Rural FSM development in West Bengal
Steven Sugden, Water For People, June 2015
This paper studies the challenges of improving faecal sludge management (FSM) in West Bengal in India, and is likely to be applicable to other parts of India with a high water table. The pit contents are mainly water and the methods of emptying and disposal hazardous to the operators, public health and the environment. Pit emptying markets will only work if there is strong customer dissatisfaction over dumping waste into the nearly environment or the government takes a strong regulatory and enforcement line, but in West Bengal neither seem to be the case. This is compounded by the shortage or accessible treatment sites and the high water table which enables easy discharge of effluent from septic tanks. The paper finishes by exploring some of the opportunities Water For People is now pursuing to improve the situation.
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