Tag Archives: septage management

Sri Lanka: new partnership tackles fecal sludge management

Septage disposal. Sri Lanka/Nuwara Eliya sanitation project, 2008, Photo: Flickr/USAID.

An international research institute is helping the government of Sri Lanka to improve septage management in the country.

On 8 May 2013, the Colombo-based International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides a collaborative framework for sustainable septage management in Sri Lanka.

IWMI will contribute research data for the drafting of a septage management component of the national sanitation policy. The Ministry will lead implementation of the policy through an advisory committee headed by Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

Only about 3% of Sri Lankans have a sewerage connection while the rest rely on latrines and septic tanks for sanitation. Safe disposal of septage (fecal sludge) is a problem because of a lack of treatment facilities in large parts of the country.

IWMI is studying a new approach in cities around the world, which treats the sludge so that it can be safely reused as agricultural fertiliser. With the rising costs of imported fertiliser, such an approach would not only benefit farmers but also allow better sanitation and environmental protection for all.

Related news:

  • The business of the honey-suckers in Bengaluru (India), E-Source, 27 Sep 2012
  • WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Fecal Sludge Management, Sanitation Updates, 30 Nov 2012

Related web sites:

 Source: IWMI, 8 May 2013

USAID – A Rapid Assessment of Septage Management in Asia

A Rapid Assessment of Septage Management in Asia: Policies and Practices in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, 2010.

Full-text:  http://www.waterlinks.org/septage-report

by USAID and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology

ECO-Asia prepared the report in collaboration with the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries at the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology, and in consultation with stakeholders from a range of Asian national governments, water and wastewater operators, research agencies, and international development agencies.

The report comprehensively documents the weak state of septage management for onsite sanitation systems, the main form of urban sanitation in many Asian cities. It provides a regional analysis of key challenges and existing good practices related to septage management, and highlights strategies through which governments, water and wastewater operators, and development assistance agencies can promote septage management as a practical near-term solution to the region’s critical sanitation challenges.

The key finding is that most countries neglect septage management, which results in significant urban water, environmental and public health damages. Nevertheless, a number of countries and cities in the region have established effective regulations, treatment facilities and supporting programs that can be replicated across Asia through focused water operator partnerships.  USAID supports water operator partnerships through the WaterLinks network.