Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues
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Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 25 Oct 2013 09:27 #6138

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    rochelleholm
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  • Manager of Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, Malawi. To learn more about the Centre visit http://www.mzuniwatsan.com/.
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Dear all,

My research project is one of 10 which is funded indirectly by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through a grant made to WRC in South Africa who is managing the "Sanitation Research Fund for Africa" (SRFA) which is explained here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-fae...pit-emptying-updates

Over the next few months, we will all present to your our research projects, which have recently started. We would be grateful for an exchange of information/thoughts/ideas.

Title of project:
Solutions For Pit Desludging And Subsequent Sludge Management In Low Income Urban Settlements in Malawi

Name of lead organization: Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation: www.mzuzusmartcentre.co​m/
Primary contact at lead organization: Dr. Rochelle Holm
Grantee location: Mzuzu, Malawi
Goal(s):
Develop recommendations of desludging tools for pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi through field testing
Objectives: Analyze and understand pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in low income urban settlements
Start and end date: 1 July 2013 to 31 December 2015
Grant type: funded by the WRC through a grant from BMGF

Short description of the project:
Methods currently used for fecal disposal in Malawi are very limited, and the private sector participating in improved methods is especially limited. The most common practice is use of pit latrines, which are abandoned when full followed by building a new latrine. However, that poses a unique concern due to the high-density nature of many peri-urban areas with limited land area available. Proper fecal disposal allows both a benefit to human health in the management of waste and protection for the environment. The research team will field test a variety of desludging tools, some of which will be recommended by the Reference Group members.

Methodology:
The methodology will be similar to the work performed by Dave Still which is available in this report:
Still, D., Foxon, K., O’Riordan, M. (2012). Tackling the challenges of full pit latrines - Volumes 3: The development of pit emptying technologies. WRC Report No. 1745/1/12, Water Research Commission, South Africa. susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktype...p;type=2&id=1712

My group has already been using a device in the study area. However, the money from the WRC will be able to add scientific value: cost analysis per pit, how much can be emptied, ease of emptying, some pit sludge analysis (water & solids content). There are also many new emptying technologies that have been developed since that WRC report. I have been introduced to other WRC and BMGF grantees doing this work, such as North Carolina University who have a grant to field test new augers (see here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-fae...usa-and-south-africa).

We shall receive the designs for manual emptiers for field testing; my group has good know-how in building different gadgets.

David Still’s work was conducted from a localised area with different social settings. The scientific community as whole needs to see these devices tested in different areas. In Dave’s work, garbage was a big problem. I am not sure if we will have some problem or not.

Current state of affairs:

We are in the process of completing the first deliverable which looks at pit emptying policies in Malawi and targeted regions, if any. How are pit emptied in the region, how is it disposed, challenges? The other groups in the SRFA scheme are also doing the same. The due date is end of this month.

Final Report:
This would be freely available to download from WRC website (Knowledge Hub), and also from Susana. As with other WRC reports, hard copies will also be distributed.

Our centre's website:
www.mzuzusmartcentre.com/

zim3smaller3.jpg
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
Last Edit: 10 Feb 2014 09:55 by muench.
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Re: Solutions for pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) 01 Feb 2014 08:13 #7183

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  • Manager of Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, Malawi. To learn more about the Centre visit http://www.mzuniwatsan.com/.
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The project recently submitted a report to the Water Research Commission reviewing local and national fecal/pit sludge management policies in the area of investigation for the project on Research on Solutions for Pit Desludging and Subsequent Sludge Management in low income urban areas in Malawi.

Malawi has a reasonable share of legislation, policies, standards and norms towards the improvement in the delivery of sanitation and hygiene services. The key local and national Malawian water and sanitation and hygiene promotion regulations include:
• The 2008 National Sanitation Policy
• The 2005 National Water Policy
• The 2004 National Environmental Policy
• First and second phases of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy
• National Water Development Programme (NWDP)
• Water Resources Act
• District Level Policy

While there appears to be overall national (Malawi) fecal/pit sludge management policies supporting pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in Malawi, but there are no specific references to fecal/pit sludge management. Local polices for or against fecal/pit sludge management are also not available. This is still a new topic owing continued attention for continuous improvement and updating of local and national policy is assured to cover this topic in the years to come.

