Category Archives: Economic Benefits

Sanitation investments in Ghana: An ethnographic investigation of the role of tenure security, land ownership and livelihoods

Sanitation investments in Ghana: An ethnographic investigation of the role of tenure security, land ownership and livelihoods. BMC Public Health, July 2016.  Authors: Y. Awunyo-Akaba, J. Awunyo-Akaba, et. al.

Background – Ghana’s low investment in household sanitation is evident from the low rates of improved sanitation. This study analysed how land ownership, tenancy security and livelihood patterns are related to sanitation investments in three adjacent rural and peri-urban communities in a district close to Accra, Ghana’s capital.

Methods – Qualitative data was gathered for this comparative ethnographic study over seven months, (June, 2011-January, 2012) using an average of 43 (bi-weekly) participant observation per community and 56 in-depth interviews. Detailed observational data from study communities were triangulated with multiple interview material and contextual knowledge on social structures, history of settlement, land use, livelihoods, and access to and perceptions about sanitation.

Results – This study shows that the history of settlement and land ownership issues are highly correlated with people’s willingness and ability to invest in household sanitation across all communities. The status of being a stranger i.e. migrant in the area left some populations without rights over the land they occupied and with low incentives to invest in sanitation, while indigenous communities were challenged by the increasing appropriation of their land for commercial enterprises and for governmental development projects.

Interview responses suggest that increasing migrant population and the high demand for housing in the face of limited available space has resulted in general unwillingness and inability to establish private sanitation facilities in the communities. The increasing population has also created high demand for cheap accommodation, pushing tenants to accept informal tenancy agreements that provided for poor sanitation facilities.

In addition, poor knowledge of tenancy rights leaves tenants in no position to demand sanitation improvements and therefore landlords feel no obligation or motivation to provide and maintain domestic sanitation facilities.

Conclusions – The study states that poor land rights, the history of settlements, in-migration and insecure tenancy are key components that are associated with local livelihoods and investments in private sanitation in rapidly changing rural and peri-urban communities of Ghana. Sanitation policy makers and programme managers must acknowledge that these profound local, ethnic and economic forces are shaping people’s abilities and motivations for sanitation investments.

Fecal sludge management is the elephant in the room, but we have developed tools to help

Fecal sludge management is the elephant in the room, but we have developed tools to help | Source: World Bank Water Blog, July 6, 2016 |

Recently developed Fecal Sludge Management tools to help address this important, but often-ignored, urban sanitation issue.

In the rapidly expanding cities of the developing world, sanitation is of ever growing importance – more people mean more exposure to fecal pollution, and therefore a greater risk to public health.  The widely accepted solution, taught to sanitary engineers worldwide, is to flush human waste into sewers which take it to large, centralized treatment facilities.

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Discharging fecal sludge in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

This requires expensive infrastructure, a plentiful water supply, skilled operators and a substantial and reliable stream of operating funds. This means that in most low- and middle-income country cities, the sewerage service is only available to a small and decreasing proportion of the population, as investments cannot keep up with the explosive urban growth.

Read the complete article.

Testing the Implementation Potential of Resource Recovery and Reuse Business Models

Testing the Implementation Potential of Resource Recovery and Reuse Business Models, 2016. CGIAR.

In many developing countries, the sanitation sector is highly subsidized by public sector agencies which has resulted in inadequate and inequitable provision of waste management services. The historical reliance on public sector provision has partly prevented the development of markets in sanitation services, including resource recovery and reuse (RRR).

A paradigm shift in the sanitation sector towards cost recovery is increasingly being supported by many donors pushing for private sector participation and waste-to-wealth programs. This development advocates for a shift from waste ‘treatment for disposal’ to ‘treatment for reuse’ as the latter offers options for business development and cost recovery for the sanitation sector.

Although the potential benefits from waste reuse are apparent, it is becoming increasingly important that potential investors are given sound information on its feasibility and positive return on investments (RoI) be they in monetary or non-monetary (e.g., social or environmental) terms. This guideline presents a detailed methodological framework that can be used for the feasibility assessment of RRR business models in the context of developing countries.

