Category Archives: Economic Benefits

From new evidence to better practice: finding the sanitation sweet spot – Waterlines, October 2017

From new evidence to better practice: finding the sanitation sweet spot – Waterlines, October 2017.

A growing body of evidence shows that there is a strong causal link between exposure to poor sanitation and detrimental health, human capital, and economic outcomes. At the same time a number of recent impact evaluations of specific sanitation interventions show mixed results. waterlines.jpg

This heterogeneity in findings raises the questions of whether and how the demonstrated benefits of improved sanitation can be consistently achieved through regular project implementation.

This paper attempts to show that the benefits of improved sanitation can be consistently achieved through investing in interventions that address the drivers of latrine use and by divesting from interventions that do not address the drivers of latrine use.

Read the complete article.

RWSN webinars on WASH financing

RWSN is delighted to announce a new mini-series of webinars (on-line seminars) . This mini-series will address issues around financing rural water supply services, but also on how to make RWSN work better for you as part of a new strategy for the network.

Each session will be bilingual, with one webinar in English as well as another language (French or Spanish) as we are trying to cater for a wide and varied audience. The webinars in English start at 2.30 pm Paris time/ 1.30 pm London time/ 8.30 am Washington DC time (check your local time here):

  • Tuesday, 14th November, 2017: “Grown up” finance for rural water? We all agree that there is a need for more money in order ensure sustainable rural water service provision and to reach SDG 6.1. To give an idea of the scale of the challenge: (i) Reaching SDG 6 targets 1 and 2 only requires an estimated 114 billion US$/year for capital investments –  three times what is currently spent. (ii) Capital maintenance of existing water services is estimated to cost around 1.5 times the amount needed for capital investments and (iii) the amount needed for direct support of rural WASH services is at an absolute minimum 1 US$ per person per year. But where will this money come from? Join us to explore “grown up” financing for rural water and the financial bankability of rural water services. (Register here) 
  • Thursday, 16th November, 2017: A Dollar per year keeps rural water services here? The costs of direct support. Rural water service providers, regardless of whether they are community-based organisations, small public utilities or private entrepreneurs, need direct support and supervision in order to provide good quality water services. Local government commonly plays an important role in providing such direct support services. But what do these direct support services cost? Join us to explore and discuss the costs of direct support to rural water services. (Register here)
  • RWSN – Rural Water Supply Network
  • RWSN Website: http://www.rural-water-supply.net/en/
  • Join the Network: http://dgroups.org/RWSN

 

Converting Waste Toilet Paper Into Electricity

Converting Waste Toilet Paper Into Electricity. Water Online, September 12, 2017.

First techno-economic analysis of the ultimate waste recycling concept

Chemists at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Sustainable Chemistry research priority area, together with colleagues from the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development of Utrecht University, have published the first techno-economic analysis of converting waste toilet paper into electricity. energy

In the journal Energy Technology, they propose a two-step process and calculate a cost per kWh comparable to that of residential photovoltaic installations.

Waste toilet paper (WTP) is not often considered an asset. In fact, most people usually prefer not to think about it at all. Yet it is a rich source of carbon, containing 70–80 wt% of cellulose on a dry basis.

On average, people in Western Europe produce 10–14 kg waste toilet paper per person per year. Accumulating in municipal sewage filters, it is a modest yet significant part of municipal waste.

The ultimate waste has a negative cost
At the same time, waste toilet paper is a businessman’s dream because it is one of the few raw materials with a negative cost. While this may vary across countries and regions, in the Netherlands wastewater treatment facilities pay around 70 €/ton to get rid of WTP. It is therefore an extremely attractive resource since people will actually pay you to take it off their hands.

Read the complete article.

The ‘S word:’ Is it time for the sanitation sector to reconsider subsidies?

The ‘S word:’ Is it time for the sanitation sector to reconsider subsidies? Devex, September 2017.

STOCKHOLM — After nearly three decades of broad agreement that hardware subsidies alone do not work in the rural sanitation sector, the practice of using financial incentives to encourage people to build latrines appears to be making a comeback — causing old arguments to flare up again.