Some of the key references included:

Malawi Government. (2004). Environmental Affairs Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs. National Environmental Policy. Government Printing Press, Zomba.
Malawi Government. (2005). Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development, National Water Policy. Lilongwe, Malawi: Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development.
Malawi Government. (2008). Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development, National Sanitation Policy. Lilongwe, Malawi: Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development.
Malawi Government. (2012a). Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II, Capital Printing Press, Lilongwe.
Malawi Government, Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development National Water Development Programme. (2011). Environmental and social management framework, Capital Printing Press, Lilongwe.
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) 09 Feb 2014 13:16 #7322

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Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, located in northern Malawi, would like to extend an invitation as a site for field testing of innovative tools and techniques for the emptying, transport and treatment of pit sludge.

The Centre is particularity well suited for self-funded graduate students or experienced researchers looking for a site to perform field testing on local pit latrines over several weeks to months.

The Centre owns both a sludge pump and pressure washer for pit emptying.

We will also soon be working with North Carolina State University on testing of an improved prototype screw auger.
(see here for details: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-fae...usa-and-south-africa)
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
Last Edit: 10 Feb 2014 09:53 by muench. Reason: added link to the other grant

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) 10 Feb 2014 10:10 #7325

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Dear Rochelle,

Thanks for keeping us updated about the progress of your research project. Please keep the information coming.

Could you please attach the report that you mentioned in your post from 1 Feb.? If not the whole report, what were the main conclusions? Did I understand right that there are plenty of government documents in Malawi about water & sanitation but none on pit emptying and sludge management? How can that be? Is that because traditionally, the pits were not emptied?

I also have some questions about your organisation. I had a look around your website and blog:
www.mzuzusmartcentre.com/index.html

On your website, I mainly see only some rural water projects but little on sanitation. Is your organisation relatively young? I also don't understand what your connection to the university is (you are called Mzuzu University Centre) - how big is that university and where is it? Oh, OK, good old Google led me to this website: www.mzuni.ac.mw/index.php?option=com_con...ontpage&Itemid=1 - so it's still a young university). Wikipedia told me:
Mzuzu (formerly called Kaningina) is the capital of Malawi's Northern Region and is the third largest city, by population, in Malawi. The City has 128,432 residents plus 20,000 commuters (Mzuzu University students) with about 1.7 million people living around the outskirts of the city.[1] It is situated in Mzimba District, in the center of an agricultural region, and the area surrounding the city specializes in tea, rubber, and coffee cultivation.[2] The Viphya Forest to the south of the city is the largest man-made forest in Africa.[3]


But still my question is how exactly is your centre linked to that university?

And I see that you seem to have a Dutch connection, because you are listing as partners for your centre Aqua for All and Akvodia:
www.mzuzusmartcentre.com/aboutus.html

Finally, if you don't mind me asking, how does a lady from the UK (just guessing?) end up running a centre in Malawi? Are you perhaps seconded or on some special funding arrangement? Or have you perhaps already lived in Malawi a long time?

I think these things will help us to understand better the set-up of your centre and what it's trying to do in the longer term with regards to sanitation issues.

Thanks in advance for answering my questions.

Regards,
Elisabeth
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Re: Solutions for pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) 10 Feb 2014 12:30 #7331

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Hello-
Thanks much for the continued discussion.

Mzuzu University, located in northern Malawi, was established by an Act of Parliament in May 1997 and admitted its first students in January 1999. In 2009, the Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation was established within the Faculty of Environmental Sciences. The Centre oversees African water and sanitation research, which is networking regional water and sanitation work and also training of professionals through Mzuzu University. The primary objective of the Centre is to improve the effectiveness of sanitation, hygiene practices, and water supply interventions serving Malawi and the surrounding countries. The Centre participates in applied research, water quality analysis, training, consultancies, outreach programs, and the practical application of research findings. Mzuzu University offers 21 undergraduate programmes for generic and upgrading students and 9 postgraduate programmes. In 2013, programmes for PhD and Master’s in Sanitation were added.

As an extension of the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, there now is a so called SMART Centre with demonstration of a range of low cost technologies and capacity to train local entrepreneurs in water and sanitation technologies with a focus on ‘self supply’. Training also includes business skills, linking them and their customers to micro-financing institutions. The SMART Centre work is under the work of the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation. To learn more about the SMART Centre visit www.mzuzusmartcentre.com/.

Hope this can be of help, please let me know if anything further.
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) 04 Mar 2014 13:25 #7618

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The moderator has asked me to summarize the recent National Malawi Policy review on FSM under the WRC project.

