Safely managed sanitation is a focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is central to stunting reduction and early childhood survival, both identified by the World Bank’s Human Capital Index as critical for humans to develop their full potential. It is widely known that 4.5 billion people lacked access to safely managed sanitation in 2015, according to the Joint Monitoring Programme. Less well understood is that hundreds of millions more people in densely populated rural areas are exposed to significant health risk due to unsafely managed sanitation.
In contrast to urban areas, fecal sludge management (FSM) is not yet recognized as a priority for the rural sanitation sector – it is assumed to be less of an issue because rural areas are more sparsely populated. However, some densely populated areas fall under rural administrations, notably in deltas and on the periphery of rapidly growing rural areas. In these areas there is also a need to safely manage fecal waste. Many sanitation systems that, for lack of scrutiny, are assumed to be improved and safe, but due to lack of scrutiny they fail to safely manage fecal sludge.
A new World Bank report-supported by the Global Water Security and Sanitation Program (GWSP) – and six case studies identified specific causes of health risks in locations in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Egypt, India, and Vietnam. They include compromised construction of on-site sanitation solutions, incorrect technology choices, poorly developed FSM markets, predominantly manual emptying practices and indiscriminate dumping of sludge in the immediate environment. They found that environmental regulations and building codes do not address FSM effectively, and enforcement is often weak. Rural administrations typically lack the mandate and institutional capacity to provide and manage FSM services.
Read the full blog by Joep Verhagen and Pippa Scott
“Verhagen, Joep; Scott, Pippa. 2019. Safely Managed Sanitation in High-Density Rural Areas : Turning Fecal Sludge into a Resource through Innovative Waste Management
. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/32385
License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
In the next five years, it is expected that more than 500 faecal sludge treatment plants (FSTPs) have to be designed, built and operated in India. However, there is a significant gap in understanding of the faecal sludge management opportunities and operations amongst practitioners such as contractors and operators.
To address this gap, the Centre for Advanced Sanitation Solutions (CASS) in partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BORDA and the CDD Society is organising a training course + exposure visit on faecal sludge management from 5-8 February 2019 in Bengaluru, India.
For more information go to: www.trainings.cddindia.org
Indigenous plants for informal greywater treatment and reuse by some households in Ghana. Journal of Water Reuse and Desalination (2018) 8 (4): 553-565.
Poor greywater management is one of Ghana’s sanitation nightmares due to longstanding neglect. This study looks at local practices of informal phytoremediation, and identifies commonly used plants and benefits. Greywater (kitchen, bathroom and laundry) is mainly disposed of into the open, with few using septic tanks and soakaway systems.
The majority of respondents perceived plants as agents of treatment and most could list 1–2 beneficial functions of the plants. A total of 1,259 plant groups were identified which belonged to 36 different plant species. The top five indigenous plants used are sugarcane, banana/plantain, taro, sweet/wild basil, and dandelion.
The major plant benefits identified were food and medicine. Statistically, no association was identified between the numbers of plants grown and their perceived plant roles, with the exception of an association between plant numbers and benefits. There is demand for improving local practices of using plants in greywater treatment and reuse, since native plants also come with other benefits.
World Water Day is observed on March 22 to raise awareness about the vital importance of water and its cross-cutting impact ranging from public health and youth education to economic development and gender equality. This year’s theme, “Nature for Water,” explores nature-based solutions to water challenges.
Laguna Negra, in the upper basin of the Chinchiná River, Colombia, is part of a high-altitude wetland ecosystem that provides much of Colombia’s fresh water. Photo credit: Juliana Narvaez/PARA-Agua
According to UN-Water’s World Water Day fact sheet, nature-based solutions can help to manage both water availability and quality. Examples include restoring forests, grasslands, and natural wetlands; reconnecting rivers to floodplains; and creating vegetation buffers along watercourses. These and other nature-based solutions can reduce erosion, improve water quality, enhance biodiversity, recharge groundwater resources, and mitigate flooding downstream.
This issue contains information on upcoming World Water Day 2018 events and studies on nature-based solutions to water supply issues.
Looking for a back issue of Water Currents? Check out the archive on Globalwaters.org.
March 22: World Water Day 2018. The official World Water Day website advocates for water-related issues, provides resources, and includes a fact sheet as well aspromotional materials for this year’s theme.
March 22: Launch of International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028. The UN General Assembly will launch this initiative to improve cooperation, partnership, and capacity development to address water-related challenges in response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
March 19: 8th World Water Forum. Touted as the world’s biggest water-related event, the annual forum brings together water experts and managers from organizations all over the world. It is organized by the World Water Council.
Read the complete issue.
Analysis of citizen and decision-maker attitudes to freshwater pollution in Bangladesh cities as a basis for more effective regulation.
This research project is jointly commissioned by the REACH global research programme (led by Oxford University) and the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, (a 2017-2020 research programme led by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor, WSUP). The project will be managed by the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative team with single point-of-contact, but should aim to align with the broad vision and specific requirements of both research programmes.
The research will investigate citizen and decision-maker attitudes to pollution of watercourses in urban environments in Bangladesh, and attitudes towards regulation to reduce such pollution. We require detailed consideration of two specific types of pollution, and of their associated regulation, namely a) faecal contamination arising from widespread discharge from septic tanks, pit latrines, and hanging toilets to surface drains and water bodies and to subsurface water bodies, and b) industrial discharge to surface and subsurface water bodies. However, we would expect detailed consideration of these specific issues to be embedded within a wider framework of analysis of urban freshwater pollution, and its regulation, in Bangladeshi cities.
Bids due: Before 1700 (UK) Tuesday 13th March 2018
Focus country: Bangladesh
Maximum budget: GBP 80,000
For more information and details on the bidding process, see the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative website (‘Current research calls’).
The IHUWASH Accelerator India program identifies and supports high-impact WASH business innovations to work with the city governments of Faridabad, Udaipur and Mysuru to solve pressing urban WASH problems. Submissions should focus on one or more of the following urban WASH innovations:
- Safe drinking water
- Last-mile water distribution
- Recovering water supply costs
- Decentralised and improved sanitation solutions
- Improving public/community toilets
- Sustainable faecal waste treatment
- Hygiene behaviour change
Benefits for the selected innovations include opportunities to:
- Roll out small-scale pilots that demonstrate your WASH innovation to governments
- Work directly with key government officials, sector experts and impact investors
- Showcase your innovation through a high visibility nation-wide program
- Raise funds from private sector companies and impact investors
More program details are available here. Applications for the program are now open and they close on 22nd Jan 2018.
Please apply to the program (or) help identify relevant WASH business innovations by nominating them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
IHUWASH is a collaborative initiative between NIUA, Taru, IRC and Ennovent. The three year project is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and aims to improve the performance of urban WASH programs for India within a collaborative framework. Under IHUWASH, national and city-level Innovation Hubs are being established to work closely with the Faridabad, Mysuru and Udaipur city governments along with other national level WASH stakeholders.
The IHUWASH Accelerator builds on the experience of the 2016 Sanitation Innovation Accelerator in which Taru, IRC and Ennovent were also involved.
Posted in Funding, Sanitary Facilities, South Asia, Wastewater Management
Tagged Ennovent, IHUWASH, IHUWASH Accelerator, India, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, National Institute of Urban Affairs, TARU Leading Edge, USAID