Number of vacuum trucks and pit latrine emptiers in Africa - CROWDSOURCING INFORMATION PLEASE

  • nicolag
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No of vacuum trucks and pit latrine emptiers in Africa - CROWDSOURCING INFORMATION PLEASE

Hi All

I'd really appreciate your help please in estimating the number of active faecal sludge/sanitation service providers in any town/city in Africa that you have worked in or have knowledge of.

For example, from my experience:

Kisumu, Kenya
9 - private sector vacuum trucks
2 - utility run vacuum trucks
1 - 'improved manual/semi mechanised'* pit emptying team - Gasia Poa (2 more teams trained but not operational)
unknown - informal pit emptying teams

Kigali, Rwanda
12 - private sector vacuum trucks
0 - utility run vacuum trucks
1 - 'improved manual/semi mechanised' pit emptying team - Pit Vidura
unknown - informal pit emptying teams

*where 'improved manual/semi mechanised' implies that the teams have a bit of structure to them (even though they may still be completely manual) and are disposing of waste safely after emptying. They may also be semi-mechanised e.g. using a Gulper, an eVac, a vacutug.

I ask because I want to get a sense of the scale of the market for pit latrine emptying technology and ascertain the value in investing in this space. I'm considering both equipment that would work with vac trucks and another for the more traditional emptiers- hence why I am asking about both. This will feed back to The Gates Foundation. If the immediate market size is 10, no need to mass produce equipment, if its 200, that is of more interest and would have a different market entry strategy with some shared resources. It will be interesting to compare these numbers to the population using septic tanks and pit latrines in each area.

In the name of keeping things simple, I appreciate if you please just provide numbers for now - the concept can be discussed afterwards and has many 'ifs', 'buts' and 'maybes' which I am well aware of

Many thanks in advance for your contribution, which I think will lead to an interesting overview of private sector activity in sanitation in Africa.

If you don't have time to hunt for your figures, but can direct me to a report -please do.

Nicola

*Note does not include solid waste
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  • rochelleholm
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Re: No of vacuum trucks and pit latrine emptiers in Africa - CROWDSOURCING INFORMATION PLEASE

Hi Nicola,

Do you want both formal and informal providers? FSM or solid waste?

The numbers for two cities in the northern region of Malawi covering for both formal and informal plus FSM and solid waste providers are all covered in detail in the following paper:

Holm, R. H., Kamangira, A., Tembo, M., Kasulo, V., Kandaya, H., Gijs Van Enk, P. and Velzeboer, A. Sanitation service delivery in smaller urban areas (Mzuzu and Karonga, Malawi). Environment & Urbanization, 2018. DOI: 10.1177/0956247818766495 journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956247818766495

Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
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  • nicolag
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Re: No of vacuum trucks and pit latrine emptiers in Africa - CROWDSOURCING INFORMATION PLEASE

Great - thank you for kicking this off. I mean anything you know of specific to faecal sludge. Informal of great interest too but I've never managed to capture this market size anywhere. I use 'formal' and 'improved' pretty interchangeably.

Thanks for highlighting those key questions, and for the article.

Nicola
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  • elizabethtilley
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Re: No of vacuum trucks and pit latrine emptiers in Africa - CROWDSOURCING INFORMATION PLEASE

Great question and I am excited to see the results!

I know the best way to get good information is to post bad information and have people correct it ;-) so here goes:

For Blantyre, there were about 40 informal emptiers using Gulpers originally and last year, I had a student in the field who told me there were about 12 operational. At this years Water for People meeting, we mostly agreed that there are 5 teams of Gulper users that are currently active.

Add to that 1 MDU (the EU sponsored mini-tanker with a fluidizing hose) and at least 2 city run tankers. I'm sending another student back out next month so should be able to give you more data then.

good luck!

Elizabeth Tilley
Senior Lecturer
University of Malawi- The Polytechnic
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  • Dave
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Re: No of vacuum trucks and pit latrine emptiers in Africa - CROWDSOURCING INFORMATION PLEASE

Hi Nicola

Attached is a report which we did 9 years ago when we were trying to get a handle on what was happening in this space in South Africa. Here in South Africa pit emptying is supposed to be done by local government on a regular basis as part of the government's free basic services for the indigent policy. For the last 15 years the emphasis has all been on VIP construction and not too many municipalities have applied their minds and less their resources to pit emptying. In KZN province, to my knowledge, only four of our 14 Water
Service Authorities actually have pit emptying programmes. Two of these use vacuum tankers, and two use manual methods.

Ten years ago there was a big swing in SA to precast top structures, with the plan being to move them when the pits were full. We have now reached the time when those moves are coming due, but to my knowledge there has been no major VIP moving happening as yet. Assuming the yard has enough space it's not a bad solution, but I don't think anyone has costed it out yet. The whole operation [dig a new pit (to the right dimensions) plus line it or at least provide a proper foundation and collar, plus carefully break down and re-erect the structure] won't cost nothing and will in fact probably cost more than emptying.

The market for pit emptying in SA I would estimate at a maximum of 500 000 units, maybe 50 000 per annum. If teams work 250 days per year and empty 2 pits per day per team, that could keep 100 pit emptying teams busy on a sustainable basis.

Regards

Dave

Regards

Dave

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  • nicolag
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Re: No of vacuum trucks and pit latrine emptiers in Africa - CROWDSOURCING INFORMATION PLEASE

Nice - thank you both - that is very helpful information - you have captured what I want - basic estimates from wherever you have some working knowledge.

Now I just need 50 more people to do the same - then there will be results worth talking about! Appreciate rough estimates from any African city where our SuSanA members have worked.

Kind regards,

Nicola
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  • ianrossuk
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Re: No of vacuum trucks and pit latrine emptiers in Africa - CROWDSOURCING INFORMATION PLEASE

some info on Hawassa, Ethiopia, in here, re: numbers of public/private trucks
documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/43051...-in-Hawassa-Ethiopia
apols I can't remember the details but you can wordsearch.

Also for Port Harcourt, Nigeria, wordsearch this
documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/73166...selected-pilot-areas
I'd be surprised if not data in there on market size / truck numbers
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  • nicolag
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Re: No of vacuum trucks and pit latrine emptiers in Africa - CROWDSOURCING INFORMATION PLEASE

Nice - thank you.

I have fished out 2 municipality and 5 private vac trucks in Harassa, and 100 trucks in Port Harcourt.

Nicola
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