I am searching for sustainable approaches to transitional sanitation

  • Alice
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Transitional Sanitation

Dear all, I am searching for sustainable approaches to transitional sanitation.
Do you know any concepts related to sanitation in transition (halfway between emergency and sustainable development)?
Thank you

Alice Giulia Brandt
Junior Advisor
Sanitation for Millions

Department Climate, Environment and Infrastructure
Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
65726 Eschborn
Germany
T +49 6196 79 -2437
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  • muench
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Re: Transitional Sanitation

Dear Alice,

I'm always happy to help and suggest resources and solutions but I am a bit lost with your question. Could you give us some more information to sink our teeth into? It's actually the first time that I've heard of transitional sanitation. Is there really such a half-way point? What makes you think the solutions should be different for that halfway point compared to the "sustainable development" point?

Have you reviewed the Compendium of Sanitation Technologies in Emergencies ( forum.susana.org/67-challenging-environm...ogies-in-emergencies )? Has it helped?

And could you tell us more about the project you are working on ("Sanitation for millions")?
Oh, wait, I just discovered there is a detailed project description in the SuSanA project database here:
www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/projects/database/details/535

But it hasn't been discussed on the forum yet. Perhaps this could be the thread where people can ask questions about it, and then we can link to here from the project database entry.

Here is the project information from the project database:
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Sanitation for Millions is a multi-donor programme that directly contributes to the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (ensure adequate access to water and sanitation for all). Owing to current global refugee situation, S4M focuses on countries impacted by hight refugee influx and a high number of internally displaced people. Jordan, Uganda and Pakistan have been selected as the first countries of implementation.

The programme focuses on public institutions such as schools, basic health units and mosques. S4M cooperates with local stakeholders such as teachers associations, private sector players or religious bodies. The desired impact is to prevent conflicts in host communities and improve the living conditions of people residing in these communities. As a co-benefit it is aspired to create employment opportunities and enhance the local economic conditions. Women and girls in particular are targeted with the measures designed. Inclusion of people with disabilities and the provision of accessibility of disabled people to sanitary facilities gets a special focus at S4M since the proportion of persons with disabilities amongst those who have fled is even higher than commonly seen in developing countries.

Sanitation for Millions combines different measures to improve WASH services.
Activities include:
(1) Construction and rehabilitation of sanitation infrastructure in public institutions (schools, health centers, mosques)
(2) Measures to change hygiene behavior in schools, health centers and mosques
(3) Development of concepts and trainings on operation and maintenance of sanitary facilities in public institutions
(4) Support to on-site-sanitation entrepreneurs by enhancing the enabling environment for wastewater treatment companies and enterprises dealing with faecal sludge management
5) Introducing innovative solutions for decentralized wastewater treatment at household level

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Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Brisbane, Australia
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Transitional Sanitation

Yeah, I was also a bit stumped on the term, and wrote a few lines just to discard them again.

When talking about transition most emergency specialist usually use the term "recovery" with specifyers such as "early" and "late". What you are looking for would be mostly late recovery phase, often with a "build back better" approach.

But to be honest, in the past it has been more about scale-up and maybe hand over to community based management... so not so much actual transitional technology etc.

I think there is indeed a need to look into options in that phase that are a bit more longterm sustainable, but usually that isn't the primary focus.

I hope that helps at least a bit ;)

Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
WASH news aggregator at: news.watsan.eu
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  • FroggiVR
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Re: Transitional Sanitation

Hi Alice,

This is a very interesting question, and one I am hoping to eventually investigate in more depth in my research. As both Elisabeth and Julius mentioned, transitional systems have not received a lot of attention in published literature.

The Sanitation for Millions project sounds very interesting! I hope to see more about it here on the forum, as the project progresses.

My inclination would be to focus your attention on refugee camps and IDP camps that have adopted an active resource-oriented sanitation model. I suggest this for a few reasons:
1) these systems are simple enough to be implemented in the "protracted emergency" phase
2) they can be scaled up effectively, without expensive infrastructure
3) they are based on an active resource chain. This means there are actors with a vested interest in carrying on the program.

Some examples include the business model of SOIL in Haiti (which served IDP camps after the 2010 earthquake) and Sanivation in Kenya (which is functioning in Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya). Another excellent model with higher implementation cost (perhaps for later in the recovery/transition phase) is the anaerobic digesters for community- or household-level biogas.

As SOIL has demonstrated, slight modifications in the system and implementation can transition it from a communal emergency-context solution to a household-level solution in stable urban communities.

I am personally biased toward low-tech decentralized systems in general. Maybe these aren't exactly what you have in mind, but I love them all. :)

Keep in touch!
~Froggi

Oregon State University
Environmental Sciences
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  • Alice
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Re: Transitional Sanitation

Dear all,

thank you very much for your valuable input and for replying to my question.

We at Sanitation for Millions (S4M) are a global programme focusing on host communities in Uganda, Pakistan and Jordan.
Our main goal is to create sustainable access to impoved sanitation, however, circumstances are pushing us towards considering sanitation in emergency contexts aka transition, which implies creating immediate access for as many refugees / IDPs as possible, as quickly as possible.
Our approaches however are based on ensuring sustainability and long-term quality of access, which means for instance that we are asking ourselves how one could ensure sustainable operation and maintencance of sanitary facilities in public institutions in transitional / emergency contexts.

We will absolutely have a look at SOIL and Sanivation. The Compendium on Sanitation technologies in Emergencies has been already quite resourceful :)

I look forward to discussing your thoughts on the issue "immediate access vs. ensuring sustainability".

Cheers,
Alice

Alice Giulia Brandt
Junior Advisor
Sanitation for Millions

Department Climate, Environment and Infrastructure
Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
65726 Eschborn
Germany
T +49 6196 79 -2437
E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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