Improving the quality of public toilet services in Kumasi, 2016. Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor.
Public toilets are the leading form of sanitation in urban Ghana: in Kumasi, 700,000 people use one each day. This Note presents the activities of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to raise the standard of these services.
To assist KMA in promoting greater private sector involvement, PPIAF commissioned the consultancy Ernst & Young (EY) to conduct a feasability study. The study recommended that toilets participating in the scheme be operated under a Build, Own, Operate, Transfer (BOOT) model, presented in Figure 2. Key features of the model are: 1) a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project Company would design, build, finance, operate and maintain the toilets for a 20-year concession period, after which the assets would be transferred back to KMA; 2) the Company would directly collect user fees and use it to cover their costs; 3) the Company would pay a monthly franchise fee to KMA, calculated as a percentage of revenue; 4) revenues 10% higher than assumptions made in the financial model would be paid to KMA; and 5) donor funding and cover to insure KMA’s termination guarantee may be sought.
There is a clear need for improved standards of public toilets in Kumasi. Progress has already been made, with training and improved monitoring impacting positively on the level of service. While rehabilitation and construction under the BOOT scheme will take time to complete, the resulting improvements should reduce waiting times for consumers, improve overall service quality and enhance financial viability.
KMA recognises that PLBs are not the long-term solution — a five-year compound sanitation strategy is being implemented in parallel, to achieve universal access to in-house sanitation in the long term — but the steps now being taken by KMA will ensure that public toilets provide the best possible service in the interim.
A tale of clean cities: Insights for planning urban sanitation from Kumasi, Ghana, 2016. WaterAid.
Key learning points
- Sanitation progress in Kumasi has been a long-term effort championed by a technically strong municipal Waste Management Department, supported by a wide range of development partners.
- Despite some political consensus around the importance of sanitation, and partly due to inadequacy of monitoring systems, financial support has remained low, limiting progress.
- Open defecation has been almost eliminated through the expansion of public toilets, prioritised at the expense of private toilets because of housing constraints.
- Enabling policies catalysed private sector investment, improving management of public toilets and service levels across the sanitation service chain.
- Disparities remain in terms of reach and quality of these services, which are poor in low-income areas.
- Sanitation planning exercises helped forge a shared vision on how to advance towards sustainable service delivery.
- The quality of these ‘learning by doing’ planning processes was more influential than were the resulting plans.
Learning from Sustained Success: How Community-Driven Initiatives to Improve Urban Sanitation Can Meet the Challenges. World Development, July 2016.
Authors: Gordon McGranahan, Diana Mitlin.
Past research by one of the authors of this paper has identified four key institutional challenges that community-driven initiatives to improve sanitation in deprived urban settlements face: the collective action challenge of improving community sanitation; the coproduction challenge of working with formal service providers to dispose of the sanitary waste safely; the affordability challenge of reconciling the affordable with what is acceptable to both users and local authorities; and the tenure challenge of preventing housing insecurity from undermining residents’ willingness to commit to sanitary improvement.
In this article we examine how two well-documented, relatively successful and longstanding initiatives, the Orangi Pilot Project and an Alliance of Indian partners, met these challenges. They were met through social innovation, but also through the choice and development of sanitation technologies (simplified sewers for OPP and community toilet blocks for the Indian Alliance) that provided traction for the social innovations. We also explore more recent efforts by civil society partnerships in four African cities, demonstrating some of the difficulties they have faced in trying to overcome these challenges. No equivalent models have emerged, though there has been considerable progress against particular challenges in particular places.
These findings confirm the importance of the challenges, and indicate that these are not just challenges for social organization, but also for technology design and choice. For example, the problem with household pit latrines is not that they cannot physically be improved to sufficiently, but that they are not well-suited to the social, economic and political challenges of sanitary improvement at scale. The findings also indicate that a low economic status and a tendency to treat sanitation as a private good not suitable for public support also makes the sanitation challenges difficult to overcome.
Community Slum Sanitation in India: A Practitioner’s Guide, 2016. Water and Sanitation Program.
Based on the experience of slum sanitation initiatives implemented in a number of urban centers in India, over the last decades, this Guide draws out the critical drivers that appear to explain some facets of successful community slum sanitation initiatives.
Initiatives from the cities of Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai, Bhopal, Trichy, and Kalyani are used as the examples to learn from (based on convenience and easy availability of information).
A set of generic steps are identified and described thereafter for the preparatory, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation stages of community sanitation initiatives.
Three things that make SaniPath special | Source: SaniPath blog, April 21 2016 |
The SaniPath team has created an exposure assessment tool to be used in urban low-resource areas with poor sanitation. It stands out as a resource for its accessibility, easy to understand results, and potential to influence policy making.
1. THE SANIPATH TOOL IS EASY TO USE AND UNDERSTAND
The tool was designed with the goal that it would be able to be used independently by a variety of organizations interested in improving sanitation. It comes with a detailed manual describing the steps of the data collection and the analyses process than can be understood by anyone with a basic scientific background. Minimum requirements for use of the tool include:
- A funding source (ex: local government or international organization)
- A lab with the ability to detect E. coli and technicians to carry out the procedures in a sterile environment
- A team with experience conducting surveys
- A local group to assist with data collection and distribution
Read the complete article.
Sustainable Solutions for Sanitation Challenges in Informal Settlements of Kigali, Rwanda, 2015. Institute of Policy Analysis and Research – Rwanda.
Dwellers of informal settlements are inclined over time to reject traditional pit latrines for alternative low-cost options that are more sustainable, such as innovative decentralized sanitation and reuse (DeSaR) and water serving sanitation technologies. This is important because these options can play a part in reduction of over exploitation of natural water sources, which continue to be scarce, as a result of population pressure in the country.
DeSaR technologies are also appropriate in informal settlements of Kigali because they occupy less space, do not require emptying by vacuum tankers, pre treatment/composting, provides opportunity for nutrients re-cycling which is environmentally sustainable and, if well maintained, can have minimal harmful effects.