Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

  • tmsinnovation
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hi Annamaja

Thank you for your reply to our open question, much appreciated. We shall include this clarification in the factsheet. We hope all is going well with all of Ecoloove's initiatives.

Kind regards
Trevor

Trevor Surridge
Sanitation Advisor
GIZ Water and Sanitation Program
German Development Cooperation

GIZ Water Programme office
Chaholi Rd. No 5, Rhodes Park
Private Bag RW 37x
Lusaka, Zambia
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hi Emmanuel

Thank you for your comments and observations. I agree that the activities in the developed world should not be ignored and that a shift in mindset is necessary as well as the merits in a "lead by example" approach.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to add a sub-title to the factsheet to highlight that it focusses on developing nations where the sanitation crisis is most prevalent. Bearing in mind that it is very difficult to cover all aspects that could fall under the title "Sanitation as a business" in 8 pages.

What sub-title do you thing would help make the contents of the factsheet more obvious to the reader?

Look forward to your suggestions.
Kind regards
Trevor

Trevor Surridge
Sanitation Advisor
GIZ Water and Sanitation Program
German Development Cooperation

GIZ Water Programme office
Chaholi Rd. No 5, Rhodes Park
Private Bag RW 37x
Lusaka, Zambia
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  • tmsinnovation
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hi all,

A current version of the factsheet has been uploaded here: SuSanA Factsheet WG 9a: Sanitation as a business

It still has a draft status as Elisabeth received it today and will be doing a proof read of it in the coming days.

A quick question to you all do you agree with the following:

The 4 billion people that fall in the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) income bracket need to be viewed as valued customers and a potential market by sanitation businesses. As the people suffering in the sanitation crisis all fall in the BOP. In order to develop market based approaches with business models that provide both long term social benefit as well as sustainable profit, the last link in the value change, nutrient reuse, needs to be developed into a marketable and demanded product offering. To make this a reality innovative entrepreneurs, businessmen, governments, donors and NGOs need to collaborate and build such a market place.


It is the new last paragraph in the Outlook section.
I look forward to you comments, suggestions and critic.
Rgds
Trevor

Trevor Surridge
Sanitation Advisor
GIZ Water and Sanitation Program
German Development Cooperation

GIZ Water Programme office
Chaholi Rd. No 5, Rhodes Park
Private Bag RW 37x
Lusaka, Zambia
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hi All

Attached to this post is the latest version of the Factsheet 9a Sanitation as a business as a word doc. Please could as many of you as possible do a review of the factsheet. All reviewers will be acknowledged accordingly.

Kind regards
Trevor
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PS ignore the change / error in the footer area of each page of the factsheet, Leonie will be correcting this formatting error in due course.

Trevor Surridge
Sanitation Advisor
GIZ Water and Sanitation Program
German Development Cooperation

GIZ Water Programme office
Chaholi Rd. No 5, Rhodes Park
Private Bag RW 37x
Lusaka, Zambia

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  • muench
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Dear Trevor, Leonie and all!

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the latest version of this factsheet, it really has come a long way and now it makes for very interesting and clear reading!
I have made some comments in the hardcopy which we will now incorporate in the softcopy of the final version.

Just a few small points which I wanted to post here about the factsheet for the benefit of the wider group.

(1)
You asked about a reference for this statement:

Collection and safe disposal or reuse: We still need a reference for this sentence: “On-site sanitation (septic tanks and pit latrines) in cities of developing countries is used by about one-third of the world’s population.”


The best papers on this topic were written by Sandec staff members in the early 2000s, e.g. Steiner, Kone, Strauss, Montagero. I quickly checked in the SuSanA library and I think this paper can be used as a reference:

Koné, D., Strauss, M. (2004). Low-cost options for treating faecal sludges in developing countries - Challenges and Performance. Paper presented to the 9th International IWA Specialist Group Conference on Wetlands Systems for Water Pollution Control and to the 6th International IWA Specialist Group Conference on Waste Stabilisation Ponds, Avignon, France.

The authors estimate that in the order of one third of the world population (approx. 2.4 billion urban dwellers) rely on on-site sanitation (OSS) installations, viz. unsewered family and public latrines and toilets, aqua privies and septic tanks. This situation is likely to last for decades to come, since city-wide sewered sanitation is neither affordable nor feasible for the majority of urban areas in developing countries.

See the full paper here: susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=404

(2)
It has been difficult in the factsheet to strike a balance between sanitation as a business in general and then talking about sustainable sanitation in particular and about the option of reuse. Whilst we all think that theoretically reuse has business potential, there are very few actual examples on the ground where this has been proven. Also the WSSCC compaign GDP4GDP talks about making money from excreta reuse, but it is not so easy (yet)...
But I think the balance in the factsheet is quite OK now.