Malawi has a reasonable share of legislation, policies, standards and norms towards the improvement in the delivery of sanitation and hygiene services. The key local and national Malawian water and sanitation and hygiene promotion regulations include:
• The 2008 National Sanitation Policy
• The 2005 National Water Policy
• The 2004 National Environmental Policy
• First and second phases of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy
• National Water Development Programme (NWDP)
• Water Resources Act
• District Level Policy

While there appears to be overall national (Malawi) fecal/pit sludge management policies supporting pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in Malawi, but there are no specific references to fecal/pit sludge management. Local polices for or against fecal/pit sludge management are also not available. This is still a new topic owing continued attention for continuous improvement and updating of local and national policy is assured to cover this topic in the years to come.

There are plenty of government documents in Malawi about water & sanitation but none on pit emptying and sludge management. Traditionally, the pits were not emptied in peri-urban or urban areas and instead a new pit was dug.

In regards to the other work at the Centre. The Centre has received funding and material support from donors and private sector organizations to implement a number of projects, including short courses, training, applied research and program planning and coordination. In particular, WASTE has provided the Centre with substantial funding for applied research, short courses in sustainable school sanitation and the Sanitation in Peri Urban Area (SPA) program. As a consortium member of SPA, the Centre works alongside major public and private organizations involved in the WASH sector such as CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, UN-Habitat, WASTE, Water for People, Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM), the Mzuzu City Council, the Mzimba North District Health Office (DHO), PumpAid, Water Aid, Coyida, CCODE, Concern Universal, the WRC, Water Boards, as well as local entrepreneurs.
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
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Fecal Sludge Management Urban Policy 11 Mar 2014 19:28 #7743

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I am a Master of Science student at Mzuzu University in Malawi and I will be doing research for the Water Research Commission (WRC) funded project on Research on Solutions for Pit Desludging and Subsequent Sludge Management in low income urban areas in Malawi. The main focus of my research study will be development of a Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) Policy for the City Council. As a country, Malawi has a sanitation policy which addresses a lot of issues that are aimed at improving sanitation, hygiene promotion and recycling of waste in cities, municipalities, towns, market centers and peri-urban areas with the goal of achieving universal access to improved sanitation and safe hygiene and proper management of waste to protect the environment. This policy provides general guidelines hence cannot be used to address specific issues that arise from the different cities and towns in Malawi. FSM is however not addressed.
At the moment, there is no policy in Malawi that looks at FSM in the peri-urban areas of our cities which makes the process of pit emptying, transportation, disposal and treatment of fecal sludge unregulated hence posing a great risk to man and the environment. I would therefore appreciate if you could assist me with copies of FSM policies that you have come across for other cities in Africa or Asia specifically and possibly advise me on the proper way of developing one.
I will greatly appreciate the assistance and support that you will render to me.

Daniel Nyirenda.
Daniel Nyirenda
WASH Project Officer/ MSc in Sanitation Student
Mzuzu University
Mzuzu.

Re: Fecal Sludge Management Urban Policy 13 Mar 2014 10:34 #7775

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Dear Daniel,

I wish you good luck with your research in Malawi, sounds really interesting.

I am not an expert in this but I have the feeling that in most countries, there is no separate FSM policy but it is rather part of the overall (urban) sanitation policy.
So during your literature search, this may be a better search term.

You will find some information on sanitation policies in threads posted in this category on the forum (upscaling, sanitation governance, institutional aspects, policies):
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/142-up...-sanitation-policies

Also, it seems that when it comes to FSM, it is all the rage these days to look at it more from a business perspective rather than from purely a governance perspective. Hence, if you search for "sanitation as a business" you also find interesting documents.

For example, I posted here about a "landscape" analysis by consultants for the BMGF in 10 countries in Asia and Africa:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/53-fae...-towns-in-india#3023
Countries in Africa that are included:
Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal.

I also had a quick look in the SuSanA library for you by putting sanitation policy in the search field:
www.susana.org/library?search=sanitation+policy
(and click on the right on the "select by technology" on FSM to narrow it down further)

This FSM field note from Zambia could be of relevance:
susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktype...p;type=2&id=1771

How about the research of Water for People in your country Malawi regarding sanitation as a business - does it have any relevance for your work?
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/97-ena...bolivia-peru-ecuador

Then there is this document which does include some information on sanitation policies in several countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Senegal):

WSA (2012). Benchmarking of Urban Sanitation Pricing and Tariffs Structure in Africa. Water and Sanitation for Africa, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktype...p;type=2&id=1698

And documents from David Schaub-Jones on sanitation as a business in Africa:
www.susana.org/library?search=Schaub-Jones

I hope some of this is helpful?

