SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:01:41 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Integrating Climate Resilience in (national) Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy and Plans - looking for resources and experience - by: pjbury
This is one of my first questions to the forum since I joined in 2012.
I'm working on Climate Resilient Development in the WASH sector, more in particular on providing principles based but practical guidance at national strategy and planning level (also there where this level guides decentralized levels).

I'm not sure I have categorized my question in the best possible way, as yes this is about building resilience and risk assessment based vulnerability reduction. I would have expected a category about national sector management including strategy and planning, but it seems that category is not available.


I'd like to get in touch with those of you working in the same field and be pointed to relevant resources, experiences, documentation and conversations.

Look forward to read reactions.

Greetings from near Bologna, Peter J. Bury (former IRC International Water and Sanitation)]]>
Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Wed, 16 Jul 2014 19:49:07 +0000
Reports from the Emergency Sanitation Project (Malawi) and invitation to seminar at Stockholm World Water Week on September 4th - by: jspit
Within the framework of S(P)EEDKITS and the ESP project, WASTE, in close cooperation with Unesco-IHE and Technical University Delft worked the past two years on simple concepts for faecal sludge treatment in emergency situations. On a pilot scale in Malawi, we sanitised faecal sludge using lime, urea and lactic acid and all worked well!

In addition we developed a methodology to empty ‘difficult’ pit latrines by a combination of fluidisation, fishing and vacuum emptying.

I kindly invite you to our seminar in Stockholm, so that we can discuss our findings and future plans. Please find the program and invitation below.

In the meantime, have a look at our progress report and a summary of our faecal sludge treatment findings and future work.




Dear friends,

We are excited to invite you to a seminar at this year’s Stockholm World Water Week, where we will discuss the work and future of the Emergency Sanitation Project (ESP). We value the opportunity that Water Week provides us to reach a different audience (as well as add some much needed sanitation and emergency response focus to the proceedings).

More information is available at the Stockholm International Water Institute website:

Members of the ESP consortium will discuss the work carried out to date and the road forward. We want to work with new partners and do more to address the challenge of sanitation in emergencies.

Date and time: September 4th, 2014 14:00 – 17:30
Place: Stockholm World Water Week, Room K24

14:00 Welcome and Opening Remarks

Theme 1 of the session: Progress to date of the Emergency Sanitation Project
14:10 Lime and Yoghurt: WASTE’s efforts to find innovative solutions in emergency sanitation.
14:25 Higher toilets and firmer foundations: Oxfam’s new sanitation products
14:40 The Limits of Worms: Setting the boundaries for sanitation in emergencies
14:55 State of the Toilet Address: Are we ready for the next big one?
15:30 Coffee break

Theme 2 of the session: Expanding the Emergency Sanitation Project
16:00 Brief Remarks and Summary of First Theme
16:05 Panel Discussion – Addressing new challenges and broadening partnership
17:15 Conclusions and wrap up
17:30 Close of Seminar

We hope you can join us for the event. In the meantime, please see attached our most recent project update and learn more about our work at

See you in Stockholm!

William Carter
Senior Officer, Water, Sanitation and Emergency Health Unit (WatSan/EH)

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Chemin des Crêts, 17 | 1209 Petit Saconnex | Geneva | Switzerland
Saving lives, changing minds.
Find out more on]]>
Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Sun, 13 Jul 2014 12:53:22 +0000
Re: Sharing lessons from human centered design process in a refugee camp - by: AFoote
I work with Hana on this project and I love the discussion it has spurred. These discussions are are how we continue to improve our methods (and sustainability) in sanitation.

I couldn't agree more that sample size is very important particularly when looking at effectiveness of interventions and I too believe WaSH in general can continue to better by making sure data is statistically valid. I think part of this discussion highlights the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Typically quantitative research's goal is to have empirical generalization to many verse qualitative research is to gain an in-depth understanding.

Our goal of the focus groups was not to empirically generalize sanitation across all of Kakuma (or even measure impact) but rather gain an in-depth understanding of people's experiences to make improvements.

