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Fecal Sludge Management: A smelly but fruitful business!

Today, 2.1 billion people in urban areas use nonsewered (or on-site) sanitation facilities. While much of the work in rural areas is focused on creating and sustaining open defecation free communities and generating demand for communities to construct toilets, the downstream activities of collecting and transporting fecal sludge present a unique challenge for urban residents. These services are mostly provided by private operators, and are generally uncontrolled and unregulated. The inadequate disposal of fecal sludge in the environment represents a direct threat to public health and negates the positive outcomes from behavioral change and improvements in sanitation access.

Up-scaling Basic Sanitation for the Urban Poor in Kenya



Kenya, like other African countries is experiencing rapid urbanisation rates estimated currently to be 5% per annum.

Over 50% of the urban poor households do not have access to improved sanitation. Efforts to increase access and coverage to improved sanitation for the low income urban areas in Kenya, (where about 8 million people live in Low Income Areas

1) do not march the increasing need. This has resulted in the marginalisation of the urban poor, particularly in sanitation provision.

Current sanitation situation According to a desk study carried out by the Water and Sanitation Program, it is estimated that poor sanitation costs Kenya 27 billion shillings each year, equivalent to US$324 million

Cholera upsurge kills more children in the Sahel

As the rainy season unfolds across the Sahel, a recent upsurge of cholera that has killed over 60 people and sickened about 2,800 this year is putting more and more people – especially malnourished children– at risk, UNICEF has warned.

Recently, an outbreak in Northern Mali left two children dead and 34 other people sick, including a growing number of children, according to Mali’s Ministry of Health. So far in 2012, cholera has killed nearly 700 people in West and Central Africa and more than 29,000 cases were reported.

Water Hackathon Report

Curating Problem Statements Necessary for Successful Hackathon - New Report

The global revolution in low cost information and communication technologies can help address some of the developing world’s oldest challenges in water and sanitation. Such was one of the conclusions stemming from the first Water Hackathon in October 2011, the lessons from which were released in a new report recently.

With the number of mobile subscriptions exceeding 5 billion, more people today have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet. Convergence of widespread mobile phoneownership with new mobile commerce and location aware services offer new platforms for reach, transparency, and participation in achieving water security.

Challenges of sludge management in informal settlements

..manual pit emptying in Korogocho

By Doreen Mbalo 

The working conditions that manual toilet emptiers face on a daily basis in the informal settlements are very dangerous as shown by observations made at Korogocho slums. Although the emptiers are aware and understand the risks involved in handling faecal sludge without the right protective equipment, all of them empty toilets without observing any health and hygiene standards stipulated by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation and the Ministry of Labour. The reason quoted was that they are not able to afford the protective equipment required. Untreated faecal sludge however contains pathogens that can cause diseases and remain active for a long period of time. There is an urgent need to improve the working conditions of emptiers through regulation and making their work human by conforming to the basic health and hygiene standards. The rights of emptiers are violated as per Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya with regards to attainable standards of health.




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2