Please let us know how things are progressing for you, and do bring up further points for discussion.

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. If you are more interested in health guideline policies for pit emptiers, then be sure to read this thread on the forum about the situation in Kenya:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/53-fae...-exhauster-operators
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Last Edit: 13 Mar 2014 14:43 by muench. Reason: corrected Water for People

Re: Fecal Sludge Management Urban Policy 13 Mar 2014 14:38 #7779

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Dear Elisabeth,

Thank you so much for the guidance you have given me. I find all the links you have shared very useful. As you you have rightly put it that most cities do not have a stand-alone FSM policy and that issues of FSM are found in urban sanitation policies, I would still appreciate if I can get hold of one such policy document or more research papers on the same.

The study done by Steven Sudgen of Water for People on Catalyzing Sanitation as a business also provides some insight on FSM but I still need a lot of literature to look at.

I will keep you posted on the developments regarding my study and I will not hesitate to bring more questions for discussion.

Thank you so much,

Daniel
Daniel Nyirenda
WASH Project Officer/ MSc in Sanitation Student
Mzuzu University
Mzuzu.
Last Edit: 13 Mar 2014 14:44 by muench. Reason: corrected the Water for People in the post above

Update: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) 02 Oct 2014 12:02 #10362

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On 25 August 2014, Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation (Malawi) hosted a regional (Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) Fecal Sludge Management Meeting in partnership with other WRC grantees.

Presentations from Participants:
1. Prof. Chris Buckley and Dr. Tina Velkushanova: Pit Latrines and Emptying in Durban, Southern Africa.

2. Mzuzu City Council, Lilian Chirwa (Director of Public Health). The focus of the presentation was detailing current projects Mzuzu City is undertaking such as the Peri-Urban Sanitation and Hygiene Project (PUSH) with funding from European Union and in partnership with Plan Malawi. In this project they are targeting areas with low and high water table in promotion of appropriate sanitation facilities including composting toilets (Ecosan/Skyloos), improved latrines, and Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines. Currently Mzuzu has no sewer and long standing plans are that Northern Region Water Board shall undertake this project. The City has three sludge ponds which are not well maintained and it is planned through the PUSH project rehabilitation shall be undertaken. Other plans include the need to construct neighborhood transfer stations for fecal sludge collection.

3. Presentation from Water for People Malawi by Mr. Magoya: Pit Emptying Technology (Gulper, Rammer and Solar Dryer).

4. Presentation from Polytechnic by Ass. Prof. Bernard Thole: Characterization of Pit Sludge Management, Sludge Biochemical Degradation, and Respective Impacts on Public Health in Unplanned Settlements of Malawi.

5. Presentation from University of North Carolina by Tate Rogers: Pit latrine Auger (Excavator) development and testing.

6. Presentation from Mzuzu University by Daniel Nyirenda: Fecal Sludge Management in Mzuzu, Malawi: Investigating policy gaps.

7. Presentation from Mzuzu University by Willy Chipeta: Investigation on New Technologies for Pit desludging in Peri Urban Mzuzu, Malawi

8. Presentation from Mzuzu University by James Kushe: Investigation and development of new fecal sludge emptying technologies for peri-urban areas in Mzuzu.

Roundtable Discussion Summary:

Barriers to improved Fecal Sludge Management:
* Behavior change (rubbish in latrines is wide spread)
* New latrine designs are being developed without consideration of pit emptying
* Lack of awareness on re-use of Fecal Sludge safety in agriculture
* Low earning capacity resulting from people demanding low cost services for emptying latrine sludge with high rubbish content
* Research has not been done on safe threshold of fecal sludge reuse for agriculture in Malawi
* Infrastructure such as transfer stations for fecal sludge collection are not available in Malawi

Opportunities to improved Fecal Sludge Management:
* Awareness for community education on how to properly use a latrine
* Local Development Fund as a tool for financing sanitation
* Waste reuse: Recycling, pellets for agriculture

Next Steps Forward:
* Regional Forums (Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe) to review FSM practices should be continued at a higher level such as holding a national FSM review.
* eThekwini Municipality in Durban is a site for mutual learning.
* There is need for research on potential contamination of fecal sludge in areas within Mzuzu that have high water table.
* Involve District Environmental Health Officers (EHO) to begin to share experiences on FSM.
* Involve politicians to be part of knowledge sharing to raise awareness for behavior change.
Attachments:
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
Last Edit: 07 Oct 2014 11:33 by muench.
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Re: Update: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) 07 Oct 2014 11:44 #10405

