.

Also, specifically, I was looking for feedback on the pit emptying technology assessment matrix that I had created for myself to select technologies to try out in rural Bangladesh. This selection process was why I was attempting to compare different technologies side by side. However, as it turned out, the technologies that I am currently trying out in Mymensingh were primarily chosen because of local availability: a gulper, a diaphragm handpump, an electric sump pump, and a diesel turbine pump. I was fortunate that WSUP-Bangladesh was willing to loan me these devices from their urban pit emptying program. As a result, I’ve been able to focus on observing and understanding local rural pit emptying practices alongside trying out these devices.

I am still interested for perspective on pit emptying technology assessment. So far, I’ve had 16 respondents to the expert survey, and the top ranked choice for reducing the risk of manual pit emptying is the introduction of a pit emptying technology aid, (with introducing personal protective equipment a close second). I’ve also received a lot of great constructive feedback on how I could improve my matrix. Any and all other feedback is much appreciated. I will reflect on this feedback, combined with what I’m learning in Bangladesh, the results of a VeSV project household survey of latrine owners and sludge analyses of single pit latrines. Elisabeth—I will also definitely take your advice and follow these other Susana forum topic threads.

I will update this forum topic with my progress in upcoming weeks. Please excuse slow replies, as my current internet connection is not reliable. Again, thanks to everyone responding to my survey. Please do not forget to add your contact information at the end of survey responses if you are interested to hear more.

All the best,
Luan
MSc. student
Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering
University of Leeds, UK

Re: Pit Emptying Expert Survey 28 May 2014 12:55 #8763

  • muench
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Dear Luan,

I recently came across this project update in Sanitation Updates (title: BRAC WASH releases video on faecal sludge management) and remembered that you are doing your MSc within this project:
sanitationupdates.wordpress.com/2014/03/...l-sludge-management/

After watching the video, I have two main questions:
  1. The video shows someone emptying a pit that has rested for one year without using any personal protective equipment. Is this really what the project would promote? Are you that sure that there are no hygienic risks after just one year of resting in the pit?
  2. The video speaks of composting and of biogas. But it doesn't explain where and how this composting (or biogas production) would be carried out, and who would pay for it? Unless people assume that what is happening in that pit during the one year of resting would be sufficient "composting" to make it safe?

Here is the video:


I realise this is a large project and your MSc thesis is only focussing on one small aspect of it. But perhaps you know some of the answers or could encourage one of the other team members to write on the forum here. Thanks!

We also had a related discussion about twin pit pour flush toilets here on the forum:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/141-ot...twin-pit-alternating

Thanks and regards,
Elisabeth

P.S.
Further project information:
In 2013, the UK-based School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds won a BRAC WASH II research call for secondary treatment options for faecal sludge. Their project is called Value at the end of the Sanitation Value-chain (VeSV).

The University of Leeds is working together with three other partners: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), NGO Forum for Public Health (Bangladesh), and IWMI International Water Management Institute (Sri Lanka).
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @EvMuench
Website: www.ostella.de
Member of SuSanA (www.susana.org)

Re: Pit Emptying Expert Survey 30 May 2014 14:51 #8796

  • LuanTV
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Dear Elisabeth,

Thank you for sharing this BRAC WASH video. To be clear, the VeSV project is focused on the management of single pit latrine sludge and is not directly involved with research on twin pit FSM. Therefore, I've tried my best to offer my perspective on your questions as follows:

1) I believe that there are hygienic risks to handling double pit latrine sludge that has only been resting undisturbed for a year, as it is quite probable that the sludge contains viable helminth eggs. Personal protective equipment should be promoted for such practices and it should be accompanied by hygiene awareness campaigning. The young men I observed informally emptying single pit latrines in rural Bangladesh were of the firm belief that there were no health risks associated with fecal sludge exposure.

2) I am not familiar with the BRAC WASH II program's composting and biogas production plans, but I definitely don't think that the compost that the video is referring to is simply the sludge taken out of double pit latrines after a year. If I am able to find out more about this research, I will post it here.

all the best,
Luan
MSc. student
Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering
University of Leeds, UK
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