(3)
I know it has been hard finding the right concrete examples of businesses in sanitation. The ones we have now are good but perhaps don't cover the entire range that well. I think an introductory paragraph just before the examples in Section 5 could be useful:

The following examples for sustainable sanitation business approaches were provided mainly by members of the working group. They range from proven large business models (Examples in Section (a) and (d)) to small experimental models which are still in the development phase (examples in Section (c)). Giving these examples here in this factsheet is not meant as a particular „endorsement“ of the business model but primarily as interesting examples on how businesses around sanitation could be set up and about the challenges they face in order to achieve a sustainable system.

(note to others: the examples include: Ikotoilets in Kenya, Ecoloove in India, WTN mobile toilets in India, The Clean Shop in South Africa, CSS in Kenya, and general faecal sludge management in Senegal).

For each of the examples, we should try to not only describe what is good about them but also mention at least in one to two sentences their downsides or challenges. I know this is hard because the example providers usually do not really mention these when they send in material to be included in the factsheet, which is a pity.
But one could e.g. say about the Ecoloove and WTN example:

The two examples givein in this section are very innovative but still need further development work before they can be scaled up.


(4)
And one last thing that is kicking around in my mind: Maybe it a case that it is easy or easier to make a business from conventional sanitation but not so easy for sustainable sanitation. Example: there are many companies out there who run these fleets of vacuum tankers to empty pit latrines and septic tanks in cities of developing countries. They have a profitable business, mainly because they just drive around the corner and dump the shit in the next creek... now if it was regulated properly, then they would have to drive to a faecal sludge treatment plant and pay a dumping fee there. Then their profit would shrink though... No longer a profitable business then? Even though better for the environment and public health and thus more desirable from that point of view. So business interests have to be balanced with sustainability.

(we have a separate topic thread on faecal sludge management here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/53-fae...te-and-public-sector )

So, thanks again for getting this factsheet so far (to all who have contributed and responsed to e-mails and postings) and I look forward to the final version and the entire factsheet compilation by Christmas. :woohoo:

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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  • zurbrugg
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Dear Colleagues,
Just some small comments to the current version of the factsheet *Sanitation as a Business"
In general I am quite happy with this version. I do however feel that the language used tends to be a bit ”difficult to understand”.

Example: .... These models “have a poor record in, effectiveness of use, efficiency of investments, sustainability of services, and scaling up access” (Frias and Mukherjee, 2005)……. What does this mean : “effectiveness of use” (??) Is acceptability the issue here? Can we not use easier words which are less disputed in their understanding? What does “efficiency” mean in this context? Are we talking about “cost per household in function of required functionality of the sanitation system? The issue of cost effectiveness opens a can of worms with many ill-defined issues.

Another issue, Quote "…BOP constitutes a EUR 3.5 trillion global consumer market which reveals significant opportunities for more inclusive market-based approaches that can better meet the needs of those in the BOP, increase their productivity and incomes, and empower their entry into the formal economy” (Hammond et al., 2007)…"

Here I feel there is a mix up between BOP as “the customers” for sanitation products and the BOP providing a “potential of entrepreneurs and businesses”. In the first case the customers benefit by improved facilities and services to help exit the spiral of poverty by having better health. On the other side the business opportunities in sanitation can cater for these BOP customers and thus this opens livelihood and business opportunities for an economic sector related to sanitation.

Furthermore: Understanding of “inclusive”: I would understand this in terms of “equity” where market based approaches follow a principle of wide diversification of products which can cater to different customers which have different economic capacities…
Nevertheless the principles of public good need to be ensured (i.e. the fundamental sanitation functions need to be fulfilled so that the waste problem is not just externalized to be someone else’s problem. In fact it is this issues of public good (ensuring that no harm is done to the public good aspect by the sanitation service or sanitation product supplied by the private market) that make the sanitation sector different from the energy and telecommunication sector (where the issues of public good is not so relevant).

Concerning reference on on-site sanitation, I suggest: Koné 2010 (already mentioned in the bibliography).

I am ok with the current version.

Regards
Chris Zurbrügg, Sandec/Eawag

Christian Zurbrügg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Sandec: Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries
Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
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  • Richard
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hello. I am fairly new to this group and would very strongly encourage you to include information on methane digester, biogas plants. A quick video may help:


A biogas plant or methane digester would take care of sanitation needs, produce a gas (methane) that can replace wood, or something else, to cook food and improve the health of everyone that uses one while producing a high quality fertilizer to help grow food and rebuild local ecosystems.

If a business idea is needed, than the video could answer that too.

Wherever you build a pit latrine you can build or install a methane digester. Latrines could still pose a health hazard but a methane digester takes care of that and the only thing that comes out is fertilizer ready for use, it could be used as is or diluted.

Any questions I would be more than happy to pass along more information. Please consider this very valuable and simple technology in your publication.

Thank you,
Richard.
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  • tmsinnovation
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hi Richard

An interesting link for you to the Technology review of biogas sanitation: www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=877

Thanks for the video link, nice video.

Trevor Surridge
Sanitation Advisor
GIZ Water and Sanitation Program
German Development Cooperation

GIZ Water Programme office
Chaholi Rd. No 5, Rhodes Park
Private Bag RW 37x
Lusaka, Zambia
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