Topic 2: Getting the bigger picture - Creating sanitation systems for whole cities. City-wide planning and the role of FSM in the case of India


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  • Orchha
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  • We have a home-stay in Orchha, Central India, where we have built Ecosan toilets. I now live in Almora on the Nepal border where Green Hills is promoting environment-friendly solid waste management.
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Re: Getting the bigger picture - Creating sanitation systems for whole cities. City-wide planning and the role of FSM in the case of India

Thanks for taking up this topic. You may need to look at solutions separately for towns situated in the plains (such as Orchha where we work) and in the mountains (such as Almora, where I live). In both cases drains carry both grey water and faeces directly into rivers without any treatment. Centralised systems could cause problems if they malfunction. It would be more interesting to look at neighbourhood-level treatment of toilet effluent and grey water.

We could have another discussion topic on solid waste management which we are also trying to work on.
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  • scopeagency
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Re: Getting the bigger picture - Creating sanitation systems for whole cities. City-wide planning and the role of FSM in the case of India

Dear All,

This is very good topic

The below points are considered to make a clean and healthy city sanitation environment

1. Accessibility of toilets : Household toilet, Community toilet and Public toilet.

2. Fixing the Urinals:example Market places etc.,

3. Solid waste management

4. Source segregation : 1. Degradable 2. Non degradable

5. Composting household level(or) Ward level, Cluster level(Decentralized compost yard)

6. All the streets should have two dustbins (Degradable and Non degradable)

7. Educating the people to segregate the waste

8. Grey water treatment

9. Septic tank sludge treatment plant

10. Rain water harvesting

11. Tree planting on Highways.
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  • dirkwalther
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  • I am working more than 20 years in the field of water, sanitation and environment
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Topic 2: Getting the bigger picture - Creating sanitation systems for whole cities. City-wide planning and the role of FSM in the case of India

Dear Members,

As an expert in hydrogeology, water engineering and management I have more than twenty years of professional experiences in the water sector. Working mostly abroad in South America and Asia it became my keen interest to understand prevailing water engineering and management systems and to look for opportunities to upgrade them. Since 2009 I am working for GIZ on behalf of Government of Germany in New Delhi as part of the IndoGerman bilateral cooperation dealing with urban infrastructure. More Information on this project is available on the SuSanA Partner Project profile

Based on my experiences I would like to point out few remarkable milestones in Indian urban sanitation history. Firstly and as already mentioned in the previous blog the IS 2470 on construction of septic tanks was a great success considering that this standard was enacted in the National Building Code Act. As per census 2011 about 38% of Indian urban households were equipped with this simple but effective technology, which may be currently called as the most important sanitation infrastructure in India.

The other important development was the publication of the National Urban Sanitation Policy in 2008. This policy framework is a well elaborated document considering health, environment and inclusiveness as basic paradigms to create liveable cities (see NUSP Vision and other publications referring to the SNUSP here ). Moreover the NUSP came along with the State Sanitation Strategy and the City Sanitation Plan, two non-technical instruments to foster comprehensive sanitation planning beyond technology. It further requested to form a so called City Sanitation Task Forces as multi-stakeholder platform and thus perfectly aligned with the 74th constitutional amendment for the devolution of power to the elected bodies. It was this NUSP which made Indian and German government to decide on a joint project on sanitation in 2011.

A third important milestone the Manual Scavenging Act (2013) regulates the improper handling of faeces by any third party. By this it paves the way to formalize and professionalize the sanitation sector from an informal mostly uncontrolled handling of faeces as part of a shadow economy.

Last but no least the engineering guideline published by CPHEEO in 2013, opens the sanitation sector to a wide variety of engineering and technology solutions and it is up to respected institutions to exploit and make use out of it to its fully extent.
Beside the many positives in development of the sector till date there are only few examples for satisfying solutions on city-wide scale. India still remains the world champion of sanitation pilots and yet is awaiting its transformation from household driven sanitation to a public driven city-wide sanitation system. The introduction of FSM into the Indian sanitation context may come as a double sided sword, which either leads to confusion in an already struggling sector or it may appear as an opportunity to mainstream on-site sanitation.

This is why we have chosen the main topic on “Getting the bigger picture – Creating sanitation system s for whole cities, city-wide planning and the role of FSM in the case of India”.

In order to initiate this one week discourse on city-wide sanitation I would like to pose the first specific question:

Cities are striving for a clean and healthy city sanitation environment –where did we reach?

Looking forward to your response DIRK.
Dirk Walther (MSc,ME), Project Director GIZ
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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