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Dear Rochelle,

Thanks for this information. It looks like you had a really interesting workshop on FSM for people from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Would it be possible that you also post the presentations? I am particularly curious about the presentation from Mzuzu City Council, as I hadn't heard about their project before:

Mzuzu City Council, Lilian Chirwa (Director of Public Health). The focus of the presentation was detailing current projects Mzuzu City is undertaking such as the Peri-Urban Sanitation and Hygiene Project (PUSH) with funding from European Union and in partnership with Plan Malawi. In this project they are targeting areas with low and high water table in promotion of appropriate sanitation facilities including composting toilets (Ecosan/Skyloos), improved latrines, and Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines. Currently Mzuzu has no sewer [...].


Also I am wondering if you have any exchanges with a project that sounds a bit similar in Blantyre? I saw it mentioned here on Sanitation Updates recently:
sanitationupdates.wordpress.com/2014/10/...ject-and-ccode-work/

It's a project by SHARE and CCode: "SHARE’s work to date in Malawi has focused on Ecological Sanitation (Ecosan), which has been heavily promoted in urban areas. Blantyre in Malawi is also one of the cities included in the City-Wide Sanitation Project."

Are you having a good exchange with different cities in Malawi or is everyone pretty much doing their own thing?

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Re: Update: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) 08 Oct 2014 04:14 #10413

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Hello Elisabeth,
Mzuzu City Council gave an oral presentation. A local news article for more on the project can be found at: allafrica.com/stories/201306250338.html

SHARE grant does a great job in Malawi bringing together grantees, and sharing news and research findings.

Our Centre also has SHARE work, more information can be found at: www.shareresearch.org/NewsAndEvents/Detail/Rochelle's_blog

Unfortunately most of the sanitation research in Malawi is urban, rather than rural. This is a big gap in knowledge.

Regards,
Rochelle


[End of Page 1 of the discussion]
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
Last Edit: 13 Nov 2014 10:22 by muench.
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Re: Update: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) 29 Oct 2014 10:53 #10727

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[Start of Page 2 of the discussion]

Dear Rochelle,

You mentioned this large EU project in Malawi (allafrica.com/stories/201306250338.html). It is € 24 million and will provide access to sanitation for this number of people:

The project will benefit 84,000 people from 19,090 households, and 14, 400 learners from nine schools in peri-urban areas of Masasa, Chibavi, Chibanja, Zolozolo, Luwinga and Mchengautuwa.


As a simplistic sanity check (I know there are also project overheads and so forth), this would be 240 Eur per person. This seems like a lot of money and makes me think the money will be used to build sewer systems?

The article doesn't state which sanitation technologies will be used - do you know?

Also you mentioned:
Unfortunately most of the sanitation research in Malawi is urban, rather than rural.


And here I am wondering what is your definition of urban and rural is? Is the town of Mzuzu regarded as urban or rural (or both)? Some town planners in developing countries use the simplistic definition sewer = urban, no sewer = rural, is that also the case in Malawi perhaps?

Regards,
Elisabeth
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Re: Update: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) 26 Nov 2014 09:00 #11139

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    rochelleholm
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  • Manager of Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, Malawi. To learn more about the Centre visit http://www.mzuniwatsan.com/.
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Current sanitation projects in Mzuzu City, Malawi include:
1.) Plan Malawi as funded by the European Union (EU). The Plan Malawi target in Mzuzu for the PUSH project is 84,000 residents from 19,090 households, 14,400 school learners from 9 schools in 6 peri-urban locations of Mzuzu City (Chiputula, Masasa, Luwinga, Zolozolo, Mchengautuwa, Chibanja). The outputs are: Construction of 12 affordable privately run toilets in market places; construction of 18 VIP latrines in schools; construction of 48 ecological toilets in schools; promote construction of 2500 improved toilets at household level; conduct 54 triggering sessions; training of extension workers (HSAs and others) and 10 CBOs in sanitation marketing and UCLTS; hygiene promotion campaigns; promote use of 3Rs in waste management in informal settlements, markets and schools. Lastly this project will strive to conduct other capacity building activities for Mzuzu City Council members and sanitation entrepreneurs.
2.) Malawi Red Cross Society as funded by the European Union (EU). Malawi Red Cross Society is also conducting a WASH Project (30 months) in 6 peri-urban locations of Mzuzu City, within different areas from Plan Malawi. They aim to improve community knowledge, attitudes and practices on safe water, hygiene and sanitation; increase access to potable water through the construction of 15 water kiosks and the rehabilitation of 15 non-functioning water kiosks (30,000 inhabitants from the project areas); increase sanitation coverage in households, including schools, markets and bus stands, taking into consideration the needs of special groups; facilitate pit emptying and proper disposal of sludge. Lastly, they will build the capacity of private sector and authorities at local level to support community and other initiatives to improve access to safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene.

