An ideal sanitation solution | Source: The Hindu-Sept 27 2013 |
In TPPF you revisit a technology developed and fine-tuned in India decades ago and which still continues to be relevant for the sanitation sector, feels -
Of all the countries grappling with a sanitation problem India tops the list. The number of households without access to a toilet and defecating in the open is nearly a staggering 50 per cent of the total households in India, according to the census of 2011. Even where there is a toilet many simply discharge into the open drains and do not ensure safe disposal. Another recent study establishes a distinct link between open defecation and stunting of growth in children, having far reaching implications for a young population.
India, urban sanitation, and the toilet challenge, 2013.
Elledge, M.F., McClatchey, M. RTI International.
This research brief builds upon a literature review and stakeholder interviews in India on urban sanitation to examine the public policy landscape for sanitation innovation in the country. India ranks low in terms of sanitation coverage; the country experiences very high rates of open defecation and significant use of unimproved toilets. The majority of fecal sludge goes untreated into waterways in urban areas. India’s demographic trends show rapid urban growth, both geographically and in terms of population, which is also expanding the gap in access to improved sanitation in urban areas. Adequate government funding and policy implementation is lacking.
The past focus on centralized sewerage systems and simple on-site sanitation is not an acceptable default option, nor is it technically feasible or financially viable given growth patterns. Groundbreaking new technology, management, and operational models are required to solve the sanitation challenge at scale. Recent attention from the donor community, the private sector, and others brings focus to using innovation to solve the sanitation challenge. This review highlights that urban sanitation is under-researched. More work is required to spur funding, inform technology development, and support the policy-enabling environment for bringing in new approaches to improved urban sanitation.
Toxic waste’s health impact in Asia similar to malaria’s |Source: Prime Sarmiento, SciDev Net, Aug 7, 2013|
Toxic waste is an under-recognised major global health burden comparable to outdoor air pollution and malaria, according to a study.
The paper says that people’s exposure to industrial pollutants such as lead, asbestos and chromium from toxic waste sites in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines in 2010 resulted in the loss of 829,000 years of good health due to serious diseases or early death.
Waste collector Dinesh Mukherjee, 11, watches his friend jump over a puddle of toxic liquid at the Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi November 10, 2011. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma
Such a health burden, the researchers say, is comparable to that caused by outdoor air pollution and malaria — both serious problems in developing countries in Asia. The WHO estimates that people living in India, Indonesia and the Philippines lose a total 1.45 million healthy years per year because of outdoor air pollution and 725,000 healthy years due to malaria.
The researchers sampled 373 sites in the three countries. They found that these sites endanger more than eight million people as their daily exposure to industrial pollutants puts them at risk of developing heart disease, cancer and anaemia. The toxic wastes mainly come from tanneries, mining firms and battery recycling plants.
Community-driven sanitation improvement in deprived urban neighbourhoods: Meeting the challenges of local collective action, co-production, affordability and a trans-sectoral approach, 2013.
There is an international consensus that urban sanitary conditions are in great need of improvement, but sharp disagreement over how this improvement should be pursued. Both market-driven and state-led efforts to improve sanitation in deprived communities tend to be severely compromised, as there is a lack of effective market demand (due to collective action problems) and severe barriers to the centralized provision of low-cost sanitation facilities. In principle, community-driven initiatives have a number of advantages.
But community-driven sanitary improvement also faces serious challenges, including:
1) The collective action challenge of getting local residents to coordinate and combine their demands for sanitary improvement;
2) The co-production challenge of getting the state to accept community-driven approaches to sanitary improvement, and where necessary to coinvest and take responsibility for the final waste disposal;
3) The affordability challenge of finding improvements that are affordable and acceptable to both the state and the community – and to other funders if relevant;
4) The trans-sectoral challenge of ensuring that other poverty-related problems, such as insecure tenure, do not undermine efforts to improve sanitation.
Evaluating the potential of microfinance for sanitation in India, 2013.
Sophie Trémolet, T V S Ravi Kumar. SHARE.
This case study investigates how household financing for sanitation can be mobilised via microfinance institutions and commercial banks in order to accelerate sustainable access to sanitation facilities and/or services. The research (conducted in India between May and June 2011) sought to document existing experiences in providing microfinance services to households to allow them to invest in sanitation solutions that meet their needs. The objective of the research was to map out the existing provision of microfinance for sanitation, identify where opportunities for future market development lie and identify how the development of such a market could be fostered (through the targeted use of public funds or regulatory changes for example).
This research has identified that there is potentially high demand for sanitation microfinance in India, due to a combination of factors. Coverage rates remain low (particularly in rural areas) and national policies emphasise household investments (combined with subsidies in some cases, such as in the Total Sanitation Campaign which provide ex-post subsidies once the household has made the investment, hence the need for pre-financing). By 2010, only 31% of India’s population had access to improved sanitation facilities (WHO/UNICEF, 2010).
Big brother will soon be watching over garbage truck drivers in East Delhi once the local municipal corporation installs an electronic tracking system. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) plans to install global positioning system (GPS) and radio frequency identification devices (RFID) in its garbage trucks.
This will enable the EDMC to track the garbage trucks movements and monitor their work performance.
The electronic devices are linked to an ‘e-municipal solid waste disposal system’, which takes pictures of the vehicles at the garbage station and landfill site, when they pick up and dispose of the waste.
At the end of each day, the GPS will be used to submit a daily route mapping report on the areas cleaned.
East Delhi generates nearly 2,000 metric tonnes of garbage every day and has nearly 150 dump yards.
M/s AKS Software Ltd won the tender to install the electronic tracking system, which costs 19.2 million Rupees (US$ 353,000).
Related news: India, New Delhi: using Facebook and SMS to keep the city clean, Sanitation Updates, 15 Apr 2011
Source: Hindustan Times, 28 Mar 2013 ; PTI/Business Standard, 28 Mar 2013