Sanitation worker, waste collector, manual scavenger - same thing? One, two or three Wikipedia articles?

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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Sanitation worker, waste collector, manual scavenger - same thing? One, two or three Wikipedia articles?

Here is what the new Wikipedia article on "Sanitation worker" (created by me today) looks like:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanitation_worker

Help needed to make it better. Please suggest more content and more references that should be added.

E.g. it would be interesting if we found other definitions for the term (personally I think "solid waste collectors" should be part of "sanitation workers" just like solid waste management is part of sanitation!). So far we have cited the Worldbank definition but we could also cite others if they exist.

Ajit, what is a "conservancy worker" and is that perhaps Indian English?

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Elisabeth
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  • AjitSeshadri
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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Sanitation worker, waste collector, manual scavenger - same thing? One, two or three Wikipedia articles?

Dear Dr Elisabeth.
We need a mention of all others cleaning and maintaining works left out eg
The term - solid waste collection - is left out..
This if I am not mistaken could be under " conservancy works "
Willing to assist..
Well wishes.
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India

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Re: Sanitation worker, waste collector, manual scavenger - same thing? One, two or three Wikipedia articles?

Thank you for your inputs so far. I am going to set up a separate Wikipedia article on "sanitation worker" now. But I am not sure we can claim it to be the overarching term. I am saying this because the landmark publication by World Bank Group, World Health Organization, International Labour Organization, Water Aid from 2019 defines sanitation worker as:

"The term sanitation workers refers to all people—employed or otherwise—
responsible for cleaning, maintaining, operating, or
emptying a sanitation technology at any step of the
sanitation chain. This includes toilet
cleaners and caretakers in domestic, public, and
institutional settings; those who empty pits and septic tanks once full and other fecal sludge handlers;
those who clean sewers and manholes; and those
who work at sewage and fecal waste treatment and
disposal sites (Dalberg Advisors 2017; WHO 2018). "


So they do not include the solid waste collection workers in this (which I find a bit of a pity).

Do we have any other publications available that define sanitation workers differently (more broadly?) which we can cite for comparison purposes? I can only add information on Wikipedia if I have publications to cite.

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Elisabeth
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Re: Sanitation worker, waste collector, manual scavenger - same thing? One, two or three Wikipedia articles?

Dear Elisabeth,
Thank you for your post on the issue of sanitation workers viz a vi waste collector. I tend to believe that “sanitation worker” should be the main topic that can be considered when highlighting the issues to do with sanitation. Currently “waste worker” leaves the question of whether it is solid waste collection or faecal sludge collection. The definition given by Wikipedia on sanitation is:

“..refers to public health conditions related to clean drinking water and adequate treatment and disposal of human excreta and sewage.”

The “Sanitation worker” title will then focus on the different types of workers giving a clearer breakdown on the many forms of handling human waste that are being carried out in the various parts of the world.
That is my opinion on this.

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Charlotte
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  • paresh
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Re: Sanitation worker, waste collector, manual scavenger - same thing? One, two or three Wikipedia articles?

Dear Elisabeth,
I agree that sanitation worker is a bigger topic; waste collector and manual scavenger are sub-topics. There are certainly many other types of workers (street sweepers, gutter cleaners, collection-vehicle drivers, workers on emptying trucks, etc.) that should be considered under the larger topic. A separate Wikipedia article on sanitation workers will certainly be of value and could include a list of activities sanitation workers are involved in. In practice, there is also likely to be a hierarchy within this group of activities; It certainly does exist in many parts of India. For example, work dealing with excreta is considered inferior compared to work dealing with solid waste.

I also agree with Prof. Sheshadri that the sector is not organised in many developing countries and there is a lack of SoPs. Even when SoPs are in place, workers directly employed by the government follow them while those employed by private contractors may be forced to work around them. he government machinery often turns a blind eye to get the work done and keep the system running but will swing into action against the contractor in case of fatalities. This is exactly the point raised in the video posted by Prof Sheshadri in his post dated 12th Jan in the thread related to manual scavenging; see here
forum.susana.org/sanitation-workers/2200...a-job?start=12#28849

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paresh
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  • AjitSeshadri
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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Sanitation worker, waste collector, manual scavenger - same thing? One, two or three Wikipedia articles?

Dear Elisabeth and other SuSanA Members.

This term Sanitation Worker, or Waste Collector, Conservancy Worker, Worker in Manual Scavenging path, or any others -
All the above practices, have a noble role to preform for the Society at large.

In India and in most developing countries, this sector is not organised and no clear- cut Rules and Regulations even if laid are not adhered to while practices are carried out on a daily basis.
As Government Departments have formulated Rules and Regulations in the case of Electrical H/T transmission lines Etc, and workers follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) .
Similar practices need to be adhered to in the Sanitation field.

Certain sanitation-work spaces are dangerous and accidents, keep happening with no lessons learnt while age- old practices are followed, putting everyone to risks.

Government machinery ought to bring in strict enforcement with penal actions for defaulters Etc.

Notings issued in the interest of the workers community in the clean up practices.
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India

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  • Elisabeth
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Sanitation worker, waste collector, manual scavenger - same thing? One, two or three Wikipedia articles?

"Sanitation workers" is becoming a bigger topic - rightly so. We even have a sub-category for that here on the forum now to reflect this.

For outsiders, if they hear the term "sanitation workers" they may be unsure what that is. They may go to Google or directly to Wikipedia to find out what it is (the Wikipedia entry comes up third in a Google search).

What they find is this, i.e. a redirect to "waste collector":
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_collector

From that page they can click through to "manual scavenger" to read about the situation in India.

Are we satisfied with this? I wonder if "sanitation worker" should become a separate article to "waste collector". Perhaps "sanitation worker" is overarching to "waste collector"? The article on "manual scavenging" could probably stay more or less like it is, i.e. focused on just India and the specifics there, e.g. caste-based occupation, outlawed etc.

Please provide your feedback. I have also written about it here on the talk page in Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Waste_collector

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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