These two projects are noticeably similar, and are being coordinated by Mzuzu City Council to ensure linkages but no overlaps.

Thank you to Dan Nyirenda for helping pull together this summary information. Dan is currently working to develop a FSM policy for Mzuzu City which would cover activities under both of these projects through his Master’s study at Mzuzu University.

Mzuzu City is considered urban. It was also specifically asked what sanitation technologies will be used under the Mzuzu sanitation projects. For both projects, the City Council guidance is the same. For construction of toilets at schools, it will be primarily eco-san toilets but other designs may be considered in line with Government approved designs for schools and preferences of the individual schools. Household toilets in urban areas may additionally include pour-flush. Sewer systems are not being built under either of the projects.
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
Last Edit: 30 Nov 2014 05:47 by rochelleholm. Reason: Added project funding "as by the European Union (EU)"

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 19 Jan 2015 12:57 #11678

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    Daniel82
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It is almost a year now since I enrolled for the Master of Science in Sanitation at Mzuzu University working on a Water Research Commission funded project. The focus of my research is to analyze policy gaps in Malawi with respect to Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) so that by the end of the day a Fecal Sludge Management Policy for Mzuzu City Council is developed. This type of policy will be the first of its kind and will set a benchmark on which other cities in Malawi and of course elsewhere will have a reference point.


With the MOU between Mzuzu University and The City Council in place, I had an opportunity to work closely with the Director of Health and Social Services whose department is in charge of sanitation in the city as mandated by the Local Government Act of the Republic of Malawi. During this period, access to the By-Laws and The Sanitation Bill which is awaiting enactment by Parliament, was granted. The By-Laws of the City are archaic and the miss a lot of things including FSM so a task to align them with the Sanitation Bill was incumbent upon the researcher. These By-Laws were formulated in 1992 and have not been amended since then such that the fines therein are less that the service charges. In addition, one stakeholder consultative meeting was held were all WASH stakeholders in the City including Entrepreneurs and Service Providers were invited. This forum provided a good platform for identification of who is doing what in the city. This meeting laid a strong foundation for future meetings of a similar nature which I plan to conduct in order to get information relevant for policy development.


Currently, a review of several pieces of legislation is in progress to identify what is complimentary and what is antagonistic among these documents.
Daniel Nyirenda
WASH Project Officer/ MSc in Sanitation Student
Mzuzu University
Mzuzu.

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 01 Oct 2015 10:33 #15227

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    Daniel82
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Dear All,

I write to share the progress made for my research work on investigating Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) Policy gaps in Mzuzu City – Malawi.

I did household surveys to determine the current FSM practice in the city. I discovered that over 50% of households did not own the residential premises which made it difficult for them to make decisions on the facilities. The city does not recommend any specific type of facility which leads to people just constructing any type. This coupled with distance to sludge ponds leads to varying costs of pit emptying services. Additionally, some households construct deep pits in areas with high water tables which risks contamination of ground water.

A review of government WASH related policy documents and Acts showed that they are disjointed as they are not clear as to which entity is mandated to do what and which one is responsible to enforce the guidelines. From the research work, FSM guidelines are going to be developed for the city basing on the already existing by-laws for solid waste management.
I therefore invite any input towards suggestions on what needs to be incorporated in the guidelines for FSM considering the background given. You may also wish to look at the paper presented at the 38th WEDC International Conference and comment. Follow the link below:

wedc.lboro.ac.uk/resources/conference/38/Nyirenda-2257.pdf
Daniel Nyirenda
WASH Project Officer/ MSc in Sanitation Student
Mzuzu University
Mzuzu.
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Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 15 Dec 2015 07:46 #16251

