Start of a collaborative bibliography on Fecal Sludge Management in Humanitarian Situations


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Start of a collaborative bibliography on Fecal Sludge Management in Humanitarian Situations

Dear Colleagues:

We have made a quick start on a FSM bibliography at the link below, and since such this is such an important topic, we hope to update it regularly with the latest research, news, studies, etc. Please let us know of studies and resources that should be added.

Many thanks,

Link -

Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) in Humanitarian Situations – draft, November 30, 2018


Gates Foundation and Global Partners Announce Commitments to Advance Commercialization of Disruptive, Off-Grid Toilet Technologies. Gates Foundation, November 2018.
“This Expo showcases, for the first time, radically new, decentralized sanitation technologies and products that are business-ready,” said Bill Gates during the opening plenary of the Reinvented Toilet Expo. “It’s no longer a question of if we can reinvent the toilet and other sanitation systems. It’s a question of how quickly this new category of off-grid solutions will scale.”

Emergencies headlines from around the world. Oxfam, November 2018.
Bangladesh - Our industrial scale sewage treatment plant is open for business. It has the capacity to take 40 cubic metres of human waste per day (thus catering for 150,000 people),and is the largest ever such system to have been built in a refugee camp. Built to a German design it took seven months to construct, but the initial outlay will be more than paid back by the low operational and maintenance costs. It represents a big step forward in our ability to deal with fecal sludge in situ rather than carrying it away, and we expect to be replicating it in future crises.


5th International Faecal Sludge Management Conference, February 17-22, 2019, Cape Town, South Africa - This conference will provide the opportunity for sector professionals, governments, policy-makers, utilities, development partners, investors, industries and service providers to coordinate, develop and share learning to provide affordable and workable solutions at scale. This conference will focus on practical solutions to sustainably manage the whole non-sewered sanitation service chain, covering the toilet, containment, emptying, transport, treatment and reuse, as an essential component of city-wide urban sanitation services.

FSM In Humanitarian Situations

Preparing to Be Unprepared: Decision Making and the Use of Guidance on Sanitation Systems and Faecal Sludge Management in the First Phase of Rapid-Onset Emergencies. HIF-Elrha, BORDA, WASTE and Solidarités International, March 2018.
The first section investigates and compiles what options have been proven for applications in the emergency context. The second section discusses the driving forces behind the decisions made on fecal sludge disposal in first phase emergencies at the field level.

Compendium of Sanitation Technologies in Emergencies. EAWAG, 2018.
This Compendium compiles a wide range of information on tried and tested technologies in a single document and gives a systematic overview of existing and emerging sanitation technologies. In addition, it gives concise information on key decision criteria for each technology, facilitating the combination of technologies to come up with full sanitation system solutions, all linked to relevant cross-cutting issues.

Development of a Field Laboratory for Monitoring of Fecal-Sludge Treatment Plants. Water, August 2018.
In urban humanitarian-aid operations, safe treatment of fecal sludge is highly important. While currently field-deployable fecal-sludge treatment plants are being developed, field-ready analytical equipment for process-control and public health monitoring is missing. Within the Microbial Sludge Quality project, a field laboratory was developed.

Chemical disinfectants. GWPP, November 2018.
Safe water, sanitation, and hygiene provision and promotion are critical elements of emergency response to ensure human safety, health, and dignity. Disinfectants, such as chlorine, are widely used in emergency response to treat water for drinking. However, excreta is rarely treated in emergencies; the current focus of response activities is to provide safe, clean, and private sanitation facilities. In this chapter, we provide a summary of knowledge on disinfection of excreta in emergencies and recommendations for future research.

A pilot-scale microwave technology for sludge sanitization and drying. Science of The Total Environment, December 2017.
Microwave-based technology is promising option for treatment of faecal sludge, septic sludge and waste activated sludge. It is rapid and efficient in sludge sanitization (pathogen reduction) and drying (volume reduction up to 96%).

Low-cost Bangladeshi innovation at Rohingya refugee camp saves lives. CGTN, March 2018. The organization experimented with a simple filtration system, through which fecal sludge is collected mechanically using suction pumps and discharged through a series of filtration chambers to separate liquids from solids. “The effluent is finally treated by a natural process in a ‘constructed wetland’ through the roots of Canna indica plants. After a month, the digested sludge converts to become compost,” Jahan explained.

Other FSM-related Studies/Resources

Faecal Sludge and Septage Treatment: A guide for low- and middle-income countries. Practical Action, 2018.
This Guide discusses the urban contexts that influence treatment requirements and overall septage treatment processes. It examines the options and design approaches at each stage of treatment, from reception, through preliminary treatment, solids – liquid separation, anaerobic and aerobic treatment of the separated liquid and solid fractions to systems to render treated products suitable for reuse in either agriculture or as a fuel.

Sludge Management: Biosolids and Fecal Sludge. Global Water Pathogen Project, November 2018.
Fecal sludge is a distinct type of sludge that is generated onsite (e.g., discharge to toilet/latrine pits and septic tanks) and is not transported through a sanitary sewer. It has different physical-chemical characteristics than sludge generated at a centralized treatment plant. The service chain for fecal sludge management shows a potential for increased human health risk associated with pathogen exposure during the collection of the material and subsequent transport to a treatment or disposal facility. Thus design and management of toilet/latrine and septic systems must consider safe collection and transport of the contents.

Methods to reliably estimate faecal sludge quantities and qualities for the design of treatment technologies and management solutions. Journal of Environmental Management, October 2018. The demand for infrastructure to manage faecal sludge is increasing, however, no reliable method exists to estimate total accumulated quantities and qualities (Q&Q) This proposed approach averages out complexities to estimate conditions at a centralized to semi-centralized scale required for management and treatment technology solutions.

Faecal sludge management – a critical pathway to safely managed sanitation. WaterAid, July 2018. Jaison Thomas, WaterAid’s Regional Funding Manager for South Asia, reflects on the fecal sludge discourse in the region, taking reference to deliberations at the South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) VII at Islamabad.

The Influence of Household- and Community-Level Sanitation and Fecal Sludge Management on Urban Fecal Contamination in Households and Drains and Enteric Infection in Children. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, June 2017.
Children in households with poor FSM had 3.78 times higher prevalence of enteric infection when compared with children in other households, even those without toilets. In the neighborhood with high coverage of household toilets, children in households with poor FSM had 10 times higher prevalence of enteric infection than other children in the neighborhood and drains in poor FSM clusters who had significantly higher concentrations of genogroup II norovirus.

Business Models for Fecal Sludge Management. CGIAR, February 2017.
Based on the analysis of 44 FSM cases from Asia, Africa, and Latin America, this report shows opportunities as well as bottlenecks that FSM is facing from an institutional and entrepreneurial perspective. There is also a blog post on the World Bank’s Water Blog that summarizes the report.

A Guide to Strengthening the Enabling Environment for Faecal Sludge Management. Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), November 2017. This guide presents an introduction to strengthening the enabling environment for FSM services and is based on WSUP’s experience developing market-based solutions for on-site sanitation services in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Zambia.
Dan Campbell,
Communications/KM Specialist
Banjo Player/Busker
Haiku poet

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