Tag Archives: pit emptying

Sanitation as a business – the poor will have to wait

Malawian sanitation entrepreneur Martius using

Malawian sanitation entrepreneur Martius using “The Gulper” to empty a pit latrine. Photo: Water for People

Providing toilets to the poorest may be “dear to the hearts of many non-profits, aid agencies and governments” but if you want to involve business you have to start with the better-off families first. So says business woman and sanitation entrepreneur Towera Jalakari who runs a pit emptying service in Blantyre, Malawi.

“We will get to Everyone in Blantyre one day, but the only way to make sure Blantyre actually solves its sanitation problems is to recognize that the market must function.  [...]  As we get better, as we scale city-wide, then costs will come down, services will improve, and pressure will build for all people to have a toilet.  We will get to the poorest, but they are not our first targets.  [...] If we rush too fast [...] then the poor will not have lasting services but rather a lot of useless toilets and nowhere to go to the bathroom.”

Malawi is one the countries in Water for People’s Sanitation as a Business program (2010-2014), which is funded by a US$ 5.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Water for People has contracted Tools for Enterprise & Education Consultants (TEECs) to support pit emptying businesses in Lilongwe and Blantyre.

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Haiti: lack of proper sanitation is real cause of cholera outbreak, Clinton says

Woman at Leogane camp saying the latrines behind her are full and smell foul. Photo credit: Haiti Grassroots Watch

Haiti should focus on stemming the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 7,000 people since 2010, rather than on levying blame against the source of the disease, UN special envoy to Haiti, Bill Clinton, said. While studies have suggested that the cholera came from a Nepalese soldier serving as a peacekeeper, Clinton pointed out that the country’s lack of proper sanitation was the real cause of the outbreak.

Clinton made the remarks after he toured a new public teaching hospital in Haiti’s Central Plateau that was built by the Boston-based Partners in Health.

In November 2011, the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) filed a demand for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from Haitian cholera victims.

Money to empty refugee camp toilets has run out

Clinton’s own foundation, together with UNICEF and USAID, supplied some 11,000 mobile toilets for the refugee camps that emerged after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The NGOs that distributed the toilets and paid for them to be emptied are now pulling out one by one, leaving overflowing toilets behind, according to an IPS report.

Donor funds are being used to set up excreta treatment centres, one is now in operation in Morne-à-Cabri while a second centre is planned for Titanye, but these are not servicing the remaining refugee camps, home to nearly half a million people.

Source:

  • AP, Former President Clinton urges officials to stem Haiti cholera outbreak, Washington Post, 07 Mar 2012
  • Phares Jerome and Valery Daudier, Money for cleaning toilets in Haiti down the drain? – Part 1, IPS, 07 Mar 2012

Gates Foundation offers grants for innovative sanitation technologies

US$ 100,000 grants are available for innovative non-networked sanitation technologies for the urban poor. “Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies” is one of topics in Round 7 of Grand Challenges Explorations, a US$ 100 million grant initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Proposals are being accepted through May 19, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time.

The sanitation call focuses on four specific challenges:

  1. Unhygienic and inadequate pit/tank emptying and extraction;
  2. Recovery of energy from communities’ fecal sludge;
  3. Inappropriate sanitation solutions for areas challenged by an abundance of water (e.g. communities that face seasonal flooding, high groundwater tables, riparian or tidal communities, etc.);
  4. Easy to clean, attractive and affordable latrine pan / squatting platform technologies that enhance latrines

Proposed ideas must ultimately be designed for low income urban settings such as slums, informal and formal peri-urban settings, or dense rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia where demand for fecal sludge emptying and treatment are high.

Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.

Innovations can be new ideas or important improvements to existing solutions. Proposals must provide an underlying rationale, a testable hypothesis, and an associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated.

Proposals are being accepted online at www.grandchallenges.org/explorations.

Read the application instructions.

Read full details of the Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies challenge

Source: Gates Foundation press release, 15 Mar 2011

Uganda: Toilet Emptying Needs Investors

THERE are investment opportunities in emptying of pit latrines in Kampala and other urban areas, the World Bank‘s senior water and sanitation specialist has observed. “The bank carried out a study in Kampala and found that Kampala residents generate 800,000 litres of feaces per day (800 cubic meters) but the capacity to empty and dispose them of is only 230.000 litres,” Samuel Dawuna Mutono explained.

“This means more local people can invest in emptying pit latrines but the biggest challenge we discovered is that most of these toilets are not accessible, while some people are too poor to pay for the service,” he said. Mutono said only 8% of the country’s population is connected to the sewage system. “So how about the 92%? That is why the bank has supported this business linkage programme aimed at training members of the private emptiers association to improve their services.”

This was at the signing of a memorandum of understanding for a business linkage programme between the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Enterprise Uganda and the Private Emptiers Association at the Kampala Serena Hotel.

[...] “SMEs [small and medium enterprises] lack documented long-term visions, strategic business plans, adequate capitalisation, while others are involved in unscrupulous practices and have poor customer care,” Enterprise Uganda’s director of business advisory services, Rosemary Mutyabule said. “That is why the association will benefit much from the training,” Mutyabule said. 

Source: David Muwanga, New Vision / allAfrica.com, 25 May 2009