Understanding Sanitation Options in Challenging Environments


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WASH 2011 conference: Isabel Blackett,
Water and Sanitation Program

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  • Thanks Anne for the Introduction – good morning everyone
  • This morning I will briefly outlining our work on sanitation in Challenging environments – and would be pleased to meet you later for a more detailed discussion. we will look at objective of this work country based research approach A quick review Indonesia’s challenging environments and their characteristics the Different ways ahead that have evolved is three countries and some challenges to take home and remember
  • Many poor communities live in areas where pipes cannot be laid, and pits and tanks cannot be dug - mostly because they live over or near water, but also on steep hillsides or on rocky ground. Although there are many such communities across East Asia (and elsewhere), there was no body of literature, research or existing projects whichidentified how many people live din such areas, how are they affected. what are their sanitation practices and what options the are …SoWSPhas been undertaken this work at national scale in Indonesia, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Philippines. This presentation will focus on the results in Indonesia – with a few references to other studies
  • So how many people are affect? The four studies indicate that more than 16 million people live in situations where they are affected by these adverse conditions. The level of impact and severity varies considerably. In urban areas these areas would be characterized as illegal or semi-legal slum communities, but we also found substantial areas of legal housing impacted by regular flooding and costal subsidence in particularThe problem is therefore by no means a minor one.
  • The Phase 1 Country approach we applied used the following process: establish a reference group of key stakeholders identify the maintypes of challenging areas, and estimate the numbers of people affected in each type of area agree the main 3 or 4 types of areas which are inhabited by the most people… and conduct more detailed field research in these areasThen use an joint analysis of the research findingsto design the second Phase – which was we found to be different in each country
  • The research process involved a reference group and desk studies, meetings and interviews with key stakeholders, Undertaking field visits in typical communities met with communities and then with the returned to the reference group to integrate the findings with their own experience and to agree on the way ahead.
  • For Indonesia we identified these four main type s of CE – on and along rivers and river banks. Houses are found on the banks, anchored to the bank but floating, or on stiltsAbove and along the coastline (all 80,000 km) and along estuaries in areas of swamp and high ground water – Eastern Sumatra is mostly swamp and Banda Aceh is a well known areas with HGWFlood prone areas - including North Jakarta and parts of other major citiesOver 9million people are affected.There were other types of area but the numbers of people living there were much lower – so we didn’t research these in the same level of detail.
  • RiversHouses are built by rivers as more desirable land is too expensive for poor people or due to river based livelihoods: fishing or transportFluctuating water levels in wet and dry season . You can see house are built on stilts above the seasonal high water level Here riverbank houses are discharging their toilets directly into a highly polluted riverCoastal & EstuariesAgain houses on stilts, limited road access to settlements which can extend 100’s of metres out to sea.Little fresh water is available in these environment s , any construction has to withstand both tidal forces and corrosive saline environmentLand subsidence is common in coastal areas , in the an old couple were living with water in the house all year round as they could not afford a second story – unlike their neighbors who had built a 2nd story,Swamps & High Groundwater No road access worse in rains Groundwater pollution Usually these are ecologically fragile areas sensitive to both pollution and change in land use
  • River Its common to use rivers for refuse disposal, believing it will be washed away , but with urbanization and population pressures this is no longer the case and here you see accumulated wastesbathing close to overhanging toiletHere in Banjarmasin, south Kalimantan a group of people cleaning their teeth, bathing, washing clothes and defecating in floating toilet on the back)Coastal & Estuaryagain accumulated refuse and feaces which has not been washed away by tidesoverhanging toilet in coastal area  relying on tides to wash away the wasteA toilet inside of a house discharging directly below (fixed point open defecation)Here the same house with children are playing below the toiletSwampagain accumulation of full of garbage and human wasteDefecation practice in swamp area with no treatment.Tooth brushing with swamp-water - indicating a lack of fresh waster
  • Communities understand the need safe drinking water but have but low awareness of the impact of pooor sanitation & hygiene practices Their priorities: are increase livelihood, solve urgent issues: flooding, subsidence, erosion, road access and a fresh water supplyTherefore sanitation almost always a low priority – although where they have a good source of clean water we found a much higher interest in improving sanitation Low affordability is a real constraint providing sanitation options in challenging areas – as they invariably are more costly than is normal environments.
  • This table is just to demonstrate that piloted technical options were found in Indonesia for all types of environment.. But no time to talk more about this now – you can ask questions later.
  • Phase 1 of the Indonesia identified a range of previous pilots, demonstrations and trials. None of them had been documented, followed up, monitored or evaluated. So for Phase two WSP undertook further field work to find to what works, if the pilots had been sustainable and if not, – why not. This resulted in development of guidelines and three training sessions for central and local Governments in three of the main affected areas. Cambodia did not find enough applicable solutions for lakeside communities, and will seek to pilot and adaptation of an existing and commonly used toilet. In Lao PDR after Phase 1 information was made available – Government decided this was not a priority at present due to the many people without sanitation in remote areas and they would not proceed to Phase 2 at this stage.
  • often dealing with illegal or semi-legal settlements where the future is uncertain – although they may have been there for 20 or 30 yearsSanitation is usually low priority compared to other urgent issues in communitiesHigher cost solutions required than normal environments, above what communities can affordThe willingness and ability of Government support investment in a range of services is variable, although we did find clean piped water, electricity and other services in many communities.
  • Poor people live in these challenging areas and therefore we need to address the issuesResearch, understand and analyze before selecting way ahead – don’t assume nothing existsReuse, adapt or adjust existing options before starting to invent a new one – as that will take much longerMonitor, monitor, monitor – and then disseminate what works! Get t information about what works out to as many people as possible – so your lessons can be used by others.
  • Understanding Sanitation Options in Challenging Environments

