Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

  • christian.rieck
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Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

Hello,
I have just been to the AfricaSan3 conference in Kigali. One observation was that the issue of faecal sludge management still remains largely unsolved and neglected. Working examples in Sub-Saharian Africa are rare (e.g. eThekwini in South Africa and Dakar in Senegal) and disposal or reuse are not well documented. What should be the financing and incentive models around state-driven services and the private sector. How to make sure that human waste is not carelessly dumped in the environment or used in agriculture in an unsafe way? In reality we all know that the current and often unregulated systems of faecal sludge management are a disaster and cause major public health hazards for most towns and peri-urban areas in Africa and other continents as well. Illegal dumping is daily business and it is mostly left to the private sector.

In order to better understand the issue of faecal sludge management for a sustainable sanitation chain I would like to know if anybody has successful examples or promising concepts to share.

Best regards,
Christian
GIZ - Sustainable Sanitation program
Germany

GIZ Uganda
Enhanced Water Security and Sanitation (ENWASS)
Sanitation for Millions
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  • bracken
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

Hi Christian,
Halidou KOANDA (who I think is still working with CREPA in Burkina Faso) did his doctoral thesis on this topic in 2006 at the EPFL taking a very broad based approach and considering mainly suitable management models rather than concentrating on particular treatment technologies - a very appropriate approach i found as the technology itself generally isn't the sticking point.
You can downlaod his thesis (in French), here : library.epfl.ch/theses/?nr=3530&lang=fre

all the best,
Patrick
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AHT GROUP AG

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  • christian.rieck
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

Dear Patrick,

Thank you very much for the link to the thesis. I will have a closer look at the english resumee since my French is basically not existing. I very much agree with you that it is geneally a management challenge rather than a technical one. I am not sure how much it is possible to generalise certain approaches or if they are all very context specific like the example of Burkina. Lets see how many more successful or promising example we can find.

Best regards,
Christian

GIZ Uganda
Enhanced Water Security and Sanitation (ENWASS)
Sanitation for Millions
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  • christian.rieck
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

By the way there are some interesting presentations from AfricaSan3 on this topic being from Jay Bhagwan (South Africa) on Pit emtying technologies and sustainable sludge disposal through deep row entrenchment with agroforestry.
www.susana.org/images/documents/04-meeti...aecal-sludge-mgt.pdf or see the attachment!

Cheers
Christian

GIZ Uganda
Enhanced Water Security and Sanitation (ENWASS)
Sanitation for Millions
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  • dorothee.spuhler
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

There are also many interesting publications available with Eawag/Sandec here: www.eawag.ch/forschung/sandec/gruppen/ewm/fsm/index_EN
We are currently preparing a factsheet on Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and on Fecal Sludge Management in general, which will be uploaded on the SSWM Toolbox soon ( www.sswm.info ).
Cheers – Dorothee

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  • ccarr@jymrsa.com
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

Christian:

We are a small environmental decontamination company in the US. We had put together the attached word file in response to a request we recieved from a group in Haiti at the time of their crisis. Nothing happened due to several layers of bureaucracy; we still believe that decontaminating sludge at the latrine location; provides the best opportunity for disease prevention.

Further, appropriate application of the decontamination technology; could potentially lead to an entrepreneurial opportunity; thereby aiding in economic development.

Thoughts?

Chris

***I cannot seem to upload the word document...I will e-mail***

Administrator comment: obviously .docx cannot be attached. I have uploaded the pdf.

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  • muwuluke
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

Hi,

Fecal sludge management is indeed a big challenge if not the biggest in urban areas in Africa in terms of looking for sustainable sanitation solutions. I entirely share the same concerns with you. I also hold the view that no one has the silver bullet solution nor can we talk of a single model that will act as the pernacia.

Having said that, i think that the search for the workable models should focus on operationalisation of the sustainability dimensions, particularly the socio-cultural, the legal/institutional relevance and financial affordability. Many technical options have been developed that if well matched with the other key sustainability dimensions would offer more sustainable options.

the sanitation chain principle ought to be brought out and clearly link it to the social - financial and legal/institutional systems. harmonization of the objectives of the various stakeholders in the key dimensions is critical.

