Integrating faecal sludge management (FSM) into urban sanitation planning
The management of faecal sludge from onsite toilets (pit latrines and septic tanks) is a notoriously difficult problem in dense low-income urban communities.
Sludge is often dumped directly to the local environment which can have severe negative impacts on health. Municipal governments and utilities often only accept responsibility for sewerage, not for faecal sludge management (FSM).
This paper (a pre-session discussion paper for the WSUP/IWA workshop at AfricaSan3) argues that urban sanitation planning needs to take full account of FSM. In particular, it argues that sanitation investment planning needs to provide solutions at least for final sludge disposal, and possibly for other aspects of FSM. We can reasonably expect householder payments to finance primary collection of sludge, but public support will generally be required for later stages in sludge transport, treatment and disposal. These issues will be discussed in depth at the workshop, where participant input will be strongly encouraged.
Photo: David Schaub-Jones