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Faecal sludge management in Bangladesh

Practical Action has won a prestigious innovation award from the International Water Association for our work on ‘faecal sludge management’ in Bangladesh.

How it works

As with many countries across the world, Bangladesh currently suffers from an inadequate level of wastewater management. Following significant investment in latrine building and improving access to sanitation, there is now the acute problem of managing the waste produced. This waste (faecal sludge) from latrines and septic tanks is routinely emptied, untreated, into the local environment. This undermines any health gains made through improved sanitation.

Practical Action worked with Buro Happold on sludge management solutions in rural and small town areas of Bangladesh. An approach was required which was effective, practical and affordable, and did not affect existing toilet technology.

In a pilot site in Faridpur we developed innovative solar sludge drying beds. The benefit of these beds is that they use no electrical power and can be built with minimal construction skills and from local materials.

The first phase of testing compared roofing options and the use of a filter base. The results found that plastic roofing with a sand-filter base achieved the most rapid sludge drying and best pathogen reduction. The second phase optimised the design and explored different operating modes. The third and final phase of testing took place in June 2013, which tested the design under the most difficult monsoon conditions.

Following the results of testing, the design being developed allows the dried sludge to be co-composted with woody organics such as rice straw. This will form a safe, stable soil conditioner for use in agriculture. The flexible design can be scaled up or down to suit demand.

Changes to the site between phases 1 and 2:

(from the executive summary of the 2013 IWA Project Innovation Awards - Sanitation & Wastewater – Applied Research)

Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) action research Faridpur project, jointly funded by Practical Action Bangladesh, Water Aid/Simavi Netherlands and Faridpur Municipality.

Faecal sludge management in Bangladesh

News and highlights from our work on faecal sludge management in Bangladesh, including recent workshops, consultations and construction.

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Project Brief-PPP for Sustainable Sludge Management Services in Faridpur, Bangladesh

Project Brief-PPP for Sustainable Sludge Management Services in Faridpur, Bangladesh

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