Category Archives: Economic Benefits

Tanzania – Scientists keen to change human waste to produce fertilizer and charcoal

Scientists keen to change human waste to produce fertilizer and charcoal |Source: Daily News, April 17 2016 |

The Ifakara Health Institute (I.H.I) in collaboration with Bremen Overseas Research Development Association (BORDA) in Tanzania, have come up with an innovative human waste treatment and management technology that finally makes human feces a risk-free resource for producing fuel and fertilizers. fecalsludge

The brains behind this human feces treatment project are Dr. Jacqueline Thomas and Mr. Emmanuel Mrimi from I.H.I and Ms. Jutta Camargo from BORDA. It is an innovation that has come at the right time, and badly needed by cities like Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. In a big way, this project promises a sanitation challenge solution Mathare valley and Dar es Salaam residents can benefit from.

“With the significant reduction of pathogenic microorganisms”, Mr. Mrimi reassures you, “the treated human waste is safe. Users of these products do not put their health on the line.” The innovative Decentralized Waste Water Treatment Solutions (DEWATS) project is treating human waste in three different areas in Dar es Salaam. The project is supported by a grant from Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) which is part of an overall investment in innovation in Tanzania by UK Aid.

Read the complete article.

Studies on container-based sanitation

This bibliography on container-based sanitation will be updated as new reports and studies are published.

2015 Studies

User perceptions of and willingness to pay for household container-based sanitation services: experience from Cap Haitien, HaitiEnviron Urban. 2015 Oct;27(2):525-540. Authors: Russel K, Tilmans S, et al.

Household-level container-based sanitation (CBS) services may help address the persistent challenge of providing effective, affordable sanitation services for which low-income urban households are willing to pay. Little is known, however, about user perceptions of and demand for household CBS services. This study presents the results of a pilot CBS service programme in Cap Haitien, Haiti. One hundred and eighteen households were randomly selected to receive toilets and a twice-weekly collection service.

The results from this study suggest that, in the context of urban Haiti, household CBS systems have the potential to satisfy many residents’ desire for safe, convenient and modern sanitation services.

Container-based sanitation: assessing costs and effectiveness of excreta management in Cap Haitien, HaitiEnviron Urban. 2015 Apr;27(1):89-104. Authors: Tilmans S, Russel K, et al.

Container-based sanitation (CBS) – in which wastes are captured in sealable containers that are then transported to treatment facilities – is an alternative sanitation option in urban areas where on-site sanitation and sewerage are infeasible. This paper presents the results of a pilot household CBS service in Cap Haitien, Haiti. The CBS service yielded an approximately 3.5-fold decrease in the unmanaged share of faeces produced, and nearly eliminated the reported use of open defecation and “flying toilets” among service recipients. The costs of this pilot small-scale service were higher than those of large-scale waterborne sewerage, but economies of scale have the potential to reduce CBS costs over time.

WASTE -A documentary by Parasher Baruah

After winning a fellowship with InfoChange India, Parasher Baruah has directed a documentary film about the rag pickers of Dharavi . The film was selected to be screened at the Munich Documentary Film Festival in May 2009.

Filmed over a period of eight months in Dharavi, WASTE explores the importance of the rag pickers’ role in managing the city’s waste and the challenges that these people face every day. The film follows three adolescent rag pickers, Sameer, Santosh, and Salman, as they go about their daily lives and interviews other rag pickers and residents of Dharavi in the process.

WASTE leaves a powerful impact on its audience and prompts viewers to rethink the way they use and dispose of trash. The film continues to be screened at various schools and events to bring attention to the living conditions of rag pickers and to help audiences gain perspective on how their patterns of consumption impact the environment

The Next Generation of Sanitation Businesses

The Next Generation of Sanitation Businesses | Source: The Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business, April 4 2016 |

In the past few years, governments and the development community have seriously stepped up their efforts to tackle the sanitation crisis.

Two emblematic initiatives are the launch of the Clean India mission (‘Swachh Bharat’) by Indian Prime Minister Modi in 2014 – which aims to provide 560 million people with a toilet by 2019 – and the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation started in 2011, which led to key technology innovations in the sanitation and waste management space. sanitation

Yet, are these efforts sufficient? The 2015 sanitation target of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals was missed by nearly 700 million people – the largest gap among all MDG targets – and there are still a staggering 2.4 billion people globally who do not have access to improved sanitation, with dramatic consequences on health, life expectancy, educational opportunities, environmental quality, and economic growth.

One piece in particular that has been critically missing is the lack of profitable business models for developing countries. These could make a significant difference by ensuring sustainable growth of sanitation markets, attracting investments to the sector, and ensuring a better match between products and demand.

