Worldwide, 2.7 billion people rely on on-site sanitation, but many lack the means to manage fecal sludge—the muddy mix of fecal matter that accumulates over time in septage or pit latrines, which can have significant health and environmental implications. As a result, fecal sludge management (FSM) has become a key component of providing universal sanitation access.
This issue of Water Currents contains studies from 2017 that focus on FSM, including research that discusses the health-related aspects, technological aspects, and related economic/financing issues. Also included are links to upcoming courses, announcements, and websites.
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Introduction to Faecal Sludge Management. This introductory course by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne teaches how to apply concepts of sustainable FSM on a citywide scale. It started on January 8, 2018, but enrollment is still open. This course is one of four in the series “Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development.” This is an online course and there is no charge for participating.
Field Test Innovative Sludge Management Tools in Malawi. Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation in Malawi invites self-funded graduate students or experienced researchers to field test their innovative tools and techniques for the emptying, transport, and treatment of pit latrine or septic tank sludge. The site is well suited for conducting field testing on local pit latrines or septic tanks for a period of several weeks to months. Visit the centre’s website or contact Dr. Rochelle Holm for further information.
FSM and Health
Designing a Mixed-Methods Approach for Collaborative Local Water Security: Findings from a Kenyan Case Study. Exposure and Health, July 2017. The purpose of this research was to develop and pilot a mixed-methods-coupled systems (human and physical) approach to understand strengths, challenges, and health impacts associated with WASH in a rural Kenyan community. Both quantitative and qualitative data were used for the analysis.
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