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    fcharlesc
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I am Charles Chirwa and pursuing my Masters studies in Sanitation with Mzuzu University. I am working on a study aimed at assessing the strength of pit-latrine sludge which focuses on peri-urban areas of Mzuzu City. This will culminate in development of a digital system to be utilised in sanitation monitoring.
With the increasing demand for improvement in pit emptying efficiency, the need for understanding of physical properties of in-situ feacal sludge needs to be well documented to assist in planning. The focus of this study is the understanding that most pit emptying technology fails to efficiently remove the wastes from pit latrine due to variability in sludge strength which affects the effectiveness of pit emptying equipment relying on suction to remove sludge. This is compounded by poor understanding of the strength of the sludge and the composition of the sludge which tend to block the equipments. In most cases, pit emptying is done without the knowledge of the strength of the sludge contained in the latrine. As a result, most emptying exercise only achieve partial removal of sludge which results in accumulation of thick sludges in the pit over time which becomes more difficult to remove. Results from this study are going to be utilised in planning for emptying services. For case, data on sludge strength will help in planning for procedures to utilise in sludge fluidisation of pit sludge. Availability of data on sludge strength combined with the development of the monitoring system for sanitation monitoring is likely to provide a better understanding of prevailing sludge characteristics that will be utilised in planning for emptying services.
For my study I will investigate 300 pit latrines from around Mzuzu. The sample size has been chosen to get a clear view of sludge strength from around Mzuzu. The households from the sampled households will be interviewed on their sanitation practices and their knowledge on sanitation services. This will help in understanding some of the factors affecting the physical properties of latrine sludge. Results from household interviews will also be utilised in identifying key aspects to be included in the monitoring system I am intending to develop.
The monitoring system will combine both feacal sludge management and some components of domestic waste management. The system aims at equipping members to be able to recognise the sanitation challenges and empower them to take actions to trigger quick response by responsible authorities such as latrine emptiers and city assembly garbage collectors. A central data processing system will be established within the city assembly department where members can lodge their sanitation concerns that require immediate attention.
Any feedback on my approach would be appreciated.
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Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 15 Dec 2015 11:55 #16255

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    AParker
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  • Lecturer in International Water and Sanitation at Cranfield University, working on many apsects of urban water and sanitation, including leading Cranfield's response to the BMGF Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.
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Hi Charles,

Thanks for this update. What is your method for assessing sludge strength?

Alison
Alison Parker
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Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 15 Dec 2015 11:59 #16256

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    fcharlesc
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I will used the cone penetrometer test. This is the only device we currently have at Mzuzu Univesrsity.

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 15 Dec 2015 13:40 #16258

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We also had good experiences using a cone penetrometer. Do watch Damian's talk at fSM4 and let us know if you have any questions!

Alison Parker
www.nanomembranetoilet.org
Apply to study our MSc in Community Water and Sanitation:
www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/comm...-and-sanitation.html

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 15 Dec 2015 13:47 #16259

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Well, I am hoping to use almost the same procedures. Do you mind sharing some challenges for the sake of planning. As I have indicated in my post, I will conduct the tests on 300 latrines and I am hoping to start this January.

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 15 Dec 2015 14:05 #16260

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Of coruse. Do you want to message me your e-mail address and I'll put you in touch with Damian?
Alison Parker
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Apply to study our MSc in Community Water and Sanitation:
www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/comm...-and-sanitation.html

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 05 Feb 2017 11:01 #20352

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    rochelleholm
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  • Manager of Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, Malawi. To learn more about the Centre visit http://www.mzuniwatsan.com/.
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Our second publication under the "Solutions for Pit Desludging and Subsequent Sludge Management in Low Income Urban Settlement in Malawi” project with support from the Water Research Commission of South Africa has been published.

Pit Latrine Fecal Sludge Resistance Using a Dynamic Cone Penetrometer in Low Income Areas in Mzuzu City, Malawi
by: Charles F. C. Chirwa, Ralph P. Hall, Leigh-Anne H. Krometis, Eric A. Vance, Adam Edwards, Ting Guan and Rochelle H. Holm
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 87; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020087

Abstract
Pit latrines can provide improved household sanitation, but without effective and inexpensive emptying options, they are often abandoned once full and may pose a public health threat. Emptying techniques can be difficult, as the sludge contents of each pit latrine are different. The design of effective emptying techniques (e.g., pumps) is limited by a lack of data characterizing typical in situ latrine sludge resistance. This investigation aimed to better understand the community education and technical engineering needs necessary to improve pit latrine management. In low income areas within Mzuzu city, Malawi, 300 pit latrines from three distinct areas were assessed using a dynamic cone penetrometer to quantify fecal sludge strength, and household members were surveyed to determine their knowledge of desludging procedures and practices likely to impact fecal sludge characteristics. The results demonstrate that there is a significant difference in sludge strength between lined and unlined pits within a defined area, though sludge hardened with depth, regardless of the pit type or region. There was only limited association between cone penetration depth and household survey data. To promote the adoption of pit emptying, it is recommended that households be provided with information that supports pit emptying, such as latrine construction designs, local pit emptying options, and cost. This study indicates that the use of a penetrometer test in the field prior to pit latrine emptying may facilitate the selection of appropriate pit emptying technology.

