Projects

Sanitation Marketing for Urban Onsite Sanitation Bangladesh

Though Bangladesh has made great strides in achieving overall sanitation, it has a long way to go to accomplish full hygienic sanitation coverage. The SanMark CITY project was designed to explore the critical gap that exists in introducing, adapting, and sustaining affordable on-site sanitation technologies on a large scale. The potentiality for slums in urban Bangladesh of four on-site composting toilet technologies was explored under SanMark CITY. These are: Tiger Toilet, Sun-Mar, Enbiolet, a

  • Location
  • Start project
    2013
  • Projectstatus
    Active
  • ID: NL-KVK-56484038-C_003561
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Background

The entire sanitation interventions in Bangladesh have been based on on-site sanitation systems (e.g. pit latrines and septic tanks), without much attention to the management of fecal sludge that accumulate in pits and septic tanks. Lack of proper management of wastewater and fecal sludge is causing severe environmental pollution and health problems, which is endangering the sustainability of on-site sanitation services.There appears to be limited choice regarding types of on-site sanitation facilities, particularly in slums and low-income communities. In crowded communities, sufficient space is not available for re-sitting of pit latrines when the pits fill up. In the absence of organized fecal sludge management (FSM) services, pit contents are often drained to low-lying areas or pit emptying is carried out in unhygienic manner, posing significant risks to environment and public health.

In the backdrop of these circumstances,the “Sanitation Marketing for Urban Onsite Sanitation in Bangladesh”, or “SanMark-CITY” project aims toexplore the potential of four toilet technologies to overcome some of the challenges faced in delivering a sustainable sanitation solution. The toilet technologies include: (a) Tiger Toilet; (b) Enbiolet; (c) Biofil Toilet System; and (d) Sun-Mar Composting Toilet.
Sanitation Marketing for Urban Onsite Sanitation Bangladesh

Initial situation

In recent years, Bangladesh has achieved commendable success in increasing basic sanitation coverage throughout the country. According to the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNICEF, Bangladesh’s sanitation coverage (improved and shared) rose from 50 percent in 1990 to 75 percent in 2012; open defecation has gone down from 34 percent in 1990 to 3 percent in 2012 (WHO-Unicef, 2014). While these figures represent a remarkable success story, these also indicate significant scope for improvement, especially with regard to improved sanitation coverage.

The entire sanitation interventions in Bangladesh have been based on on-site sanitation systems (e.g. pit latrines and septic tanks), without much attention to the management of fecal sludge that accumulate in pits and septic tanks. Lack of proper management of wastewater and fecal sludge is causing severe environmental pollution and health problems, which is endangering the sustainability of on-site sanitation services. Therefore, progress toward total sanitation coverage must be aligned to delivering access to quality services. This is particularly true in the urban slums of Bangladesh where environmental and physical constraints place significant barriers on the development of quality sanitation solutions.

There appears to be limited choice regarding types of on-site sanitation facilities, particularly in slums and low-income communities. In crowded communities, sufficient space is not available for re-sitting of pit latrines when the pits fill up. In the absence of organized fecal sludge management (FSM) services, pit contents are often drained to low-lying areas or pit emptying is carried out in unhygienic manner, posing significant risks to environment and public health.It is well recognized that technology and business driven solutions have a major role to play in helping to deliver better sanitation for the poor in Bangladesh.

Target group

Slums/low-income communities of varying sizes and population situation in Dhaka – Bordeshi, Panchagia, Muktijodha Complex and Chotbari.

Sustainability

The Biofil toilets (constructed entirely with locally available materials, including the tiger worms) appear to be functioning well and the technology has been well accepted by the users. The digester of the Biofil toilets appear to be functioning as designed; the digester filters have been found to overall effectively drain liquid, creating a favorable environment for the tiger worms to digest fecal matter accumulated over the filter bed. The tiger worms are effective in significantly reducing accumulation of fecal matter in the digester. The newly installed soakage pits appear to be working well.

Higher use, particularly higher water use (that could over-stress the filter system), and use of chemical cleaning agents (that could kill the tiger worms in the digester), and possible inundation of toilet digester in high water table and flood-prone areas are possible risk factors for the Biofil toilets. Higher use and use in environments with a high water table is currently being tested in ICCO’s TPTT project, which has been mandated by the Government of Bangladesh. ICCO is testing the technology in four different geographical contexts of Bangladesh i.e. coast, hill, river-island, and haor. The Biofil technology will be used in schools and as public toilet as well through this piloting with direct cooperation and endorsement of DPHE.

Biofil toilets could be a promising on-site sanitation option in areas currently served by pit/pour-flush latrines (particularly single-pit) in both urban low income communities and rural areas. Biofil toilets could effectively solve the major difficulty associated with common pit/pour-flush toilets, which is management of fecal sludge generated in these toilet pits. The Biofil toilets, in their current form, will cost approximately BDT 10,000 per digester if produced in bulk and are therefore expensive for the urban and/or rural poor as compared to conventional pit latrines which costs less than BDT 5000. However, there are no incurred operational costs for maintaining the Biofil toilet on a regular basis.

In addition, according to the technology provider, the toilet will sustain for more than 20 years. Considering these, the Biofil toilet is much less expensive than conventional single and twin-pit latrine.

Goals overview

The overall objective of the SanMark-CITY project is to successfully adapt and develop commercialization channels for four improved on-site sanitation technologies for urban areas of Bangladesh. The specific objectives include the following:

1. To test four selected toilet technologies and localize design to demonstrate their potential to meet the sanitation needs of urban poor communities in Bangladesh in asustainable and affordable way;
2. To develop business model of viable toilet technologies;
3. To explore and identify the commercial capacity and supply chain in Bangladesh to meet the demands of consumers, suppliers and large-scale sanitation programs; and
4. To facilitate knowledge management, dissemination and roll-out on a large scale
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