In India, more and more people have access to toilets. But the widespread poor management and disposal of fecal sludge from millions of new pits and septic tanks is a fast-accumulating risk for public health and the environment. That risk is the impetus behind a national series of training sessions, which will introduce sustainable models of managing fecal sludge from its collection to its safe reuse as a resource.
The training modules are based on a pair of publications from the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) in support of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) on fecal sludge management and the potential for resource recovery and reuse. WLE/IWMI researched business models for fecal sludge management all over the country and outlined 15 feasible models. This work has become the basis for the fecal sludge and septic management courses organized by the Indian Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Institute, an uptake partner of WLE/IWMI. The courses will reach out to both the public and private sectors country-wide. Trainees will include thousands of government officials, professionals at non-governmental organizations, sanitation workers, treatment plant operators, and graduate and postgraduate students, who will learn about the safe emptying of on-site sanitation systems and what to do with the sludge.
Learning about the business models documented by WLE/IWMI, participants will also discover how the right treatment can turn waste into a valuable source to re-use, for example in agriculture. The training aims at making water resources safer by helping avoid illegal dumping and unsafe use of sludge, and at protecting the poorest and most vulnerable in Indian society.
The training, which is part of the WASH Institute's capacity building program for 2021 and 2022, will be carried out in collaboration with key national partners including the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and National Mission for Clean Ganga, as well as numerous state ministries, and international donors such as the United States Agency for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
A recording of a virtual training conducted in Hindi