To help you access the full article which is open access, please visit www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/2/87 .
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 08 Mar 2017 04:58 #20770

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    rochelleholm
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  • Manager of Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, Malawi. To learn more about the Centre visit http://www.mzuniwatsan.com/.
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Please checkout our newest publication under the "Solutions for Pit Desludging and Subsequent Sludge Management in Low Income Urban Settlement in Malawi” project with support from the Water Research Commission of South Africa.

Designing local solutions for emptying pit latrines in low-income urban settlements (Malawi)
by W.C. Chipeta, R.H. Holm, J.F. Kamanula, W.E. Mtonga and F.L. de los Reyes III
Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pce.2017.02.012

Abstract
A lack of effective options in local technology poses challenges when onsite household sanitation facilities are eventually filled to capacity in unplanned settlement areas within Mzuzu City, located in northern Malawi. Vacuum trucks currently dominate the market but focus on emptying septic tanks in the more easily accessible planned settlement areas, rather than servicing the pit latrines common in unplanned settlement areas. As a result, households in the unplanned settlement areas within Mzuzu rely primarily on manual pit emptying (i.e., shoveling by hand) or digging a new pit latrine. These practices have associated health risks and are limited by space constraints. This research focused on filling the technological gap through the design, development, and testing of a pedal powered modified Gulper pump using locally available materials and fabrication. A modified pedal powered Gulper technology was developed and demonstrated to be capable of lifting fecal sludge from a depth of 1.5 m with a mean flow rate of 0.00058 m3/s. If the trash content was low, a typical pit latrine with a volume of 1–4 m3 could be emptied within 1–2 h. Based on the findings in our research Phase IV, the pedal powered Gulper modification is promising as a potential emptying technology for lined pit latrines in unplanned settlement areas. The success rate of the technology is about 17% (5 out 30 sampled lined pit latrines were successful) and reflects the difficulty in finding a single technology that can work well in all types of pit latrines with varying contents. We note that cost should not be the only design criteria and acknowledge the challenge of handling trash in pit latrines.

To help you access the full article, it is open access, please visit www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1474706516300523 .
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation

Re: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - and policy issues 21 Mar 2017 04:46 #20961

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    rochelleholm
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  • Manager of Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, Malawi. To learn more about the Centre visit http://www.mzuniwatsan.com/.
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You may be interested in our most recent publications on fecal sludge management in Mzuzu, Malawi, under the "Solutions for Pit Desludging and Subsequent Sludge Management in Low Income Urban Settlement in Malawi” project with support from the Water Research Commission of South Africa. The paper is open access.

Characterization of pit latrines to support design and selection of emptying tools in peri-urban Mzuzu, Malawi.

Chiposa, R., Holm, R. H., Munthali, C., Chidya, R. C. G. and de los Reyes III, F. L.
Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 2017, 07(1), pages 151-155.
DOI: 10.2166/washdev.2017.096
washdev.iwaponline.com/content/7/1/151

ABSTRACT
The urban areas of many low-income countries must balance a rising demand for pit latrines for household sanitation provision against limitations in space, resulting in a need for pit latrine emptying services. This study was undertaken in the peri-urban neighborhood of Area 1B in the city of Mzuzu, Malawi, to examine the characteristics of household pit latrines for designing and selecting pit latrine emptying tools. We used 150 structured household surveys and field observations. From this, a subset was selected and 30 manual cone penetrometer tests were conducted at full latrines. Chemical oxygen demand analysis was also performed for 14 pit latrines. The results indicated that in addition to serving as a disposal for fecal matter, 90% of households also used pit latrines for domestic waste. Only 10% of the studied pit latrines were lined. The filling rate in the study area is calculated to be about three years, and no respondents reported previous emptying. It is suggested pit latrine emptying technology development focuses on a maximum tool diameter of 10 cm to fit through the keyhole (squat hole) and height of 146 cm to fit inside the superstructure, as well as supporting unlined pits and the ability to pump trash.
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
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