Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hi Richard

An interesting link for you to the Technology review of biogas sanitation: www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=877

Thanks for the video link, nice video.
Trevor Surridge
Decentralized Wastewater Management for Adaptation to Climate Change in Jordan (ACC Project)
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hello. I am fairly new to this group and would very strongly encourage you to include information on methane digester, biogas plants. A quick video may help:


A biogas plant or methane digester would take care of sanitation needs, produce a gas (methane) that can replace wood, or something else, to cook food and improve the health of everyone that uses one while producing a high quality fertilizer to help grow food and rebuild local ecosystems.

If a business idea is needed, than the video could answer that too.

Wherever you build a pit latrine you can build or install a methane digester. Latrines could still pose a health hazard but a methane digester takes care of that and the only thing that comes out is fertilizer ready for use, it could be used as is or diluted.

Any questions I would be more than happy to pass along more information. Please consider this very valuable and simple technology in your publication.

Thank you,
Richard.

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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Dear Colleagues,
Just some small comments to the current version of the factsheet *Sanitation as a Business"
In general I am quite happy with this version. I do however feel that the language used tends to be a bit ”difficult to understand”.

Example: .... These models “have a poor record in, effectiveness of use, efficiency of investments, sustainability of services, and scaling up access” (Frias and Mukherjee, 2005)……. What does this mean : “effectiveness of use” (??) Is acceptability the issue here? Can we not use easier words which are less disputed in their understanding? What does “efficiency” mean in this context? Are we talking about “cost per household in function of required functionality of the sanitation system? The issue of cost effectiveness opens a can of worms with many ill-defined issues.

Another issue, Quote "…BOP constitutes a EUR 3.5 trillion global consumer market which reveals significant opportunities for more inclusive market-based approaches that can better meet the needs of those in the BOP, increase their productivity and incomes, and empower their entry into the formal economy” (Hammond et al., 2007)…"

Here I feel there is a mix up between BOP as “the customers” for sanitation products and the BOP providing a “potential of entrepreneurs and businesses”. In the first case the customers benefit by improved facilities and services to help exit the spiral of poverty by having better health. On the other side the business opportunities in sanitation can cater for these BOP customers and thus this opens livelihood and business opportunities for an economic sector related to sanitation.

Furthermore: Understanding of “inclusive”: I would understand this in terms of “equity” where market based approaches follow a principle of wide diversification of products which can cater to different customers which have different economic capacities…
Nevertheless the principles of public good need to be ensured (i.e. the fundamental sanitation functions need to be fulfilled so that the waste problem is not just externalized to be someone else’s problem. In fact it is this issues of public good (ensuring that no harm is done to the public good aspect by the sanitation service or sanitation product supplied by the private market) that make the sanitation sector different from the energy and telecommunication sector (where the issues of public good is not so relevant).

Concerning reference on on-site sanitation, I suggest: Koné 2010 (already mentioned in the bibliography).

I am ok with the current version.

Regards
Chris Zurbrügg, Sandec/Eawag
Christian Zurbrügg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Sandec: Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries
Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Dear Trevor, Leonie and all!

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the latest version of this factsheet, it really has come a long way and now it makes for very interesting and clear reading!
I have made some comments in the hardcopy which we will now incorporate in the softcopy of the final version.

Just a few small points which I wanted to post here about the factsheet for the benefit of the wider group.

(1)
You asked about a reference for this statement:

Collection and safe disposal or reuse: We still need a reference for this sentence: “On-site sanitation (septic tanks and pit latrines) in cities of developing countries is used by about one-third of the world’s population.”


The best papers on this topic were written by Sandec staff members in the early 2000s, e.g. Steiner, Kone, Strauss, Montagero. I quickly checked in the SuSanA library and I think this paper can be used as a reference:

Koné, D., Strauss, M. (2004). Low-cost options for treating faecal sludges in developing countries - Challenges and Performance. Paper presented to the 9th International IWA Specialist Group Conference on Wetlands Systems for Water Pollution Control and to the 6th International IWA Specialist Group Conference on Waste Stabilisation Ponds, Avignon, France.

The authors estimate that in the order of one third of the world population (approx. 2.4 billion urban dwellers) rely on on-site sanitation (OSS) installations, viz. unsewered family and public latrines and toilets, aqua privies and septic tanks. This situation is likely to last for decades to come, since city-wide sewered sanitation is neither affordable nor feasible for the majority of urban areas in developing countries.

See the full paper here: susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=404

(2)
It has been difficult in the factsheet to strike a balance between sanitation as a business in general and then talking about sustainable sanitation in particular and about the option of reuse. Whilst we all think that theoretically reuse has business potential, there are very few actual examples on the ground where this has been proven. Also the WSSCC compaign GDP4GDP talks about making money from excreta reuse, but it is not so easy (yet)...
But I think the balance in the factsheet is quite OK now.