From the social scientist realm, a focus group can be a great tool for this and the advice for sample sizes fall under a different rule of thumb than surveys for confidence levels. You'll also see the same for key-informant interviews. For example you wouldn't expect someone to conduct 300+ key informant interviews to have an in-depth understanding of sanitation for a particular demographic. The reason for this is the concept of redundancy where after a period of time you start to hear the same thing from subjects of a particular category. For example you'll see in a very widely cited paper titled Focus Groups, Morgan notes the concept of saturation, where each following focus group is not providing new information. For refined participant categories and topics, three-four groups per category can be sufficient.

I hope that clarifies some things and happy to continue this discussion as it's an important one. The biggest thing is when looking to gain an in-depth understanding of behaviors and preferences sample sizes differ from quantitative research. I think as we all know quantitative research often lacks this important in-depth understanding and is one reasons we selected a human-centered design approach, as it excels at getting to the root of human experience.

Also, as Hana alludes to this is not our only measurement tool. Since we are doing sanitation as as service it is very important for us to constantly monitor people's us a and satisfaction. We have instituted many small feedback loops to quickly asses and react to strengths and weaknesses. If the system were to scale to other parts of the camp we would continue to use these measurement and feedback loops to asses the service and make real-time changes. I hope that helps in explaining our approach.

I'd love to continue to hear people's thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of using a qualitative verse a quantitative approach. My previous role was an analyst at a metrics firm for nonprofits so I really enjoy talking about these things.]]>
Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Fri, 27 Jun 2014 16:51:09 +0000
Re: CuveWaters: Sanitation & Water Reuse in Namibia - by: CuveWaters
Thank you for your questions.
Concerning your question on direct costs: as stated in our brochure, the figures that you are referring to are preliminary and only represent an estimation. We are currently in a compre-hensive cost-benefit analysis and will share the results when they are ready.

In general we follow a systematic approach. Currently scientific methods are being used to find out what the optimal combination of sanitation and water reuse in formal and informal settlements can look like.
•One element here is the productivity of the reuse water (hygienically safe and with nutrients N+P) which is used for crop production (irrigation site). The revenues of the production should reduce fees and create jobs at the same time.
•The sanitation and reuse project has 3-4 target groups (end user)
o Shack Dwellers (Shack Dweller Federation initiative)
o Two current informal settlements with a.) dwellers of cluster units as shown in the film (very heterogeneous building structure) and b.) dwellers of a maximum two year old tin shack settlement, which has also established to an expected development site (communal washhouse).
o Temporary visitors (open market etc.) of the washhouses.
•We see the implemented infrastructure as a modular and variable service, which allows improvements in the dynamic urbanization process. This way the informal settlements are set up to become formal houses – already now there are regulations on how many buildings can be registered per plot and even other gradual services (electricity, waste etc.) are being established partially. Even if there are big changes above-ground, the underground infrastructure remains (adaptivity, changing environmental conditions).
•From principle cost-benefit considerations the washhouse seems to be a cost-effective and affordable version for temporary visitors and dwellers of informal settlements, compared to the cluster solution. The demand we could observe at the washhouse currently confirms the affordability.
•Otherwise it basically seems inconvenient to divide upcoming fees by spatially segregated target groups. It is much more common, as it is in Europe, to aim at tariff uniformity in an area and to tariff single facilities like toilets, showers etc. in freshwater-use-units. This would have the effect, that those that are better equipped in sanitary terms can help support those that are not provided with (subsidise).

Best regards,
Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Fri, 27 Jun 2014 08:02:45 +0000
Re: Sharing lessons from human centered design process in a refugee camp - by: bracken all the best,
Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Wed, 18 Jun 2014 15:20:37 +0000
Re: Sharing lessons from human centered design process in a refugee camp - by: bracken
If I may just interject here, maybe on a bit of a tangent to what you are writing about directly Hana, but it is something I feel is generally not very well described when projects are presented. It concerns the issue of the representativity of survey and focus group results and their validity when applied to the larger population. For me this didn't really come out clearly from your brief presentation of the methodology you are using in the Kakuma Refugee camp.

Like Patrick, I am not a social scientist either but this is an issue that has bothered me quite a bit over the years and I think he has made a fair point in his questions.
The table and text on this web-page give a pretty good overview for determining sample size I think:

From this I guess that if you wanted to be 95% confident that the results of the FGD were representative of the broader population you would need to have consulted around 375 individuals.

