Category Archives: Economic Benefits

Unclogging the Blockages in Sanitation

Unclogging-Blockages-brochure

Perhaps one of the more ignored or misunderstood elements of water poverty by the general population and even the charitable sector is sanitation services. When you think about providing clean water, you conjure images of clear drinking water pouring out of a tap or buckets of well water used to water crops and serve livestock.

But then there’s the other stuff—the stuff that is not as pretty to think about or even to deal with, but is just as important—like unclogging toilets, and building latrines, and providing sanitary napkin containers and services for female students. That’s all sanitation.

The first Unclogging the Blockages conference organised by IRC, PSI, Water for People and WSUP Enterprises, took place on February 18-20, 2014 in Kampala, Uganda. More than 170 people from in and out of the sector and around the world came together to explore the various challenges for sanitation as a business (SAAB) and began working on short and long-term solutions.

Participants identified seven key components to SAAB: (1) public sector; (2) business models; (3) finance; (4) technology; (5) demand creation and behaviour change; (6) monitoring; and (7) intersectoral links.

For each component participants plotted out potential outcomes and ways forward based on their ideas and a 30-day challenge, for example:

Business Models
Blockage: lack of models that are pro-poor inclusive; lack of understanding of technology
Desired outcome: Consumer understanding/happiness: Families say, “The toilet is my favorite part of the house.”
30-Day Challenge: Know your customers deeply for better service and success. —Advocacy through creative formats, get to the point and make it attractive, prove we have results.

The full set of action plans with a detailed breakdown by tasks and groups responsible for each of the seven themes is in the Unclogging the Blockages report. The Conference report and an accompanying factsheet are available at: www.ircwash.org/resources/unclogging-blockages-sanitation-business

A full set of conference materials including Powerpoint presentations can be found on the SuSanA website at: www.susana.org/en/events/past-event-pages/details/8

Three articles published in the July 2014 edition of Waterlines emerged from the conference:

Mulumba, J.N., Nothomb, C., Potter, A. and Snel, M. 2014. Striking the balance : what is the role of the public sector in sanitation as a service and as a business? Waterlines, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 195-210. DOI: 10.3362/2046-1887.2014.021

Rojas Williams, S.M. and Sauer, J. 2014. Unclogging the blockages in sanitation : inter-sector linkages. Waterlines, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 211-219. DOI: 10.3362/2046-1887.2014.022

Sugden, S., 2014. Latrine design: go in peace. Waterlines, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 220-239. DOI: 10.3362/1756-3488.2014.023

Dutch WASH Alliance – The Diamond Business Approach in Sanitation: a Malawi Case

The Dutch WASH Alliance aims to establish sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene systems that can easily be replicated and scaled up. Within the domain of sanitation, we are creating a functioning WASH market and WASH public sector aiming to increase access to improved sanitation facilities. We support partner organisations that work on demand creation (amongst users); involve WASH entrepreneurs and financial institutions (a working private sector); and support the development of a working public sector. As an Alliance, this is what we refer to as “system change”. To realise system change, WASH Alliance partner WASTE has developed a unique approach called the Diamond Business Approach.

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Fecal Sludge Management

Issue 153 | July 11, 2014 | Focus on Fecal Sludge Management

This issue focuses on studies, reports, and other materials that have been published so far in 2014 on fecal sludge management (FSM). Included is a just-published and comprehensive guide on planning and organizing the entire fecal sludge management service chain. A WASTE report evaluates FSM methods in emergency situations, and a Water and Sanitation Program  report examines FSM in 12 cities. washplus

EVENTS

3rd International Faecal Sludge Management Conference, Jan 18-22, 2015, Hanoi, Vietnam(3rd Conference Link) | (2nd Conference Presentations)
Building on the success of the two previous International FSM Conferences in Durban (2011 and 2012), FSM3 will bring together world-class research and science and donors, cities, utilities, investors, consultants, governments, service providers, and industries with the aim of fostering an effective dialogue on solving the problem of dealing with human waste.

GUIDES

Faecal Sludge Management (FSM): Systems Approach for Implementation and Operation, 2014. L Strande, ed., EAWAG. (Link)
This guide compiles the current state of knowledge of this rapidly evolving field and presents an integrated approach that includes technology, management, and planning. It addresses the planning and organization of the entire FSM service chain, from the collection and transport of sludge and treatment options, to the final end use or disposal of treated sludge.