A number of pioneers have started to develop innovative market-based solutions. Hystra has mapped and reviewed over 100 of these efforts, and visited 12 of the most promising initiatives. We are sharing some insights of this research here.

In dense urban areas, practitioners agree that sewer networks are the desirable long-term solution. However, the reality is that municipalities are not managing to cope with fast-paced urbanization. The toilet options for slum dwellers are often limited to poorly maintained collective toilets, or open defecation in the gutter.

In 2013, a team of innovators – from the design firm IDEO, the UK non-profit WSUP and Unilever –designed a new ‘portable toilet’ solution for dense urban areas. The latter consists of a modern-looking home toilet with a sealed container, which needs to be emptied every two to three days by a dedicated service team.

A social enterprise, Clean Team, was launched to promote and run this service in Kumasi, Ghana. Similar projects emerged in Peru (X-Runner) and Haiti (SOIL), and all came up with the same finding: families are ready to pay high fees (up to $10 per month) for the service, which therefore has the potential to be turned into a profitable business opportunity.

Read the complete article.

Waste not: How businesses can turn a profit from poo

Waste not: How businesses can turn a profit from poo | Source: CGIAR, Mar 10, 2016 |
By Miriam Otoo, Krishna Chaitanya Rao, Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy, and Marianne Gadeberg

A clean and private toilet is something a lot of us take for granted, but for thousands of people living in the slums of Rwandan capital Kigali, safe sanitation was long a luxury out of reach.

REC Kigali

Rwanda Environment Care (REC) constructs eco-san toilets in public places in Kigali. Photo Credit: Eugene Dusingizumuremyi.

In the past, these communities had no other option than to use either pit latrines, often full and overflowing, or flying toilets, essentially plastic bags serving as single-use toilets and then tossed to the wayside. Naturally, the absence of proper sanitation was a daily nuisance, causing both pollution and disease.

From sanitation challenge to business opportunity

Many megacities across Africa and Asia are bogged down by similar issues, and while proper sewage systems would be the ideal solution, there is virtually no chance of realizing such systems in the next few decades. But what if sanitation and waste challenges in urban centers could be turned into profitable business ventures?

In Kigali, Rwanda Environment Care (REC), now a privately owned company, recognized that the high demand for sanitation in cities coincided with an equally high demand for fertilizer among farmers throughout the country – and that the two could be combined to make up a viable business.

Now, REC builds and operates public ecological sanitation (eco-san) toilets and uses the collected fecal sludge to produce organic fertilizer and compost for sale to farmers. The revenue from sale of compost is complemented by fees paid for use of the public toilets, rental income from kiosks and shops nearby, and consultation services on how to construct eco-san latrines offered to other entrepreneurs. In total, the revenues are great enough to cover routine repairs and staff salaries.

REC’s new eco-san latrines in Kigali have not only improved quality of life for local people, they also contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment. As an added benefit, the increased supply of organic, environmentally friendly compost is expected to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers, furthering sustainable farming.

Read the complete article.

United Nations – World Water Development Report 2016 Report: Water and Jobs

United Nations – World Water Development Report 2016 Report: Water and Jobs, 2016. 

Three out of four of the jobs worldwide are water-dependent. In fact, water shortages and lack of access may limit economic growth in the years to come, according to the 2016 United Nations World Water Development Report, Water and Jobs, launched on 22 March 2016, World Water Day, in Geneva. wwd2016.png

From its collection, through various uses, to its ultimate return to the natural environment, water is a key factor in the development of job opportunities either directly related to its management (supply, infrastructure, wastewater treatment, etc.) or in economic sectors that are heavily water-dependent such as agriculture, fishing, power, industry and health. Furthermore, good access to drinking water and sanitation promotes an educated and healthy workforce, which constitutes an essential factor for sustained economic growth.

In its analysis of the economic impact of access to water, the report cites numerous studies that show a positive correlation between investments in the water sector and economic growth. It also highlights the key role of water in the transition to a green economy.

WaterAid – Water: At What Cost? The State of the World’s Water 2016

WaterAid – Water: At What Cost? The State of the World’s Water 2016

Our new report, launched to mark World Water Day 2016, reveals that the poorest people in the world are paying the highest price for safe water – and calls on governments to act now for universal access. Water-at-what-cost-report-143x203

Today, more than 650 million people are living without access to an ‘improved’ source of drinking water.The price paid by these communities – in wasted income, ill-health, and lost productivity – is extremely high, and has a devastating impact from the family to the national level.

This report reveals the worst affected countries in the world, as well as the most improved, and calls on governments to take urgent action.