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.”
Shared toilets in Kenya. Photo: Sanergy
• WaterAid joins WSUP, World Bank and leading academics in urging donors, policymakers and planners not to neglect shared sanitation
• Where private household toilets aren’t yet an option, safe, well-managed shared toilets are a crucial step to further improvement
Funding for safe, shared toilets in fast-growing developing-world cities is at risk of neglect from donors, policymakers and planners, a new journal article authored by sanitation specialists, senior economists and leading academics has warned.
Authors from the World Bank, WaterAid and Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor have joined leading academics from the University of Leeds and the University of Colorado – Boulder in calling for shared toilets as an essential stepping-stone towards universal sanitation.
5 lessons to manage fecal sludge better | Source: by Peter Hawkins & Isabell Blackett, World Bank Water Blog, July 19 2016 |
Our last blog outlined the neglect of Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) and presented new tools for diagnosing FSM challenges and pointing the way to solutions.
A motorized tricycle fitted with a small tank provides desludging services in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo credit: Kathy Eales / World Bank
In this blog, we’ll share some lessons learned from the city-specific case studies and analysis to highlight key areas which need to be addressed if the non-networked sanitation services on which so many citizens rely are to be effectively managed.
Lesson 1: Fecal sludge management must be included in national policy and legislation
On-site sanitation is often the only sanitation option for poor households, and may account for the majority of all sanitation, in many middle income and poor countries. However, the construction and servicing of on-site facilities is typically left to the unregulated informal sector.
There can even be legal barriers to developing on-site sanitation, although integrated urban water management may identify the provision of clean piped water, with systematic FSM, as a cheaper, more effective solution than city-wide sewerage access. The formal recognition and regulation of on-site sanitation and FSM is therefore critical.
Read the complete article.
Fecal Sludge Management Tools – World Bank
In many cities, the emptying, conveyance, treatment and disposal of fecal sludge has largely been left to unregulated private, informal service providers.
To address this neglected but crucial part of urban sanitation, the World Bank has developed some tools to diagnose fecal sludge management (FSM) status and to guide decision-making.
These tools don’t provide pre-defined solutions, as the many variables and stakeholders involved demand interventions specific in each city, and should be seen within the context of integrated urban water management.
Link to the FSM Tools website.
The Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) of Loughborough University, UK, in partnership with the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank, recently developed a self-paced online course that addresses the important global challenges facing the water and sanitation sector.
The course, titled Rural Sanitation at Scale, which is featured as a unit in WEDC’s master’s (MSc) program, is also offered free-of-charge as a non-accredited professional development unit for sector professionals interested in learning more about the issues of scaling-up sanitation in rural areas.
The course is divided into three parts:
Part 1 – Lays out the challenge of scaling up rural sanitation in context, examining fundamental aspects of sanitation provision and the reasons why, up to now, the goal of sanitation at scale has proved elusive.
Part 2 – Examines the core theory of change for sustainable programs. In particular it looks at the first two, of three, key components or pillars required for change: the creation of demand and the supply chain.
Part 3 – Continues to explore the core theory of change, focusing on the enabling environment. The unit concludes with a discussion of how the three pillars fit together and what steps are necessary to take an at-scale program forward.
Each section takes approximately 1 hour of study time, excluding associated reading, and is delivered using a variety of media including slide presentations, film clips, animations, photography and graphics supported by selected online publications.
Note: You will need to allow pop-ups for the course to run.
On World WaterDay, 22 March, the World Bank announced the Top 10 Finalists of the Sanitation Hackathon App Challenge. The challenge is a follow-up to the Sanitation Hackathon, which attracted over 1,100 developers in December 2012 to solve sanitation problems.
The Top 10 Finalists apps are:
- Empowering Girls monitors girls’ school attendance to track appropriate sanitation facilities.
- LION Sync provides decision-makers with access to real-time data online and offline.
- LooRewards promotes sanitary behavior by rewarding safe sanitation practices.
- mSchool monitors the status of water and sanitation infrastructure in schools.
- mSewage crowdsources the identification of open defecation sites and sewage outflows.
- San-Trac reminds users about hygienic practices and gathers real-time data for trend analysis (winner of the People’s Choice Award)
- Sanitation Investment Tracker tracks investment and expenditure in sanitation at the household level.
- SunClean teaches sanitary and hygienic behavior through games for children.
- Taarifa enables citizen reporting and tracks decision-makers’ feedback.
- Toilight finds toilets in a smart and easy way.
For more information on the apps click on the video links above or go here.
The Grand Prize Award winners will be announced on April 19, on the eve of the World Bank’s Spring Meetings.
Source: SanHack Team, SanitationHackathon.org, 22 Mar 2013