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

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

Dear SuSanA Members.

We have had many posts since long,  on the definition of worker and specification of work, in the sanitation and waste management field is turning very intricate, however for a common man to identify the title of worker in thse types of work , the best title would be "Sanitation worker". 

The specification of the work done by the concerned, can be indicated in the "Work contract " and needed jobs carried out accordingly.

What we have been stressing is that, as the job is needing some skills and care to be followed, Guidance SOPs may be followed. And in working, PPEs to be used for safety of personnel, machinery and others.

Well wishes.
Prof Ajit Seshadri .  INDIA .. 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Senior Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Environment Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others) Chennai, India
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  • paresh
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  • Budding researcher, interested in governance, public policy, finance, its politics and social justice. Urban planner by training, Ex. C-WAS, India. I am the patient one
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Re: Sanitation worker, waste collector, manual scavenger - same thing? One, two or three Wikipedia articles?

Dear Elisabeth,
In the webinar today, Sharada Prasad who has worked extensively on issues of sanitation workers made an interesting point. The spectrum of activities that can be called as sanitation work is very broad; includes manual scavenging, cleaning of sewers, emptying on-site sanitation systems, cleaning storm water drains, etc. One thing which struck me was the mention of workers involved in annual maintenance of storm water drains.

(Sharada didn't say it in as much words, but here is my understanding of his reasoning) 
Typically, in cities and villages in South Asia (may be true for other South-East Asia as well) storm water drains are cleaned and maintenance work carried out before the onset of monsoons. Since, on-site systems are the norm and systems are far from perfect, some part of wastewater inadvertently ends up in these drains (reasons include direct disposal of blackwater from some houses or supernatant from septic tanks, grey water). Consequently, the workers hired as construction workers for the job come in contact with wastewater. Sharada is of the opinion that these workers should also be referred to as sanitation workers and the risk they face needs to be recognised. 

I understand, we may be far from adding this to Wikipedia for lack of adequate work and reference, but thought it was important to  inform the forum. 

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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