Communal Sanitation Solutions for Urban Slums (Institute for Financial Management and Research, Orissa, India)

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  • kshane
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  • I am the Communications Lead for Quicksand's social development projects, and one of the firm's Senior Project Managers.
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Re: Communal Sanitation Solutions for Urban Slums (Institute for Financial Management and Research, Orissa, India)

Hey SuSanA Forum members!

I wanted to thank all of you for the level of interest that's been expressed in Project Sammaan, our urban slum sanitation initiative being piloted in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. We've received a lot of great feedback and the detailed questions that have come our way are most definitely appreciated.

In the interest of saving time, I've consolidated the responses to several individual queries into this post. (Some asked similar questions, so I figured it'd be in everyone's best interest to share the responses in this manner; create an FAQs of sorts).


Costing
In itself the cost per square feet of construction has been kept within market benchmarks and we have been mandated to use government approved rates for materials used. In terms of the utilities and feature, Sammaan toilets are significantly different from traditional public and community toilets on several fronts and hence the cost was expected to be higher than standalone toilets. The question is whether the additional utilities provided justify the cost - and that in some sense is also the research question being posed - does a multi-utility block drive higher uptake of toilets. If our hypotheses are proven correct, this would set a new benchmark for sustainable, well-functioning toilets in any case.

The fact that these decisions have been taken in collaboration with the government, ensures that this is sustainable when scaled up. These are budgets well within the means of government outlay for sanitation infrastructure development. I guess it's really a question of where, and on what, government spending should be prioritised.

Also, I wanted to shed some light on the discrepancy between the facility price listed in Ayush's presentation versus what I shared earlier in this forum thread. Ayush's cost of roughly US$116,000 was for a 12-seat Enhanced Layer facility. Whereas the prices I shared were the averages for Base Layer and Enhanced Layer across all typologies (i.e., 2-seat, 4-seat, 6-seat, 8-seat, 10-seat, 12-seat). The average prices are both accurate though what they are reflective of is different.


DEWATS
The cost of 6mn USD for 119 toilets includes the cost of treatment in at least 20% of the toilets which have a full scale DEWATS implementation (which in the case of 116K USD 12 seater toilet adds up to almost 30% of the total cost of construction).


O&M
The O&M model has not yet been designed - but our goal there is to make these toilets completely self-sustainable (without the need for subsidy). The government is in any case providing subsidy by taking care of land and CAPEX.
Kevin Shane
Communications Lead - Quicksand
Delhi, India
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Quicksand.co.in
ProjectSammaan.com
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  • kshane
  • kshane's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I am the Communications Lead for Quicksand's social development projects, and one of the firm's Senior Project Managers.
  • Posts: 23
  • Karma: 2
  • Likes received: 4

Re: Communal Sanitation Solutions for Urban Slums (Institute for Financial Management and Research, Orissa, India)

Hello all, and happy Friday!

I wanted to take a moment to update the forum on progress being made with Project Sammaan as it has been some time.

After a long, arduous process of trying to identify contractors to construct the facilities through a public tendering, and multiple failed attempts at doing so, we have partnered with National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC). NBCC is a quasi-government agency that typically only takes on very large-scale projects. Thankfully, their senior representatives are very forward-thinking and concerned with helping to solve India's sanitation crisis. They will build all of the community sanitation facilities in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, as well as the public toilets in Bhubaneswar, while also acting as the project management consultancy (PMC). The latter part is particularly important as having a PMC will hopefully help to ensure that the design principles are adhered to and the innovations being pushed forth in Sammaan will not be jeopardized; they will oversee the daily construction activities to ensure that those building the facilities are not deviating from any of the architectural drawings.

The construction of the facilities in Cuttack is due to kick off in the next few weeks, with those in Bhubaneswar following soon thereafter. The Commissioner of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation, Mr. Das, has set an August 31 deadline for completion of the 30+ facilities there. (On a personal note, Mr. Das has been an amazing advocate of not only Project Sammaan, but innovation in general; he is a true agent for change and should be considered for any future projects in the sanitation space as he is truly dedicated to helping the people of Cuttack).

We faced significant delays in getting to this point, but with any luck the ends will justify the means: our trials and tribulations will eventually lead to tens of thousands of people having a viable, safe, sustainable sanitation utility.
Kevin Shane
Communications Lead - Quicksand
Delhi, India
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Quicksand.co.in
ProjectSammaan.com
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