The question of bias and it having a direct impact on findings is probably vey relevant here as no control measures appear to have been in place to assure random selection of FGD participants. Methods such as the random route or random walk method for household participation may help minimise such bias which could result from community leaders choosing which households participate by themselves.

best regards,
Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Wed, 18 Jun 2014 09:16:53 +0000
Re: Sharing lessons from human centered design process in a refugee camp - by: Hana Thanks for your interest and I am sorry about the delayed response.

You have some good questions that I would like to respond to here.

1) "Is the sample size large enough?"
It depends on what you mean by "enough". We believe this size will give a good understanding of user acceptability for Somali and Dinka refugees. We cannot say this will reflect all refugees or all Africans but the variant preferences from these two cultures mean that they can perhaps reflect representative practices for more people. This sample size gives us many different household sizes, women and men or different ages and time in the refugee camp, and mobility level. in short we think it is enough to show something significant. Of course we would have loved to have a larger sample but it just wasn't feasible.

2) "Could there be bias in the selection of the participants of the FGDs?"
There should be no significant bias in the participants of the FGDs. Within Kakuma Camp 1, community leaders chose participants without discretion, by going to door to door in areas where the FGD language was prevalent. I suppose one bias could be that families who work more and declined to participant because they did not have time are not represented.

3) "How confident are you on the reliability of the result?"
This largely relates to the first question I think. But in short, we are confident. Beyond the FGDs we have other measurements to show what we did, how well it worked, and what people thought about it. Those will be published with a full report when the pilot is complete.

We are learning new things with every step of this project and would love to hear suggestions or advise from others' experiences.

Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Sun, 15 Jun 2014 23:13:16 +0000
Re: Sanitation risk assessment - by: jonpar
Many thanks for your feedback.

I understand your point about the fact that in your urban situation many households will have a connection to a sewerage system. As Julius Makowka mentioned, this is not generally the case in sub-saharan Africa. He gave statistics from Kampala - Maputo is in a similar situation.

The focus of the methodology is risks related to the hazard "faeces". We have not attempted to look at a wide range of diseases related to poor environmental health. This is why we are considering the impacts that solid waste had on excreta/wastewater management systems - and not the other health risks related to solid waste. Neither are we considering mosquito related diseases although if the "stormwater drainage" indicator was scored "high" then it would suggest that this could be an additional problem in the area.

The wastewater/drainage/stormwater management/flooding is a particularly difficult one as often the systems are multi-functional even if they have designed to be separate. This is why we decided to have two indicators - one for drainage of wastewater (in dry weather) and one for wet weather drainage. If I remember correctly, the reason why we chose “storm water drainage” rather than "flooding" was because we are not focusing on larger floods caused by river systems.

Water quantity is a difficult one for people to assess which is why we termed this in terms of the level of service:

1) Household water supply is from a well-maintained piped water system with constant supply
2) Households collect water from a protected standpipe or piped water supply is intermittent/unreliable piped and/or water is purchased from vendors
3) Households abstract water for domestic purposes from surface water/shallow wells

A fair few people have commented on/questioned the vulnerability indicators which are admittedly not so strong insofar as they do not capture individual vulnerability. They are only approximate and cover vulnerability from a communal perspective. Perhaps we should have included proportion of people with HIV aids as an additional one. The ones that you propose would be used more a validation checks to see if the methodology was giving credible results. If the risk indicators (and the aggregate score) are high, then we could see if “number of days absent from school in a month” was also high (if we had the data). We may expect to see higher expenditures on medical bill (although if people cannot afford to pay the medical bills, then this correlation may not be so strong).

Thanks again for your feedback. If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to respond to the questionnaire and send back to us.

best regards,

Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Mon, 12 May 2014 08:19:15 +0000
Re: Sanitation risk assessment - by: jonpar
Many thanks for responding to the questionnaire and for encouraging others to also respond. It would be most useful to have as many responses as possible to this survey.

So far we have not had so many responses - so it would be great if a few more people reading this can also offer 10 minutes of their time to respond. I am not sure if it is possible to state the statistical relevance unless we can state what the target population is to be surveyed and then the sample would be related to the total.

I don't think we want to be too explicit about the kind of person who we'd like to fill in your questionnaire on the assumption that most SuSanA people have sufficient knowledge and experience to respond the questions. The answers will inevitably be based on different peoples' specific experiences.

With regards to your question about the wider picture of this research, I think this is already in this thread - see below. But for those who have missed it, I am attached the project brief.

