Tag Archives: private sector participation

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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The business of the honey-suckers in Bengaluru (India) – new IRC publication

A new IRC paper explores some contributions being made by honey-sucker tanker operators — that renders a small-scale sanitation service informally and within the private sector — on waste (faecal) extraction and, in some cases, reuse. Operating outside the legal framework of waste management, this paper provides preliminary insight into the limitations and potentials of the ‘honey-sucker business’ as a sanitation service model, based on selected experiences in Bengaluru (India).

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Productive sanitation – the honey suckers of Bengaluru

Indigenously developed honey sucker in Bengaluru (Bangalore), south India. Photo: Vishwanath Sankrathai

The dumping of untreated faecal sludge in urban areas has been described as an ecological time bomb. In African cities, typically less than 15 percent of residents are served by centralised sewage systems, and figures for Asian countries are not much better. Yet there is a growing number of examples where re-use of urban faecal waste as fertiliser is linking city households and peri-urban farmers in a chain that provides both affordable sanitation and soil fertility. A recent study of sanitation services provided in Bengaluru (Bangalore), in southern India, suggests such approaches deserve to be legalised and scaled up within an appropriate legal framework to ensure the safety of farm workers and consumers.

Read the full article in the New Agriculturist, July 2012

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Commercial productive use of faecal sludge in Bengaluru, India

Waste is a resource in the wrong place. People who have no sewer connection do go to the toilet though urban authorities seem to think differently given the neglect of the multitude of sanitation self-service models that have emerged in many cities.

During a webinar, which was organised on 2 May 2012, Joep Verhagen of the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre presented the results of a case study, which investigates a model that is based on the productive use of faecal sludge by farmers in and around Bengaluru (Bangalore), the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. This particular service has emerged without any technical or financial support.

For more IRC webinars go to: www.irc.nl/page/69625

Innovative Private Sector Participation in Water & Sanitation

Bringing Water to Where It is Needed Most: Innovative Private Sector Participation in Water & Sanitation, 2011. World Bank.

In this Smart Lessons brochure we share an innovative and diverse range of initiatives from across the World Bank Group. The variety of lessons and experiences in this publication is inspiring, ranging from the Water Footprints Network that supports businesses improving their water use efficiency to the innovative financing mechanisms enabling the expansion of rural water access in Kenya.

Water For People gets US$ 5.6 million Gates grant for Sanitation as a Business program

Denver-based charity Water For People has received a US$ 5.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their Sanitation as a Business program.

The four-year grant allows Water For People to test and scale-up sustainable sanitation services in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The program will combine profit incentives for small local companies and income generation programs for poor households and schools. The aim is bring about a shift from “unsustainable, subsidy-based sanitation programs toward sustainable, profitable sanitation services”. To bring about this shift, the program will employ the business principles of market research and segmentation as well as comprehensive community involvement and evaluation of results.

Water For People first began experimenting with Sanitation as a Business principles in Malawi, Africa in 2008. Since then, sanitation entrepreneurs have developed ongoing maintenance relationships with households to service over 1,000 latrines.

Read more about Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Read the full press release (Peter Mason, Water For People, 30 Aug 2010)

ADB President Calls on Governments, Private Sector to Do More to Address Sanitation Issue

Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda has called for regional governments and the private sector to do more to help the 1.8 billion people in Asia who lack access to adequate sanitation. “There is urgency to this moment,” Mr. Kuroda said in opening remarks at the Sanitation Dialogue at ADB’s Manila Headquarters. He added that the issue of sanitation “poses enormous challenges to Asia’s environment and public health.”

[...] Mr. Kuroda stressed that sanitation, like water supply, cannot be sustained on government budgets alone and that more needs to be done to attract private sector investment. “Key to a change in strategy is the consideration of sanitation as a business,” Mr. Kuroda said. “The economic returns of good sanitation have been demonstrated universally and we must find clever ways of translating them into effective and sustainable solutions for Asia.”

ADB has committed 20% of its Water Financing Partnership Facility to sanitation, which will help provide 200 million people with sustainable access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation. Mr. Kuroda cited successful national sanitation initiatives in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Viet Nam. [...] “Our annual average lending pipeline for sanitation has increased [...] to $710 million for 2008-2010,” Mr. Kuroda said, adding that as a proportion of ADB’s overall funding commitments, water and sanitation projects are expected to increase from an average of 8.5% in 2003-07 to about 17% in 2008-10.

Source: ADB,03 Mar 2009