Its purpose is to support public and private sectors as well as investors in determining the potential viability of RRR in a particular location and context. The guideline was developed in the context of four cities (Lima, Bangalore, Kampala and Hanoi) and later in other cities in Ghana and Sri Lanka, which can all be considered as relatively data scarce environments; this influenced data gathering and the eventually suggested methodology.

Fecal Sludge Management Tools – World Bank

Fecal Sludge Management Tools – World Bank

In many cities, the emptying, conveyance, treatment and disposal of fecal sludge has largely been left to unregulated private, informal service providers. FSM_header

To address this neglected but crucial part of urban sanitation, the World Bank has developed some tools to diagnose fecal sludge management (FSM) status and to guide decision-making.

These tools don’t provide pre-defined solutions, as the many variables and stakeholders involved demand interventions specific in each city, and should be seen within the context of integrated urban water management.

Link to the FSM Tools website.

Approaches to Capital Financing and Cost Recovery in Sewerage Schemes Implemented in India: Lessons Learned and Approaches for Future Schemes

Approaches to Capital Financing and Cost Recovery in Sewerage Schemes Implemented in India: Lessons Learned and Approaches for Future Schemes, 2016. Water and Sanitation Program.

This report aims to highlight some of the successful financial management practices adopted by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in India when implementing sewerage schemes. The findings are presented in two parts – the first part of the report discusses the approach adopted for capital financing of sewerage schemes in the state of Tamil Nadu, and the second part presents the findings from a review of the operational expenditure and revenue generation of various ULBs across the country.

The aim of the report is to share successful capital financing and cost recovery practices adopted by ULBs in India and enable improvement in provisioning of sewerage systems (only where feasible and economically viable, typically only in larger towns with a population greater than 50,000) and ensure availability of sufficient funds for proper Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of the schemes implemented.

 

Sometimes you don’t make enough money to buy food: An analysis of South African street waste pickers income

Sometimes you don’t make enough money to buy food: An analysis of
South African street waste pickers income:, 2016. Economic Research Southern Africa Brief.

Authors: By JMM Viljoen, PF Blaauw and CJ Schenck

Local governments however, can play an important role in protecting and enhancing the income-earning opportunities of street waste pickers. Local governments should create an environment in which higher quantities of quality waste are made accessible to the street waste pickers.

One such initiative is the ‘separation of waste at source’ initiative. The benefits of a well-considered system of ‘separation at source’ will provide street waste pickers access to bigger volumes of semi-sorted waste, as well as higher quality waste which will enhance their income-earning opportunities.

Local governments should further facilitate infrastructure such as Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), sorting facilities, and more efficient BBCs to assist street waste pickers to collect and sell higher volumes of waste. It is difficult for street waste pickers to sort and clean the waste properly without a place or space to sort the waste. Therefore, there is an urgent need for sorting and storage space to enable street waste pickers to sort the waste they have collected properly as better-sorted and higher quality waste reach higher prices.

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The Knowledge Base for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal Targets on Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene

The Knowledge Base for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal Targets on Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 536; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060536

Authors: Guy Hutton and Claire Chase

Safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are fundamental to an improved standard of living. Globally, 91% of households used improved drinking water sources in 2015, while for improved sanitation it is 68%. Wealth disparities are stark, with rural populations, slum dwellers and marginalized groups lagging significantly behind. Service coverage is significantly lower when considering the new water and sanitation targets under the sustainable development goals (SDGs) which aspire to a higher standard of ‘safely managed’ water and sanitation.

Lack of access to WASH can have an economic impact as much as 7% of Gross Domestic Product, not including the social and environmental consequences. Research points to significant health and socio-economic consequences of poor nutritional status, child growth and school performance caused by inadequate WASH. Groundwater over-extraction and pollution of surface water bodies have serious impacts on water resource availability and biodiversity, while climate change exacerbates the health risks of water insecurity.

A significant literature documents the beneficial impacts of WASH interventions, and a growing number of impact evaluation studies assess how interventions are optimally financed, implemented and sustained. Many innovations in behavior change and service delivery offer potential for scaling up services to meet the SDGs.