Faecal Sludge Management landscape in South Asia

FSM in South Asia
Image: WaterAid/Al-Emran

Countries in South Asia have seen tremendous progress towards achieving open defecation free (ODF) status. According to JMP data for 2017, only 13% of the population of South Asia was defecating in the open. Most urban centres in these countries still rely on pit latrines and septic tanks for treating their sewage but they lack adequate facilities, services or regulations for emptying, collecting, transporting, and treating faecal sludge. This has resulted in 90% of the sewage remaining untreated. Faecal sludge is dumped indiscriminately into rivers, drains and low-lying areas without any treatment, posing public health and environmental hazards. Urbanisation trends in these countries mean that the problem is likely to worsen if current trends continue. As a result, faecal sludge management (FSM) is increasingly becoming a necessary and integral part of the cities’ sanitation service provision, as a means to ensure safely managed sanitation for all by 2030. As governments begin to explore this problem, various initiatives have started to emerge, from national-level policies and frameworks to pilot interventions of decentralised systems.

Taking into consideration the knowledge and capacity gap in addressing this emerging issue, WaterAid commissioned a study in South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan) with two main objectives: 

  1. Understand key elements of the enabling framework for faecal sludge management (FSM) at country level: policies and regulations, institutional roles and responsibilities, coordination, equity, inclusion, funding and financial considerations
  2. Understand city-level FSM initiatives: identify best practices, gaps, challenges and the potential for scale-up

To get to know more, read:-
Our summary report – FSM landscape in South Asia: A brief overview, which will give you a quick snapshot of the study;
Main Report – FSM landscape in South Asia: Synthesis of a multi-country study covers the enabling framework for FSM in study countries and FSM case studies, along with comparative analysis, key findings, conclusions and policy recommendations; and Supplementary Report – FSM Landscape in South Asia: Case Studies covers detailed case studies from four cities.