A description of the AHP methodology is on the second tab of the xls. I have copied it here :

"The Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) provides a comprehensive and rational framework for structuring a decision problem, for representing and quantifying its elements, for relating those elements to overall goals, and for evaluating alternative solutions. Once the hierarchy is built, the decision makers systematically evaluate its various elements by comparing them to one another two at a time, with respect to their impact on an element above them in the hierarchy. A set of questions, such as the ones below, is to be answered using your perception of the relative importance of each indicator and your judgments about the elements' relative importance. The AHP converts these evaluations to numerical values that can be processed and compared over the entire range of the problem. A numerical weight or priority  is derived for each element of the hierarchy, allowing diverse and often incommensurable elements to be compared to one another in a rational and consistent way."

There isn't a hypothesis that we are trying to prove or disprove. What we are aiming to do is to use the results to weight the indicators that we are using in the risk assessment framework. As Luiza says in here posting " it is apparent that in actual terms, the indicators contribute to the overall level of risk in varying amounts. The purpose of this questionnaire is therefore to ask you to help define the weighting to be assigned to the indicators according to the perceived level of importance that each indicator plays in the transmission and resultant incidence of disease."

We were looking to see if we could use results from scientific studies to derive this information but it proved to be impossible as there is insufficient evidence that covers the range of indicators that we have included in the methodology. So, this is why we decided to adopt the AHP approach.

With regards to when survey participants can see the results, I would expect that we can report back with a month. If people respond reasonably quickly (this week please) then we can process the results together and that would make it more efficient. We would be happy to acknowledge those who respond to the questionnaire.

best regards,

Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Mon, 12 May 2014 07:58:48 +0000
Re: Sanitation risk assessment - by: JKMakowka Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Sun, 11 May 2014 17:02:40 +0000 Re: Sanitation risk assessment - by: F H Mughal
I have few minor observations for your consideration:

The attachment says: “a rapid participatory risk assessment tool for urban sanitation systems is being developed.” The nature of risk indicators shows that it is more relevant for rural sanitation systems, and for some peri-urban areas that exist at the periphery of a major city, in a developing country. If I were to apply these indicators for Karachi, a major city, none appears applicable, as we have a well-established “sewerage” system, with proper toilets. And, if I were to apply the indicators for a small town or a village (like Shikarpur, my home town), yes, they are applicable. Please look into the nomenclature.

Solid waste collection has been mentioned as a secondary indicator. With solid waste comes the fly breeding – insects, mosquitoes, flies, etc. About 2 months back, I was passing by an un-kept solid waste dump and the wind speed was a bit higher. I was at the down-wind direction, and I felt I inhaled some particle. After 24 hours, I developed massive chest congestion. I had to take strong antibiotic, anti-allergic tablets and cough syrup. I’m still having low-level cough that attacks me at bed time. Where does the fly-breed, or airborne agents, or mosquito intensity, fit in the risk analysis?

The term “storm water drainage” has been used. Typically, the storm water drainage refers to the conveyance of water other than sewage. In addition, the description says: “Flooding of sanitation systems…..” and “Households which are only at risk from flooding in the most extreme storm events.”
Hence, it appears, the appropriate title should be “flooding” and not the storm water drainage.

I would propose addition of “water quantity used per day” under the primary indicators; and “expenses on medical bills per month,” and “number of days absent from school in a month,” under vulnerability indicators

I would join Elisabeth in wishing you good luck in your research!


F H Mughal]]>
Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Sun, 11 May 2014 06:19:52 +0000
Re: Sanitation risk assessment - by: muench
OK, you convinced me to fill in your questionnaire. I was hesitant at first because it was in Excel and not online like with Surveymonkey. But I realise now this would be too difficult to set up.

I timed it: it took me about 6 minutes, including sending back the Excel file via e-mail.

It was actually quite enjoyable and straight forward to fill it in, so I would like to encourage others to do so as well (but then I am a sucker for questionnaires, I nearly always fill them because I also want people to participate in my questionnaires or surveys).

Perhaps to get a higher response rate, you could:
  • Explain what kind of person should fill in your questionnaire, i.e. how much prior knowledge about sanitation is required?
  • State how many responses do you think you need to make it statistically viable, and how many responses do you have so far.
  • Explain which methodology you would use to analyse this pairing of risk factors and which research hypothesis are you trying to prove or disprove?
  • Maybe even attach the PhD proposal or outline to this thread so that people can see the wider picture of this research?
  • Indicate the time frame, i.e. when would the survey participants be able to see the results (roughly)?
  • Lastly, if you can think of any incentive to filling out the survey, this always helps (my experience with other surveys).

