An update on fecal sludge management in humanitarian situations


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An update on fecal sludge management in humanitarian situations

Dear Colleagues:

Links to each of the studies and resources listed below are on Sanitation Updates . Please let me know if you have additional studies and resources to add to the list.

Journal articles

A Traditional Closed-Loop Sanitation System in a Chronic Emergency: A Qualitative Study from Afghanistan. Water, February 2019. The use of closed-loop sanitation systems (CLSS), or reuse-oriented sanitation systems, has increased in recent years, and such systems have been successfully implemented in many parts of the world. However, no research has explored Traditional CLSS (T-CLSS) for a long-term humanitarian situation. This study explores the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of T-CLSS in peri-urban and rural contexts in three different provinces in Afghanistan.

Experimental Determination of Moisture Sorption Isotherm of Fecal Sludge. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts, February 2019. Studies on dewatering performances of FS are limited. The physical water distribution of such matrices is not fully understood, limiting the progress in the development and optimization of FS dewatering technologies. The objective of this study is to present a gravimetric method intended to assess the dewatering characteristics and associated modelling of FS through moisture sorption isotherms.

Assessment of Recommendation for the Containment and Disinfection of Human Excreta in Cholera Treatment Centers. Water, January 2019. These findings suggest that the use of 30% hydrated lime suspensions or 2% chlorine solutions may offer a simple public health protection measure for the containment, safe handling, and disinfection of human excreta during humanitarian emergencies.

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.


Human Waste-to-fuel Briquettes as a Sanitation and Energy Solution for Refugee Camps and Informal Urban Settlements. IWMI, 2018. Chapter 2 in the report Recovering Bioenergy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Gender Dimensions, Lessons and Challenges, the chapter discusses the human waste-to-charcoal briquettes innovation: (i) Provision of sanitation service through the installation of urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) in dwellings and (ii) The waste-to-fuel briquettes innovation.

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Innovation Catalogue. Elrha, 2019. The Humanitarian WASH Innovation Catalogue is the first of its kind. It offers a unique overview of some of the most promising new solutions in WASH and is designed to help practitioners decide which innovations could help them solve their most pressing problems.

Decision Making and the Use of Guidance on Sanitation Systems and Faecal Sludge Management in the First Phase of Rapid-Onset Emergencies. Elrha Humanitarian Innovation Fund; BORDA, 2018. One of the report’s recommendations is that existing resources that were highlighted in this research should utilize the findings and conclusions to strengthen their FSM components, particularly the Sphere Guidance and the WASH Cluster.

Rethinking Faecal Sludge Management in Emergency Settings: Decision Support Tools and Smart Technology Applications for Emergency Sanitation. CRC Press, Jul 24, 2019. Order info and summary: This study focused on the development of a smart emergency toilet termed the eSOS (emergency sanitation operation system) smart toilet to address the limitation in technical options. This toilet is based on the eSOS concept that takes into account the entire sanitation chain.


Compendium of Sanitation Technologies in Emergencies - The Compendium of Sanitation Technologies in Emergencies provides a structured and user-friendly manual and planning guide for sanitation solutions in emergency settings. It supports and enables decision making by providing the necessary framework for developing a sanitation system design.

WHO Sanitation system fact sheets. These fact sheets provide guidance on some of the most frequently-used sanitation systems. Each describes the applicability of the system in different contexts; design, operation and maintenance considerations; and mechanisms for protecting public health at each step of the sanitation service chain.

Evaluating the Potential of Container-Based Sanitation. World Bank, 2019. This report builds on four case studies (SOIL – Haiti, x-runner – Peru, Clean Team – Ghana, Sanergy – Kenya) to assess the role CBS can play in a portfolio of solutions for citywide inclusive sanitation (CWIS) services. The authors conclude that CBS approaches should be part of the CWIS portfolio of solutions, especially for poor urban populations for whom alternative on-site or sewer-based sanitation services might not be appropriate.

Evaluating the viability of establishing container-based sanitation in low-income settlements. Waterlines, July 2019. The potential viability of CBS services has been assessed for urban informal settlements in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The viability of CBS services in these settlements was found to be most influenced by the current availability of basic sanitation facilities, the unfamiliarity with paying for sanitation services, and the universally adopted practice of anal cleansing with water.

Sanivation: Providing a range of employment opportunities for refugees. IFC, April 2019. Chapter 3 in Private Sector & Refugees Pathways to Scale.

Compendium of Innovative Sanitation Technologies. Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP), December 2018. The Compendium presents various innovations in technologies both on field and in laboratories. These technologies span across the faecal sludge value chain comprising user interface, containment, collection, transportation, treatment, and reuse. It provides reader of the Compendium with various options for implementation at the ground level contextual to demographic and geo-climatic situations.


Operational Collaborative Tool for Ongoing Practices in Urgent Sanitation​ (OCTOPUS) - Fecal sludge disposal and treatment is a significant problem in rapid onset emergencies. Low consideration is given to this issue when deploying emergency responses, and while general guidance and resources exist, improper decisions are often made. To address this issue, Solidarités International has created the first collaborative platform called OCTOPUS. Intended for sanitation practitioners,
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