WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Fecal Sludge Management (FSM)

Issue 176| Jan 30, 2015 | Focus on Fecal Sludge Management (FSM)

This issue highlights the recent conference on fecal sludge management in Vietnam; many of the abstracts from the conference are now available. Also included are new reports and articles from IRC; Water For People; the International Institute for Environment and Development; and country reports from Senegal, Vietnam, and Zambia. Also included are links to FSM tools and innovative organizations working on FSM issues.


FSM3, 3rd International Faecal Sludge Management Conference, Hanoi, Vietnam, January 18–21, 2015. Conference website | Conference abstracts page set up by SuSanA
The purpose of this conference was to present innovative solutions to FSM issues. Also, Jonathan Annis from WASHplus made a presentation on low-cost technologies to improve traditional sludge practices in Madagascar. Link to WASHplus presentation.


Achieving Systemic Change in Faecal Sludge Management, 2015. G Galli, IRC. Link
FSM is a critical element of sanitation in dense urban centers, but poor practices are causing disease outbreaks. The multiple actors, institutions, and organizations involved in urban sanitation can address the problem by acting in coordination to shift the focus from building infrastructure to providing and maintaining safe services under government leadership. This briefing note proposes a process for achieving transformational change.

Strengthening Public Sector Enabling Environments to Support Sanitation Enterprises, 2014. Water For People. Link
Water For People is piloting sanitation business approaches and seeks to discover under what conditions these approaches are successful. Public sector influence is one condition that has the potential to facilitate or hinder private sector sanitation endeavors. This study aims to understand: 1) how the public sector enabling environment can facilitate or hinder low-cost sanitation enterprises and 2) how NGOs can effectively engage the public sector to support sanitation businesses. Data were collected from Water For People staff and partners in nine countries, and summary case studies were coded to identify prevailing themes.

Triggering Increased City-Level Public Finance for Pro-Poor Sanitation Improvements: The Role of Political Economy and Fiscal Instruments, 2014. J Boex.Link
The goal of this background paper is to provide a general framework for understanding the political economy and fiscal determinants of sanitation service provision by urban local governments. The paper will review existing literature to begin answering several questions: what do we expect to influence spending on local sanitation? Do different fiscal instruments have an impact on expenditure levels? Do increased local revenues lead to increased expenditures over the long term? What role do different stakeholders play in determining expenditure levels?

Realizing the Right to Sanitation in Deprived Urban Communities: Meeting the Challenges of Collective Action, Coproduction, Affordability, and Housing Tenure.World Development, Apr 2015. G McGranahan. Link
Serious institutional challenges are associated with low-cost sanitation in deprived urban communities. These include a collective action challenge, a coproduction challenge, a challenge of affordability versus acceptability, and a challenge related to housing tenure. This paper examines these challenges, revealing both the importance of community-driven sanitation improvement and its difficulties.

Faecal Sludge to Fuel: Revenue to Improve Sanitation Services. Eawag News, July 2014. M Gold. Link
Cities in sub-Saharan Africa grapple with the management of fecal sludge from onsite sanitation technologies. A lack of funding for sanitation services results in the dumping of fecal sludge directly in the urban environment. Revenues generated from using dried fecal sludge as a combustible fuel in industries could provide an incentive to improve fecal sludge collection, transport, and treatment services.

Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) Book: Systems Approach for Implementation and Operation, 2014. L Strande. Link
This is the first book dedicated to fecal sludge management. It 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 fecal sludge management service chain, from the collection and transport of sludge and treatment options, to the final end use or disposal of treated sludge.

Finding Short- and Long-Term Solutions to the Developing World’s Sanitation Crisis. NPR, Jan 2015. B Hardzin. Link
Jan-Willem Rosenboom is a senior program officer for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He says the organization realized it was effective at community-level work but did not have a good way to deliver services on a large scale. He also argues that throwing money at the world’s water and sanitation system won’t solve the problem.


SANIPATH Rapid Assessment ToolWebsite
The SaniPath Rapid Assessment Tool aims to assess exposure to fecal contamination in urban, low-income settings. The tool is under development by the Center for Global Safe Water at Emory University with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The tool guides users in collecting much needed data on exposure to fecal contamination in low income, urban neighborhoods, and synthesizes these data for community, government, and service providers’ decision-making.

Sanitation Service Chain and Service Delivery Assessment ScorecardLink
This Water and Sanitation Research Brief describes the Sanitation Service Chain which sets out the interlinked steps required to deliver urban sanitation and the Service Delivery Assessment Scorecard which analyzes the enabling environment, the level and management of budgets and other inputs needed to develop adequate fecal sludge management services, and the factors contributing to service sustainability.

Diagnostics and Guidelines for Fecal Sludge Management in Poor Urban Areas – Link
A presentation by Isabell Blackett at the 3rd International Faecal Sludge Management Conference.

Urban Sanitation Status Index: A Tool for Prioritizing InterventionsLink
Page 30 has an abstract of a presentation on the Urban Sanitation Status Index (USSI) which was developed to assess sanitation status at a neighborhood level. The USSI acts as a strategic tool for sanitation managers and decision makers in Maputo.


Innovation in Urban Sanitation: FaME and U-ACT Research in Sub-Saharan Africa, 2015. Eawag. Video
In sub-Saharan Africa sanitation needs of the majority of the urban population are met by onsite sanitation technologies. These technologies can provide sustainable and more affordable sanitation compared to sewer-based systems. The FaME (Faecal Management Enterprises) andU-ACT projects researched innovative solutions to increase access to sustainable sanitation services.

Uganda: Health Risk Assessment along the Wastewater and Faecal Sludge Management Chain of Kampala, 2015. S Furimann. Video
This video is an assessment of health risks along the major wastewater channel in Kampala, Uganda. The visualization brings to bear the context of wastewater reuse activities in the Nakivubo wetlands and emphasizes interconnections to disease transmission pathways.

SuSanA Playlist – This playlist contains all filmed presentations of the Second International Faecal Sludge Management Conference in Durban, South Africa, October 2012 (46 total). Link


Senegal: Report of the Situational Analysis of Fecal Sludge Management Sector in Tambacounda, Executive Summary, 2014. USAID. Link
In Senegal, the improvement of the lives of people through efficient and appropriate sanitation is a priority for the government and its development partners. However, political and strategic directions of the government have long advocated “all for the sewer” to the detriment of individual draining systems, even though about 75 percent of the population uses individual draining systems. The National Sanitation Office of Senegal continues to make significant efforts to help improve the offerings of fecal sludge management services.

Vietnam: Rural Sanitation Rapid Market Scan Report, 2014. Population Services International (PSI). Link
Leveraging PSI Vietnam’s understanding of rural markets and consumers, the rapid sanitation market scan was designed to identify practical insights from rural households and community influencers, as well as rural supply chain actors linked to sanitation product and service provision. This report describes the market scan findings and offers concrete recommendations to inform future programs.

Zambia: FSM Services in Lusaka – Moving Up the Excreta Management Ladder, 2014. Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor. Link
Despite most residents of African and Asian cities depending on non-sewered sanitation, only a handful of sanitation authorities have addressed the management of fecal sludge from these systems. This Practice Note describes the launch of an FSM service in the peri-urban area of Kanyama, Zambia.



WASHplus Weeklies highlight topics such as Urban WASH, Household Air Pollution, Innovation, Household Water Treatment and Storage, Hand Washing, Integration, and more. If you would like to feature your organization’s materials in upcoming issues, please send them to Dan Campbell, WASHplus Knowledge Resources Specialist, at dacampbell@fhi360.org.


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