Shared toilets as the path to health and dignity. World Bank Water Blog, July 19, 2017.
Mollar Bosti is a crowded slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh, home to 10,000 people: garment workers, rickshaw drivers, and small traders, all living side-by-side in tiny rooms sandwiched along narrow passageways.
With the land subject to monsoon flooding, and no municipal services to speak of, the people of Mollar Basti have been struggling with a very real problem: what to do with an enormous and growing amount of human faeces.
Traditionally, their ‘hanging latrines’ consisted of bamboo and corrugated metal structures suspended on poles above the ground, allowing waste to fall straight down into a soup of mud and trash below. Residents tell stories of rooms flooded with smelly muck during monsoons; outbreaks of diarrhoea and fever would quickly follow.
But conditions have improved for much of the slum. With help of a local NGO, the residents negotiated permission for improvement from a private landowner, and mapped out areas of need. Today, they proudly show visitors their pristine, well-lit community latrines and water points. They report fewer problems with flooding and disease.
Read the complete article.
We make fake poo in a laboratory – to improve sanitation in Bangladesh. Phys.org, July 12, 2017.
Across the world, almost three billion people do not have the luxury of a flushing toilet. Instead they rely on static sanitation systems, like pit latrines to deal with their waste. As these are not often connected to a sewer, they require manual emptying and disposal.
Poor understanding of the risks involved means that untreated sludge is often thrown into nearby fields and rivers. The impact of this can be devastating.
Manual emptying. Credit: sswm.info
Yet is is estimated that every dollar invested in better sanitation returns up to US$5.50 in social and economic benefits. These come through increased productivity, reduced healthcare costs and prevention of illness and early death.
A crucial part of improving sanitation lies in researching and developing simpler, more efficient ways of treating sludge in places where a sewerage and centralised waste water treatment is not available.
My research is part of a partnership with the engineering firm Buro Happold (BH) who were asked by WaterAid Bangladesh to find a sludge treatment technology which was effective, practical and affordable.
After considering options which included biogas and pit additives – products used to try and reduce sludge volume – the company opted for unplanted drying beds. They are simple in design and make use of the reasonable amount of sunshine in Bangladesh.
Read the complete article.
Changing the village, changing the country. World Bank Water Blog, June 27, 2017.
How do you persuade people to use a toilet? This is an urgent question across rural India: somewhere near half a billion people are still defecating in the open, and the Swachh Bharat Mission is urging them to stop by 2019.
India has about 650,000 villages. Many have tried different techniques – some successfully, some not. What if there were a “Google of sanitation”, where you could search for success stories of others who have faced the same situation, and a “LinkedIn of Sanitation” where you could reach out to peers with questions?
India’s government and the World Bank are together creating a platform for this, using systematic knowledge-sharing and learning as an approach to support the Swachh Bharat Mission and change behaviors. The approach is based on the belief that many excellent local sanitation solutions exist and can be replicated across the country.
Read the complete article.
Pictures: Left: Ms Lunga Devi from Pawa, Pali is interviewed by Government officials in Rajasthan on how she became a natural leader on ODF in her village and helped it transform, as part of the ‘World Bank – Capturing Local Sanitation Solutions’ training. Right: Villagers from Muzzafarpur district in the State of Bihar talking about local sanitation solutions.
Mainstreaming citizen feedback on service delivery using ICTs: Findings and lessons from ICT-based feedback surveys on water supply and sanitation services in Indian cities, 2017. Water and Sanitation Program.
As far as possible, demand-side metrics should be aligned with supply-side indicators.
Aligning the questions asked in citizen surveys with data reported by service providers makes it easier to generate interest among stakeholders who are already familiar with service provider metrics, to track outcomes, strengthen monitoring, and hold service providers to account. Creating a common vocabulary of service metrics from the demand and supply side, helps consumers and their representatives to dialog more effectively with service providers.
ICTs can improve impact by providing credible, transparent, immediately actionable information.
Making all the data accessible to stakeholders helped increase the transparency, and hence credibility, of the data collection process. In contrast to traditional survey methods – which often take months to report, by which time the findings are dated – the system also enabled results to be made available to decision-makers immediately.
Posted in South Asia