(3)
I know it has been hard finding the right concrete examples of businesses in sanitation. The ones we have now are good but perhaps don't cover the entire range that well. I think an introductory paragraph just before the examples in Section 5 could be useful:

The following examples for sustainable sanitation business approaches were provided mainly by members of the working group. They range from proven large business models (Examples in Section (a) and (d)) to small experimental models which are still in the development phase (examples in Section (c)). Giving these examples here in this factsheet is not meant as a particular „endorsement“ of the business model but primarily as interesting examples on how businesses around sanitation could be set up and about the challenges they face in order to achieve a sustainable system.

(note to others: the examples include: Ikotoilets in Kenya, Ecoloove in India, WTN mobile toilets in India, The Clean Shop in South Africa, CSS in Kenya, and general faecal sludge management in Senegal).

For each of the examples, we should try to not only describe what is good about them but also mention at least in one to two sentences their downsides or challenges. I know this is hard because the example providers usually do not really mention these when they send in material to be included in the factsheet, which is a pity.
But one could e.g. say about the Ecoloove and WTN example:

The two examples givein in this section are very innovative but still need further development work before they can be scaled up.


(4)
And one last thing that is kicking around in my mind: Maybe it a case that it is easy or easier to make a business from conventional sanitation but not so easy for sustainable sanitation. Example: there are many companies out there who run these fleets of vacuum tankers to empty pit latrines and septic tanks in cities of developing countries. They have a profitable business, mainly because they just drive around the corner and dump the shit in the next creek... now if it was regulated properly, then they would have to drive to a faecal sludge treatment plant and pay a dumping fee there. Then their profit would shrink though... No longer a profitable business then? Even though better for the environment and public health and thus more desirable from that point of view. So business interests have to be balanced with sustainability.

(we have a separate topic thread on faecal sludge management here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/53-fae...te-and-public-sector)

So, thanks again for getting this factsheet so far (to all who have contributed and responsed to e-mails and postings) and I look forward to the final version and the entire factsheet compilation by Christmas. :woohoo:

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hi All

Attached to this post is the latest version of the Factsheet 9a Sanitation as a business as a word doc. Please could as many of you as possible do a review of the factsheet. All reviewers will be acknowledged accordingly.

Kind regards
Trevor
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PS ignore the change / error in the footer area of each page of the factsheet, Leonie will be correcting this formatting error in due course.
Trevor Surridge
Decentralized Wastewater Management for Adaptation to Climate Change in Jordan (ACC Project)
Project Manager

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Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Shmeisani,
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hi all,

A current version of the factsheet has been uploaded here: SuSanA Factsheet WG 9a: Sanitation as a business

It still has a draft status as Elisabeth received it today and will be doing a proof read of it in the coming days.

A quick question to you all do you agree with the following:

The 4 billion people that fall in the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) income bracket need to be viewed as valued customers and a potential market by sanitation businesses. As the people suffering in the sanitation crisis all fall in the BOP. In order to develop market based approaches with business models that provide both long term social benefit as well as sustainable profit, the last link in the value change, nutrient reuse, needs to be developed into a marketable and demanded product offering. To make this a reality innovative entrepreneurs, businessmen, governments, donors and NGOs need to collaborate and build such a market place.


It is the new last paragraph in the Outlook section.
I look forward to you comments, suggestions and critic.
Rgds
Trevor
Trevor Surridge
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hi Emmanuel

Thank you for your comments and observations. I agree that the activities in the developed world should not be ignored and that a shift in mindset is necessary as well as the merits in a "lead by example" approach.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to add a sub-title to the factsheet to highlight that it focusses on developing nations where the sanitation crisis is most prevalent. Bearing in mind that it is very difficult to cover all aspects that could fall under the title "Sanitation as a business" in 8 pages.

What sub-title do you thing would help make the contents of the factsheet more obvious to the reader?

Look forward to your suggestions.
Kind regards
Trevor
Trevor Surridge
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Hi Annamaja

Thank you for your reply to our open question, much appreciated. We shall include this clarification in the factsheet. We hope all is going well with all of Ecoloove's initiatives.

Kind regards
Trevor
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Dear Trevor,

I anderstand your position but if you put as a title "Sanitation as a business", you can not get away what it is done in Europe and US. And what is said in the discussions is also concerning all the other contries.
It is very interested to see that perception of dry toilets in not good in all the countries and we have to work on attractivity perhaps more than other subjects. The removal of UD toilets in GIZ is a good exemple.
If we do not accept dry toilets in Europe and US, why do we want to promote them in other countries ?
This is for me a very important subject we have to think about it.

