Suitable Solutions & Key Hurdles around Sanitation

Originally Posted on Linkedin by Virgilio (Perry) Rivera, Manila Water & TBC Independent Director

With government’s increased interest on UN SDGs, container-based sanitation can be one of the suitable solution options for households with limited accessibility situated in highly urbanized cities. Given this opportunity, it is imperative that solution-providers are able to hurdle key challenges, namely:

Cost of Toilet Units: It is important for the supplier to review their supply chain and logistic options and pursue further innovation to lower the cost of the toilet units for it to be attractive to low-income customers. If unaddressed, potential users can pursue construction of traditional but unsanitary toilets, as an option. In their point of view, this is more affordable than pursuing a container-based option. Moreover, import duties could significantly impact costs of the toilet. As such, it is important that suppliers can find local partners to enable faster delivery of toilet units and mitigate spike on costs due to taxes.

Operating Expenses and Cost Recovery Mechanism: Solution-providers also need to look at reviewing closely the septage collection model as increased collection frequency will significantly affect returns and project viability. It is our view that integrating the container-based sanitation solution with the utility model will ensure economic viability.

Change in Mindset: Changing deeply ingrained practices on human waste disposal by target potential customers requires intensified community organizing programs hand in hand with strict implementation of government regulations. Partnership with organizations that have a specific skill set on community organizing can help mainstream new sanitation options. Moreover, the Local Government Units have to be greatly involved in monitoring compliance of households to proper waste disposal policies.

Join us this November at the Global Sanitation Economy Summit in Pune, India the 18-21 November to learn more!

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