Jimmy Muwuluke
Sanitation Activist
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  • gautamsuren
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

Hi Christian,
Hello from Nepal!

The issue you raised is a major problem in urban area of Nepal too. Especially in capital city- Kathmandu.Here,the outlet of the sewage drain of each house is connected to the natural rivers of the city. The natural rivers (4 major river courses) do not exist anymore and just observed as drainage channel. The issue is so common that people do not have physical construction of fecal collection tank or any treatment structure in their premises. The flushing system is directly connected to outlet drainage and then to river system,and this has already destroyed the aquatic ecosystem.The ambient environment/ air is polluted and hosting the sources of many diseases, e.g. chemical contamination, micro-biological contamination and contaminated with pathogens.

This is accepted and un-addressed truth. The other associated problem is the drainage irrigation. The irrigation to vegetable farmland around the valley from these rivers is highly toxic and contaminant. I hope this is global issues of developing countries. Thus, this should be discussed. I am working and looking ahead for monitoring water quality of these rivers to find the scientific basis of contamination. Hope in future I can give something to SuSaNA in Future if everything works good.

I am trying to design a conceptual note for the management project I hope I will share very soon with you.

Surendra Gautam
Kathmandu, Nepal
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  • Carol McCreary
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

Hi, Surendra,

Your challenges are not that different than ours here in Portland, Oregon, USA. We also have high mountains and fast running rivers that have become conduits for raw sewage, especially during our winter "monsoon". And we are worried about the contamination of agricultural lands though pesticides, chemical fertilizers and the spreading of sewage sludge that toxic chemicals in it.

Good luck with your water quality monitoring work. I look forward to learning more from you on this important forum.

Carol
PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human)
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Carol McCreary
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Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

(this is in response to the posting from Patrick Bracken above)
By the way: Halidou Koanda took part in our recent SuSanA meeting in Kigali (he chaired one of the sessions). He now works for Water Aid in Burkina Faso. If anyone needs his e-mail address, just e-mail me (log in to view my e-mail address). I am not sure if he still works on the topic of faecal sludge management (FSM) now. - A famous FSM person is of course Doulaye Kone (ex Eawag-Sandec) who now works for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.

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Elisabeth

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  • christian.rieck
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

First of all many thanks for the interesting replies to this topic.

I have had a closer look at the paper of Halidou Koanda. Besides the important participative approach and making sure a profitable business is created for emptying services I found the consideration of providing an incentive for delivering faecal sludge to treatment sites very important. He says that "it might under specific circumstances prove necessary and feasible to reimburse rather than charge entrepreneurs for delivering faecal sludge to the treatment site, hence, create a strong incentive for good emptying and haulage practice". Such inventives might be the key for safe disposal mechanisms, at least in countries with poor law enforcment. I am not sure if in the example of Halidou from Quahigouya in Burkina this incentive is actually being provided. How would such reimbursements be financed? Surely some sort of subsidies. Does anybody has examples from other cities who are testing such an approach?

I will ask Halidou to provide some more infos (unfortunately I am not able to understand his French doctorial thesis).

Christian

GIZ Uganda
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  • afolabibakare
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Re: Faecal sludge management - the role of private and public sector?

Dear Chris,
I think the problem of FSM is similar in most sub-saharan Africa. In Lagos Nigeria and other states in the country,Feacal sludge is still been dumped in the open ground and water bodies.The so called treatment plant is not functional,despite huge amount of money been spent on it. In my own opinion,on site excreta usage is a viable option,coupled with the fact that there is serious energy problem.Epileptic power supply,lack of affordable and readily accesible cooking gas leads the rural community to deforestation,so a viable option is biogas.Development of biogas will reduce pollution by FS and solve energy problem to a large extent.
What technology is available? The public toilets in lagos state can be a good starting point for the private sector to partner with Government in this regard.Private investors will redeem their investments from user-fee charged and with a population of over 17 million,it is a win-win affair for all?
I need comments from all please
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