Assess school sanitation in Kumasi (Ghana) using SFD (Shit flow diagram)

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  • XiwenLiu
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Assess school sanitation in Kumasi (Ghana) using SFD (Shit flow diagram)

Hello everyone,

I am Xiwen Liu, an MSc student at Loughborough University -WEDC. I am preparing my dissertation with my supervisor Rebecca Scott and I plan to use SFD (Shit flow diagram) tool to assess the school sanitation services in Kumasi. I decided to take several local schools in Kumasi. It also addresses the challenges of producing a school-based SFD report, but the data available to me at the moment are very limited.

I realise that information and data on emptying methods, rates, frequencies, etc. of pit latrines and septic tanks is limited for households – and is likely to be very limited for schools. Similarly, data relating to transport methods (be that carts, tractors, or vacuum tankers) used and how many of these transport faecal sludge to a treatment facility rather than dumping at a disposal site, is also likely to be very limited. Having said that, if there has any information is available, or that I could explore further using online methods (such as interviews) with some key informants, would be helpful.

Best Regards
Xiwen
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  • hajo
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Re: Assess school sanitation in Kumasi (Ghana) using SFD (Shit flow diagram)

Dear Xiwen,

I assisted the authorities in Moshi/Tanzania in 2014/15 developing one of the first SFDs without any assistance by consultants or GIZ, just based on WB and University of Leeds documentations. What I learned and understood then, was that the SFD is actually a management tool helping to improve on safe management of human excreta and wastewater (black water NOT surface run-off).

In Moshi we sat together with professionals of PMO-RALG, Municipality of Moshi (MoM) and Moshi water & sanitation utility (MWUSA) and discussed what we knew about sanitation service chains in town:
1.       Different toilet types and their ‘containments’: WC (full or pour flush) connected to sewer, WC connected to septic tank, WC connected to soak pit; pit latrines (basic or VIP) to latrine pits; UDDTs.
2.       Emptying and transport systems: sewer, vacuum trucks, mechanical or handpumps for septage and FS with drums for transport, manual emptying into side holes or gutters; no emptying.
3.       Treatment: WWTP (pond system inMoshi) for sewage, septage and FS delivered; dumping in environment.
4.       Estimation of respective quantities produced by the different toilet types, percentages of un-/safely emptied and transported, percentages of un-/safely treated or disposed.

It became obvious that we only could describe the different types of toilets, emptying and treatment but had almost no reliable figures of quantities and percentages. The numbers were at best ‘good gu-estimates’ by knowledgeable professionals. And we learned that through the discussion and development of the SFD, we better understood:
1.       Where goes something wrong and then sewage, septage or FS are unsafely managed,
2.       What could be done to mitigate the mismanagement of the excreta/wastewater,
3.       How better management would provide more reliable numbers of safely managed ‘shit’.

And this was actually our major taking from the development of the SFD: it directs the focus of decision makers to the hot spots of unsafely managed ‘wastewater’, prioritises necessary action and then provides reliable numbers of safely managed ‘wastewater’.
Unsafely managed ‘shit’ is rarely reported by those who dump it in the environment. Ultimately, when all ‘wastewater’ is safely managed, then all quantities are known and the SFD has done its job: attracting attention and action.

Therefore, Xiwen, don’t expect in your research getting exact numbers, they do not exist (yet). Get hold of people who may know something: teachers, headmasters, town officials, vacuum truck operators, manual pit emptiers, W&S utility professionals. Ask them for the information you want to collect, discuss with them, and note down what sounds to you a reasonable estimate of the quantities you are looking for.  Your first SFDs will be very much estimates but will (if somehow reliable) draw attention to the shortcomings of school sanitation in Kumasi (greetings, I lived there for 5 years!).

Only safely managed ‘shit’ produces reliable numbers, unsafely managed ‘shit’ is always estimated!

Ciao
Hajo
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  • cudjoe
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Re: Assess school sanitation in Kumasi (Ghana) using SFD (Shit flow diagram)

I wish I could help but I don't live in Kumasi but Tema. You may have to rely on oral accounts because data may be unavailable. The operators are purely informal and the Municipal Assembly may not even know them. 
Let me know if you need something and if I will be able to assist 
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  • Linda2019
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Re: Assess school sanitation in Kumasi (Ghana) using SFD (Shit flow diagram)

Hi - you might be interested in our report here, assessing school sanitation in the Volta Region .


Note by editor: See also on the forum here in this thread
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  • XiwenLiu
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Re: Assess school sanitation in Kumasi (Ghana) using SFD (Shit flow diagram)

Dear all,

Thanks for your reply, that really inspired me and gave me the ideas about my future research. I realize that collecting the data to generate the SFD report for schools is not practical at this time, especially in a particular town. My current idea is to try to contact some local school heads to find out how far the school sanitation service chain can be evaluated. Also the questionnaires will follow the 'Core questions and indicators for monitoring WASH in Schools' by UNICEF and WHO. My research will likely focus on exploring the challenges of the evaluation process, provide recommendations for future management and data reports. I would be appreciated if there has any information of the officers in Kumasi or similar studies to share.

Best Regards
Xiwen
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