    1. 1. Understanding Sanitation Options in Challenging Environments Isabel Blackett WATER AND SANITATION PROGRAM Brisbane, 17 May 2011
    2. 2. OverviewSanitation in Challenging Environments  Objective  Country approach  Indonesia’s challenging areas  Settlement characteristics, sanitation conditions and practices  Different ways forward…  Challenges and messages to remember
    3. 3. Objective ofSanitation in Challenging Environments To understand and address the need for improved sanitation options for environments where well known conventional or low cost options are not applicable due to adverse geographical, climatic or topological conditions.
    4. 4. How Many People are affected in East Asia? Estimated In just four Country population countries, over 16 affected million people Indonesia > 9 million live in challenging environments Cambodia 1.4 – 2.2 million where they are unable to build Lao 1 – 1. 5 million conventional or Philippines < 5 million low cost sanitation options
    5. 5. Country Approach to Identify Challenges • Identify types of challenging areas • Scope numbers affected for each type Phase 1 • Detailed research of technical and non technical challenges on main types of area • Do sanitation options exist for key typologies? • Are they sustainable? What do we know? Review • What should Phase 2 look like? • Evaluate existing options, and/or • Adapt existing options Phase 2 • Develop and pilot new ones
    6. 6. Research in Phase 1 Desk study & Interview Field visits secondary data stakeholdersRecommendations for Phase 2 Integrate existing Meet communities experience
    7. 7. Indonesia’s challenging areasType of Area No of people affectedAbove or floating on rivers, along 2+ millionriverbanksAbove or along the coast and estuaries 1.5-2 millionSwamps and high ground water > 1.5-2 millionFlood prone areas < 3 millionOther areas included: rocky areas, steep hillsides andlakes – but lower numbers impacted
    8. 8. Settlement Characteristics Rivers Coastal Swamps
    9. 9. Sanitation conditions and practices Rivers Coastal Swamps
    10. 10. Most Common Community Attitudes • Understand need safe drinking water but low awareness of sanitation & hygiene • Priorities: increase livelihood, solve urgent issues: flooding, subsidence, erosion, road access • Sanitation almost always low priority • Low affordability is a real constraint providing sanitation options in challenging areas
    11. 11. Existing “Adequate” Sanitation Options Coastal & Swamp & High River Flood Prone Estuary GroundwaterElevated Tidal resistant Biofilter - Septic Elevated LatrineLatrines septic tanks Tank + Sanitary Anaerobic Filter‘Floating’ Septic Septic Tank + Pond MobileTanks Upflow Filter Septic Tank + SanitationIndonesia Upflow Filter Facility forproprietary Small bore sewer Bathing,designs Drum septic tank Washing & + Infiltration Defecating Indonesia proprietary designs
    12. 12. Different ways forward…Phase 2 designed from evidenceIndonesia – reviewed 12 existing options, recommendations and guidelines, capacity building & training local government in challenging areasCambodia – not enough existing options and will adapt existing ‘easy latrine’ for use in challenging environmentsLao PDR – not yet Government priority as many more in remote rural areas need improved sanitation
    13. 13. Challenges to solutions at scale• Ilegal or semi-legal housing tenure• Sanitation low priority compared to other urgent issues in communities• Higher cost solutions required than normal environments• Government willingness or ability to invest is variable
    14. 14. Points to remember• Poor people live in these challenging areas• Research, understand and analyze before selecting way ahead• Reuse, adapt or adjust existing options before starting to invent• Monitor, monitor, monitor – and then disseminate what works!
    15. 15. Thanks to Enrico Djonoputro,Sanitation Consultant, WSP