On World Toilet Day, IRC presents its ideas how to ‘systemically change sanitation in cities’. A new working paper marks one of the first steps in finding answers on how to reform a sanitation sector, which is failing a large part of the urban population.
Convergence of human and solid waste in a stormwater drain in Mumbai, India (Photo by Giacomo Galli/ IRC).
While more people in cities have access to toilets than in villages, both wastewater and solid waste remains largely untreated. Take Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh: 99 percent of the population use toilets but according to Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) a staggering 98 percent of their waste is dumped untreated in the enviroment .
On World Toilet Day, IRC presents its ideas how to tackle sanitation in cities. A new working paper “Towards Systemic Change in Urban Sanitation“, marks one of the first steps in finding answers on how to reform a sanitation sector, which is failing a large part of the urban population. The problems in urban sanitation range from lack of facilities to lack of public funding and messy politics in urban governance.The root causes are systemic and technology alone is not the solution.
BioFizz, a biological product formulated to treat septic tanks as well as urban sanitation systems, 2014.
BioFizz is a biological sanitation treatment product intended for use in both septic tank systems, as well as conventional urban lavatories
BioFizz is a biological product developed by CSIR Biosciences, intended for use in both septic tank systems, as well as conventional urban lavatories. Septic tank systems are widely used in various parts of South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa as well as in various other developing countries. Most urban populations in these countries are provided with septic tanks; although in some other less developed countries, up to 45 % still use traditional pit latrines.
The septic tank system provides a cost-effective on-site sanitation mechanism, and is the most cost-effective, and likely the only practical approach for securing the health benefits associated with hygienic disposal of excreta. Although its use is advantageous, numerous limitations of the use of septic tank systems have been reported.
The BioFizz product can also be applied as a biological alternative in normal domestic water borne sewage systems, where environmentally aware customers can use the product to reduce the burden on sewage treatment facilities and ensure cleaner effluent traps and pipes. On-site, point-of-source treatments of these septic tanks and urban lavatory systems are required in order to suitably treat sewage generated from households. This form of sanitation is also being adopted by suburban lifestyle estates and game lodges across Africa.
A team of instructors led by Christoph Lüthi from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) are eager to teach you how to plan urban sanitation systems.
Together with Sandec/Eawag, EPFL has designed a 5 week online course introducing sector planning tools and frameworks such as Sanitation 21, Community-Led Urban Environmental Sanitation (CLUES) and the Sanitation Systems Approach.
The course consists of lecture videos (English, with French subtitles), practical exercises, a homework quiz and a final exam. The questions and explanations for the practical exercises, the homework quiz and the final exam are offered in English and French. Watch the introduction video.
The course “Planning & Design of Sanitation Systems and Technologies” runs from 13 October to 16 November 2014.
It is the 2nd MOOC (massive open online course) of the series on “WASH in developing countries”. The first MOOC was on “Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage“.
By Prakhar Jain (email) and Aditya Bhol
The run-up to elect a new government brought sanitation to the fore of public conversation in India. Last month, Prime Minister Modi declared sanitation as a national priority, announcing ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, a sanitation programme dedicated to creating clean India by 2019 as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Whether or not this plan succeeds may depend on whether it is simply a repackaged programme such as the ‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan’ that was focused entirely on building toilets in rural India, or a renewed commitment to improve sanitation in both the rural and urban areas. As India urbanizes, demand for effective and sustainable sanitation services will increase. India, with 11% of the world’s urban population currently, accounts for 46% of global urban open defecation [i]. While other developing countries like China, Vietnam, and Peru have already achieved open defecation free (ODF) status in urban areas, India still lags behind. The situation is particularly abysmal in small cities (population below a million) where close to 17% of the population defecates in the open as compared to 4% in large cities (population greater than a million) [ii]. The 2011 national census has shown that these small cities represent more than 91% of total urban open defecation in the country. If we are to catch up, the key is to immediately turn our attention towards small and medium-sized cities.
SNV has produced a short video on the harsh reality of current urban sanitation practices in Bangladesh. Of course they want to change this. That is at least the intention of SNV’s recently launched “Modernising urban sanitation in Southern Bangladesh” project focussing on market-based solutions.
WSUP believes that the issue of gender inclusion is fundamental to effective WASH service provision. To mark International Women’s Day and to recognise the importance of this issue, we have produced a new Practice Note which provides a contextual background on gender issues in WASH, before illustrating what a gender-inclusive approach looks like in practice. This Practice Note is based on direct experience of communal sanitation in Maputo (Mozambique) and Naivasha (Kenya), and demonstrates how the concerns of women and girls can be addressed at every step of programme planning and implementation.
This is a free resource and is available for download by clicking on the image above or visiting our online resource library.
Posted in Africa, Publications, Resources, Sanitary Facilities, Uncategorized
Tagged communal sanitation, gender, inclusive sanitation, International Women's Day, Kenya, Maputo, Mozambique, Naivasha, sanitation, urban sanitation
India, urban sanitation, and the toilet challenge, 2013.
Elledge, M.F., McClatchey, M. RTI International.
This research brief builds upon a literature review and stakeholder interviews in India on urban sanitation to examine the public policy landscape for sanitation innovation in the country. India ranks low in terms of sanitation coverage; the country experiences very high rates of open defecation and significant use of unimproved toilets. The majority of fecal sludge goes untreated into waterways in urban areas. India’s demographic trends show rapid urban growth, both geographically and in terms of population, which is also expanding the gap in access to improved sanitation in urban areas. Adequate government funding and policy implementation is lacking.
The past focus on centralized sewerage systems and simple on-site sanitation is not an acceptable default option, nor is it technically feasible or financially viable given growth patterns. Groundbreaking new technology, management, and operational models are required to solve the sanitation challenge at scale. Recent attention from the donor community, the private sector, and others brings focus to using innovation to solve the sanitation challenge. This review highlights that urban sanitation is under-researched. More work is required to spur funding, inform technology development, and support the policy-enabling environment for bringing in new approaches to improved urban sanitation.