The debate over whether or not to use subsidies for sanitation has resurfaced in recent years as governments — as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene experts — grapple with how to deal with the world’s looming sanitation crisis.

Recent statistics reveal that 2.3 billion people do not have access to a decent toilet and many still defecate in the open. Furthermore, in some countries, levels of sanitation access are declining — and this trend is likely to continue as growing populations and increasing urbanization put new strain on the sector’s limited budget.

Experts agree that a radical rethink of how sanitation programs are financed and implemented is needed if the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals — which call for universal access to basic sanitation by 2030 — are to be met.

Read the complete article.

The new economy of excrement. Nature, September 13, 2017

The new economy of excrement. Nature, September 13, 2017

Entrepreneurs are finding profits turning human waste into fertiliser, fuel and even food.

On the outskirts of Kigali, Rwanda, septic trucks full of human excrement bump and slosh their way up orange dirt roads to their final destination: the Nduba landfill. Until recently, the trucks would spill their contents into giant open pits.

Will Swanson for Nature Semi-dried sludge on its way to becoming fuel at the Pivot plant in Rwanda

Will Swanson for Nature. Semi-dried sludge on its way to becoming fuel at the Pivot plant in Rwanda.

But since 2015, workers in green jumpsuits have greeted them outside a row of sheds and plastic-roofed greenhouses, ready to process the faecal sludge into a dry, powdery fuel.

The facility is called Pivot, and its founder is Ashley Muspratt, a sanitation engineer who lived in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda for more than seven years before moving back to the United States last year. Muspratt insists that Pivot is not a treatment plant.

It’s a business. Its product powers local industries such as cement and brick plants. “I describe us as dual sanitation and renewable-fuel company,” Muspratt says. “Our model really is to build factories.”

Muspratt is part of a growing band of entrepreneurs trying to address one of the biggest challenges in public health — poor sanitation — and to turn a profit doing it. According to a report published by the World Health Organization and United Nations children’s charity Unicef in July, 2.8 billion people — 38% of the world’s population — have no access to sewers and deposit their waste in tanks and pit latrines (see ‘Sanitation across nations’).

Read the complete article.

How business can help end the global water and sanitation crisis.

How business can help end the global water and sanitation crisis. WaterAid, August 2017.

Our new report shows that collaboration between business and the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector could drive substantial progress towards reaching everyone, everywhere with taps and toilets by 2030. Ruth Romer, Private Sector Advisor at WaterAid, introduces the potential it found.

Elizabeth, 54, with two of her grandsons, Papua New Guinea.

Elizabeth, 54, with two of her grandsons, Papua New Guinea.

No one need explain the true value of water to 54-year-old Elizabeth and her family in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. She spends more than half her meagre salary on buying drinking water from a local water vendor, as she knows the water from the nearby lake could make her unwell, unproductive and unable to provide for her family.

Read the complete article.

Why WASH organizations need to hire and grow business-savvy leaders

Ghana_Sama Sama Launch_IMG_3045 (1)

Valerie Labi, iDE WASH Director in Ghana, speaks at the launch of Sama Sama, a sanitation social enterprise in northern Ghana.

By Yi Wei, iDE Global WASH Director

Every organization knows the pain and disruption caused by bad hiring decisions, or waiting for an employee to develop the necessary skills to excel in a position he or she is not a fit for. I work for iDE, a nonprofit organization that has been implementing market-based development programs for over 30 years. When it comes to successfully managing a sanitation marketing program, hiring business-savvy program leadership is critical.

If we truly want to drive progress towards the U.N.’s goal to “ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all,” I believe these four things should be considered by any organization working in WASH:

  1. Invest in recruiting talent with business acumen.
  2. Identify and develop business leadership skills.
  3. Incentivize potential leaders competitively, taking into account the opportunity cost candidates face forgoing potentially lucrative private sector positions, and not just the prevailing wages of the nonprofit labor market.
  4. Incubate and foster an organizational focus on training and knowledge sharing.

Dive deeper into the four strategies for building a business-savvy team.