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An Emerging Fecal Sludge Management System in a Post-Conflict Situation: The Case of Juba

By Barbara Kazimbaya Senkwe (PhD)

Introduction

Three years after independence South Sudan is building its municipal services, especially urban sanitation. However coverage remains low, even by African standards, at 19% in 2009 (WSP, 2010). In the capital Juba, sanitation and other services lag behind the city’s rapid growth. Piped sewerage is available to just about 2% of Juba’s population and is mostly provided to ministers’ homes and government offices. The majority of Juba residents use pit latrines and pourflush toilets which are emptied by mechanized exhausters that dispose the fecal waste at the Roton wastewater lagoon. Juba therefore has an emerging Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) system comprising the three key components of Containment, Collection and Transportation, and treatment and disposal of fecal waste. With development of citywide sewer network not anticipated for a while yet, this FSM system is crucial in the safe handling and disposal of fecal matter.

This paper therefore looks at how Juba’s fecal sludge management system is organized, identifying key challenges and opportunities. It particularly focuses on highlighting characteristics of each of the three components of the FSM chain and providing suggestions on how the municipality and its partners can further strengthen this system. The paper is based on primary research by SUWASA, between September 2013 and July 20142. The lessons learned from this study are applicable in other post-conflict countries.

Juba

Map 1 Typology of Settlements in JubaMap 1 Typology of Settlements in JubaJuba City’s population is estimated to have grown from 163,000 in 2005 to 500,000 in 2013, with an average household size of 9.36 (NBS 2012:13). Geographically, Juba’s footprint has more than tripled in size from 2002 to 2012.

The population is distributed across three payams of Juba, Kator and Munuki in five settlement types: established formal areas, transitional formal areas, new formal areas, recent informal areas, and enclosedopen or official spaces designated for uses including United Nations compounds and government ministries. New informal areas make up the largest of the settlement types (Map 1).

 

A Growing Market for Fecal Sludge Management

According to a 2013 baseline survey by SUWASA at least 55% of households have access to personal toilets, mostly pit latrines or pourflush toilets that require emptying and fecal sludge management. Continued use of onsite sanitation facilities is expected as the piped water supply network serves only 20% of the city’s growing population. It is estimated that Juba generates more than 45 million liters of fecal sludge annually according to a baseline survey of fecal sludge generation in Africa by Chowdhry and Kone (2012) (Table 1).

 

Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation, January - February 2015