Manual Scavenging - It is pity that they have to perform such a job

  • F H Mughal
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Manual Scavenging

Manual Scavenging

The second picture in: www.pacsindia.org/projects/advocacy-and-...is-manual-scavenging , the subline of which reads “A female manual scavenger carries out her work, emptying a dry latrine in Lucknow district, Uttar Pradesh,” is the sight which can be found in the rural areas of Sindh province, Pakistan.

Look at the picture carefully, the woman covers her nostrils with the “dupatta” she is wearing. And, she is working with bare hands, her feet are uncovered. This is exactly the situation here. Called Dalit in India, here they are called as “bhangies.”

The blog says that the practice is illegal in India. According to my knowledge, that is not the case here.

I feel sad for these human beings. It is pity that they have to perform such a job.

F H Mughal

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Karachi, Pakistan
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  • gabrielahv
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Re: Manual Scavenging

In fact, that is a really sad situation! It is not acceptable that in 2018 with so many technologies, people are still doing this! There are some biodigestor treatment sanitation systems that could fix this situation, the solutions already exist! The question is, why the Government don't work to fix these issues?! Who is taking advantage of this situation?

Sanitary and Environmental Engineer, Graduating in Environmental Consulting.
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  • blevira
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Re: Manual Scavenging

I agree with you that its a pity kind of job. In reality and I will take this with reference to the city that I live where more than 70% is informal settlements and only 7% is covered with sewer system where 90% use pit latrines and septic tanks. The city is flat and its along the coastal so you can imagine the filling up of pits during rain and due to sea water intrusion. Most of the people living in these settlements are poor and cant afford mechanical emptying. On top of that, it is difficult to negotiate through the alleys as the houses are so close to each other. So the only relying solution is manual emptying services. I recently conducted a study to one of these settlements here in the city (n=492) and it appeared that above 50% opted for manual emptying the last time they emptied their toilets. I think scavengers (frogmen or vyura in our country language) should also be considered when looking for the FS management solution. People look for cheap emptying services and ask themselves as to why should they invest so much on waste as they still don't understand the importance of managing their waste at any cost. And the reality is that they cant afford! In my opinion I think that scavengers need to be recognized, enabled with working gears and equipment and at last be involved in small decentralized sanitation systems projects to offer service to poor communities at reasonable costs.

Beda Modest Levira
Environmental engineer and researcher
Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)
Tanzania, East Africa
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  • muench
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Re: Manual Scavenging

Dear Beda,
Thanks for your forum post. Would you like to also share with us the study in Tanzania that you mentioned? If so, please attach it to a reply post. Who funded the study?

For those interested in the topic of "manual scavenging" please find previous discussion threads by putting "manual scavenging" into the search field above. We've had quite a few interesting discussions on this topic.

There is also a Wikipedia article on this topic which I have tried to keep up to date (more work needed):
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manual_scavenging

I have a question: I think the term "manual scavenging" is only actively used in India. Other countries call it "manual pit emptying" (versus mechanised or mechanical pit emptying). Do you agree with me? E.g. in Tanzania do you use the term "manual scavenging"?

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

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  • donaldkasongi
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Re: Manual Scavenging

Hi Elisabeth, it is true that Manual scavenging in Tanzania is popularly known as "Manual pit emptying ".....
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  • blevira
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Re: Manual Scavenging

Dear Elizabeth,

Apology for the late reply. I will share the study once I finalize it, I am happy to do so. Yes, in Tanzania we call it manual pit emptying and it is done by men titled frogmen ("vyura" in our language). This study is funded by DFID through HDIF.

Regards,

Beda Modest Levira
Environmental engineer and researcher
Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)
Tanzania, East Africa
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Working as the project leader for 2 projects 1) HDIF (DFID) and 2) LIRA 2030 here in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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