Emergency Sanitation: Faecal Sludge Treatment, 2014. J Spit, WASTE. (Link)
This research aims to expand the knowledge of possible simple fecal sludge treatment technologies that could be rapidly deployed in the event of an emergency and are effective under challenging physical conditions such as unstable soils, high water tables, and flood-prone areas. Three fecal sludge sanitization methods—lactic acid fermentation, urea treatment, and hydrated lime treatment—were investigated by undertaking small scale field trials with pit latrine sludge in Blantyre, Malawi.

Facilitation Manual: Sanitation Entrepreneur Training, 2014. Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). (Link)
A WSP team felt there was a growing need for a standard reference for implementing sanitation entrepreneur training and developed a training program and guide that could be replicated and carried out independently by interested stakeholders.

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Umande Trust Sanitation Payment Innovations

Umande Trust Sanitation Payment Innovations being used at the Bio-Centers within the Urban Informal settlements.

What we can learn from Brazil’s wastepickers

What we can learn from Brazil’s wastepickers | by Kyle Wiens

Excerpts: By the time the World Cup ends on July 13, experts estimate that World Cup spectators will generate a staggering 320 tons of trash. Enter the catadores—waste pickers who earn a living by collecting recyclables from the nation’s trash heap, men and women who will dig through the garbage and pick out each aluminum can, plastic bottle, and glass container. And while their jobs may seem humble, their sweat and solidarity are helping to transform Brazil into a true world power in recycling.

Illustrations by Ben Sanders

Illustrations by Ben Sanders

The movement to organize waste pickers in Brazil began in São Paulo in 1980, when the Catholic Church helped start the Association of Paper Pickers, but it only came into the spotlight nine years later, when association members began protesting on behalf of their right to collect material from public roadways. The association’s work inspired other cities around Brazil to start similar organizations, which (among other things) is helping to end child labor in Brazilian dumps.

A Future in Recycling

In 2009, filmmaker Sean Walsh spent a month following Claudinês Alvarenga, a carroceiro, or cart hauler, for his documentary Hauling. Alvarenga, a father of 27, drove the streets of São Paulo in an old Volkswagen bus, recovering materials from curbsides, businesses, and dumpsters. He fixed what he could, resold what was salvageable, and recycled all the rest.

“Haulers such as Claudinês and his family are the most vital and also the most marginalized group in this immense [recycling] industry,” Walsh says. “They are also the agents of a new environmental world order, which is growing ever more important to our sustainable survival.”

The truth is, catadores and carroceiros are remarkably good at what they do. Necessity has turned them into reuse masters, repair geniuses, and recycling experts. They can sort recyclables more precisely and comprehensively than a machine can, right down to different grades of paper. Because of catadores, Brazil is a world leader in recycling: The country has the highest recycling rates for used aluminum cans—around 98 percent—and is second in world for recycling PET, a plastic used in food packaging.

IIED presents SHARE-funded City-Wide Sanitation Project findings

May 6, 2014 – IIED presents SHARE-funded City-Wide Sanitation Project findings at the 11th International Conference on Urban Health at the University of Manchester | Source: SHARE website

SHARE partner IIED presented its findings on the challenges and opportunities of different models for improving sanitation in deprived communities at the 11th International Conference on Urban Health at the University of Manchester. iied

The work presented was published last year in a paper entitled “Overcoming obstacles to community-driven sanitary improvement in deprived urban neighbourhoods: lessons from practice”. Sanitary improvement has historically been central to urban health improvement efforts. Low cost sanitation systems almost inevitably require some level of community management, and in deprived urban settlements there are good reasons for favouring community-led sanitary improvement.

It has been argued that community-led sanitary improvement also faces serious challenges, including those of getting local residents to act collectively, getting the appropriate public agencies to co-produce the improvements, finding improvements that are acceptable and affordable at scale, and preventing institutional problems outside of the water and sanitation sector (such as tenure or landlord-tenant problems) from undermining improvement efforts. This paper examines these sanitary challenges in selected cities where organizations of the urban poor are actively trying to step up their work on sanitary issues, and considers they can best be addressed. 

SEI-SuSanA Webinar videos online – Adding missing links in sanitation value chains

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has announced that five videos clips from the recent SEI-SuSanA Webinar 7 on 29 April 2014 are now online. The theme  – in their series of SEI-SuSanA webinars to examine the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sanitation projects – was “Adding missing links in sanitation value chains“.

Contents:

Part 1 -Introduction by Arno Rosemarin and Nelson Ekane

 

Part 2 – Is a power auger “Excrevator” a suitable tool to empty pit latrines in South Africa and septic tanks in India? (includes presentation and questions) by Francis de los Reyes from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

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