Good luck with your research!

Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Sat, 10 May 2014 12:03:18 +0000
Re: Sanitation risk assessment - by: jonpar Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Fri, 09 May 2014 22:28:46 +0000 Re: CuveWaters: Sanitation & Water Reuse in Namibia - by: muench
I am really happy that CuveWaters is now presented here on the forum (thank you!) and that I can ask you a question that I have been wondering about for a while with respect to this project:

Do you think that your target group (= urban Namibians without access to sanitation) would be able to afford such a system in the longer term? Meaning, the O&M costs once the funding from Germany has stopped, plus the capital cost of a new facility if they would want to replicate it at another town.

Unless the target population is not the urban poor but rather middle and upper class? But then would they want such a communal wash house?

I took a look at above mentioned report. On page 26 it states:


A waterborne vacuum sewer system with poor-flush toilets was chosen for sewage conveyance
from the informal settlements to a wastewater treatment plant (schematic illustration
see following pages). This ‘closed system’ helps to overcome the threat of seasonal
floods in the area. After the wastewater has been transported from the sanitation facilities
to a vacuum station, first it is pretreated and then further purified with rotating biological
contactors. Organic compounds are oxidised and nutrients largely remain in the water for
fertigation purposes. Finally, solids and pathogens are removed by a microsieve and UV
radiation before the water is stored in a pond for reuse in irrigation. Rainwater is also collected
in this pond to gain additional irrigation water. The biogas produced from the sludge
and biomass of the agricultural irrigation site is used to generate electricity, and the
processed sludge itself is utilised as fertiliser.

Costs [exchange rate of N$ to Eur is a convenient 10:1]

N$ 100,000–200,000 for construction
of washhouses (cluster and community

N$ 800,000–900,000 for construction
of vacuum sewers and pumps

N$ 1,000,000–1,500,000 for construction
of wastewater treatment plant

Water, electricity, spare parts, laboratory
equipment is required for operating resources
wastewater treatment plant and
vacuum sewer system

ca. 7 full-time personnel (technicians,
skilled helpers, caretakers, security staff)

N$ 1,200,000–1,400,000 for construction
of an agricultural irrigation site
(ca. 2 ha) including storage pond, drip
irrigation and drainage system, greenhouses,

Since the project’s implementation is still ongoing, numbers for costs are preliminary and only represent an estimation. Costs for other sites with no pilot character and a higher number of future users are expected to be much
cheaper (with regard to per capita costs). Expenses may also vary depending on local conditions. Therefore, only
ranges are given for construction costs. N$ = Namibian Dollar (N$ 10 ≈ € 1)

If I add up the costs for the wash houses, vacuum sewers and pumps as well as the WWTP (and don't include the cost for the irrigation system), I get a per capita figure of:

127 - 173 Eur per person

(your design is based on 1500 people the report states)

This is pretty much the range I would expect for a conventional wastewater treatment system anywhere in the world, like in Germany, but I would not call this particularly low cost. Unless, as I said, you have a different target group in mind than I do.

I understand that for future projects (no pilot character and more people served) you expect a lower per capita value. Have you already estimated at what per capita value it will become economically feasible for the local government to implement this without support from Germany in future years? (capital cost and O&M cost)

And where do you think the biggest cost savings (capital as well as O&M costs) could be made in the system in future? Are there any redundant/advanced process steps that could be omitted to save costs?

(7 staff members for serving 1500 people also seems pretty high?)


Kind regards,
Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Thu, 08 May 2014 08:44:19 +0000
Re: CuveWaters: Sanitation & Water Reuse in Namibia - by: CuveWaters
sorry for the delay in replying, I did not get the email notification about your question.

The figures in the CuveWaters mid-term Report are still valid, however we are currently preparing an economic and financial analysis of the saniation project. First results should be available end of this year.

The Research project is not supported by EU but by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) until September 2015. The above mentioned analysis will also include possible further national as well as multilateral funding mechanisms.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions.

Best regards
Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Tue, 06 May 2014 06:53:52 +0000