Regards

Emmanuel
Emanuel Morin
Ecodomeo - France
www.ecodomeo.com
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  • ecoloove
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Dear Trevor,

referring to this question:
"Ecoloove: Have urine or sanitised faeces already been sold or is this still only planned?"

No, it has not yet been sold. We're collaborating with a farmer who're interesting in buying it during the pilot test.

Please feel free to email us if there're more unanswered comments from our side.

All the best,

Annamaja, founder of Ecoloove
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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Dear Working Group 9

Leonie and myself have spent a fair amount of time working on the factsheet. We have completely restructured the introductory and background parts of the factsheet. The reasoning for this was that the factsheet was making references to many different concepts without explaining them properly. A lot of these concepts are very interesting but not so relevant for a factsheet on "Sanitation as a Business". In addition we felt that the factsheet gave a too long and too confusing introduction so that we might lose the interest of the reader before they actually reached the core part of the factsheet. Consequently we tried to focus the factsheet and cut down words quite a bit, with the previously attached draft being around 10 pages and the attached versions to this post are back inside the 8 pages standard. Editing focussed on:
  • Some restructuring and formatting was also necessary to adapt the factsheet to the common style guideline of all factsheets (such as changes in numbering and starting with a summary instead of key messages).
  • We tried to include more “hard facts” and cut down parts that was mainly speculation. For example this concerned the case for the section on nutrient reuse which is now a box instead of an example as it is rather a theoretical model.
There are still some open questions in the example section:
  1. Ecoloove: Have urine or sanitised faeces already been sold or is this still only planned?
  2. Ikotoilets: What is meant by the sentence: “The committee members generate additional revenue with the activities within the “toilet malls”
  3. Collection and safe disposal or reuse: We still need a reference for this sentence: “On-site sanitation (septic tanks and pit latrines) in cities of developing countries is used by about one-third of the world’s population.” – Aleksandra provided a reference (see the link in the comment in the document) but the publication is marked as “not for citation”
  4. The Clean Shop: “An approach is taken that includes getting parents involved in the welfare of their children when they are at school. “ Does this mean that parents clean the toilets?
Moreover there is still some writing to be done to lift this factsheet to a level of quality that the whole group can be proud of. The Outlook at the moment needs attention as currently it ends with the following paragraph:

"In terms of sanitation for the Base of the Pyramid, social entrepreneurs can work together with the lowest income group within the BOP, and employ and train them for product maintenance and services."

Surely: The BOP is important, and so are social entrepreneurs, and currently this sentence puts it across in a blasé tone?

With respect to the attachments to this post
  1. One Doc
  2. One Docx
  3. One PDF
Please view the PDF version to get a look and feel for the end product, as the MS Word docs have track changes in them, which sometime makes a quick skim read difficult.

As the deadline for the compiled factsheet book is looming, we would like to make a last call for input to this version of the factsheet on Sanitation as a Business and will be incorporating feedback received up to and including Friday the 2 December 2011.

We look forward to your comments, input, excellent references and rephrasing of paragraphs here and there.

Kind regards
Trevor

P.S. Leonie will be sending an email around on the working group's mailing list for those that prefer answering via email.
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Trevor Surridge
Decentralized Wastewater Management for Adaptation to Climate Change in Jordan (ACC Project)
Project Manager

Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Shmeisani,
Amman
Jordan

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Re: Update of Factsheet 9a: Sanitation as a business

Dear Ben,

thank you very much for your comments and sharing these links – I particularly like the compilation of projects and documents.

We are always excited to learn about new successful sanitation projects – whether they have a reuse component or not – and we try to incorporate many different examples in our factsheets.
I agree that the Cambodian example is an outstanding example for the combination of innovative design and smart marketing that should not be neglected in our discussion.
Working group 9 has actually produced two factsheets (9a on Sanitation as a business and Factsheet 9b on Public awareness raising and sanitation marketing), which are currently both in the process of reviewing. In factsheet 9b we have included the Cambodian “Easy Latrine” campaign as an example for sanitation marketing programmes.

My colleague Doreen uploaded the new version of factsheet 9b last night and you can find it here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/62-wg-...sanitation-marketing

Please do not hesitate to let us know about any comments you have on the Cambodian example (or any other section) of the factsheet.
As you may know, the Secretariat of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance is currently in the process of finalising a factsheet book. We are preparing a factsheet book that will comprise of 13 thematic factsheets.
Therefore, we would be delighted to receive further input to the content of the factsheet as soon as possible so that we could have a final version and print the book.

Kind regards,

Leonie
Leonie Kappauf
Water & Sanitation Consultant

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