Nodepage

Safe faecal sludge management in Faridpur

The problem

In Bangladesh there is almost universal access to a basic toilet but this has created the challenge of dealising safely with the contents of millions of pit latrines and septic tanks. Much of this waste was dumped in local rivers, creating significant health hazards.

We have been working in partnership with the local authority in Faridpur to organise the safe disposal of faecal sludge. Improving the working conditions of the pit emptiers has been an important feature. Respect, dignity and inclusiveness were the key to developing a sustainable model along with ensuring stakeholder engagement and leadership. 

 

What we’re doing to help

Objective: Develop an effective and functional sludge management system for Faridpur

Private-public partnership for sustainable sludge management in Faridpur

Location: Faridpur, Bangladesh
Number of beneficiaries: 130,000 residents
Project date: March 2014 - November 2017
Partners: Faridpur Municipality
Principal funders: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Funding: $1,188,470

Practical Action is using a systems approach to improve faecal sludge management in Faridpur and improve the working conditions of informal pit emptiers.  The objective is to dramatically increase the proportion of human waste disposed of safely and improve public health.  Analysis of the sanitation system led to the creation of  incentives for safe disposal,  with a public awareness campaign and penalties to reduce unsafe practices.

The project demonstrated how of sweepers could operate as a formal business.  This increased their planning capability, improved health and safety, increased income and promoted social acceptance by increasing the status of their work.  Faridpur's new faecal sludge treatment plant started operating in February 2017 with a capacity of 24 m3 per day. Other project activities include:

  • New de-sludging equipment developed for local conditions
  • Producing compost using dried sludge, which is safe to handle and demonstrating it with local farmers to break social prejudice
  • Linking with local agriculture programmes’ to generate demand in local markets
  • City-wide communication campaign targeting all segments of the population using mime, competitions, rallies and debates
  • Representatives of the municipal authority took an oath to commit themselves to responsibility for the programme

In the next phase, we will be using the lessons learned from this work to help other municipalities in Bangladesh. 

Look how far your money can go

We were born with eyes but Practical Action gives us vision”

Rafiq Sheik, Faridpur, Bangladesh

Donate

Requesting service online

The project has set up an e-FSM service desk at the municipality to ensure immediate services to the customers. It offers:

  • Online request processing for septic tank emptying service
  • Request through SMS and phone call
  • Recording of customer satisfaction 

Waste entrepreneurs

We’ve been working with communities in the slum areas of Faridpur for several years in partnership with the local authority to address the knotty problem of human waste disposal. Waste extracted from pit toilets was usually dumped on waste land or in local rivers, creating significant he...

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FSM English Brochure (14 X 9 inch)

FSM innovation Tackling the Second-Generation Sanitation Challenge at Scale: Business Solutions for Inclusive Faecal Sludge Mana

Globally, Bangladesh stands out as a country that has made remarkable progress in eliminating the scourge of open defecation. However, this success has created a ‘second-generation’ sanitation challenge of how to deal safely with the faecal sludge collected from pit latrines and septic tanks.

As on-site sanitation solutions develop, the question of sustainable and inclusive faecal sludge management (FSM) business models is now at the heart of the challenge in Bangladesh.

Practical solution to faecal sludge management

Practical Action Bangladesh has been supporting the effort towards establishing a comprehensive city-wide Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) service to the urban population of Faridpur through an advanced and systemic approach by the municipal authority for ensuring an environmentally safe and financially sustainable private sector-led replicable model for developing country. 

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Practical Action Bangladesh has been supporting the effort towards establishing a comprehensive city-wide Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) service to the urban population of Faridpur through an advanced and systemic approach by the municipal authority for ensuring an environmentally safe and financially sustainable private sector-led replicable model for developing country. 

Situation Analysis and Business Model Development of FSM in Faridpur Municipality

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