Berhampur is a secondary city in Odisha province in India, with a population of nearly 400,000 (2011). Historically, the city does not have an underground sewer system and the toilets are connected to septic tanks. Disposal of faecal sludge creates health and environmental challenges for the city.
Background and Objective
In response, Berhampur Municipal Corporation passed a resolution to adopt the Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) Regulations 2018 making it mandatory for all cesspool emptier vehicles to dispose faecal waste at the treatment plant. In addition, it also passed resolutions to partner with local women’ collectives, in each component of FSSM value chain, for promotion of mechanized desludging, and operation and management of the septage treatment plant in the city through a service contract. Women Self-Help Groups have been engaged in building sanitary toilets for safe containment of faecal waste, promoting mechanized emptying of septic tanks, operation and management of septage treatment plants and reuse of treated sludge. The initiative has enhanced the incomes of the collectives, ensured community participation and ownership for sustainable FSSM and promoted women empowerment.
The TC recommends this initiative for consideration to the Guangzhou Award because this initiative is relevant to most secondary cities in developing countries, where underground sewer systems are non-existent. It promotes various aspects of sustainability while also being gender sensitive. It builds local capacities, empowers women and raises their self-esteem, and helps solve an environmental problem most appropriate to local context. FSSM is cost effective and can be replicated in similar context.
This initiative is highly relevant to SDGs 6, 8, 11 and 14.