CSE-WHO Training Programme on Sanitation Safety Planning

Date: October 09-12, 2018

Venue: Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute (AAETI), Nimli, Rajasthan (301405) 

The School of Water and Waste, CSE organised a training programme on Sanitation Safety Planning (SSP) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) from October 09-12, 2018 at AAETI, Nimli, Rajasthan.The training highlighted the importance of managing and investing in improvement of sanitation systems based on adequate understanding of the sanitation associated health risks.

The training programme aimedat creating change-agents in the sanitation sector, with an in-depth understanding of key concepts and principles of SSP. This includedbuilding comprehensive understanding of the sanitation systems to help associated risk assessment and identification of control measure optionsas well. Also, it focused on assessment of existing control measures and their functioning to propose beneficial public health interventions. 

There were 23participants from diverse backgrounds and regions, including planners, municipal officials, NGO representatives, academic faculties, students, and central / state government officials from Kenya, Ghana and India. Our training team saw a collaboration between WHO consultant Darryl Jackson and members from CSE’s Water Programme.

Day 1 started with an introductory session on existing planning and practises in sanitation safety by Dr. Mahreen Matto, which was followed by Darryl Jackson’s session explaining the concept of SSP. Participants were then given a brief of the field visit to Alwar city by Saakshi Joshi, where the main aim was to showcase a variety of onsite and offsite sanitation systems. The field visit included on-ground components of different sanitation chain components – on-site emptying, conveyance and disposal, current treatment measures at Alwar’s Sewer Treatment Plant (STP) and example of waste water re-use through a visit to the Decentralised Waste Water Treatment System (DWWTs) at the Nehru Garden. This also gave participants the opportunity to interact with private tank operators, STP workers, and operators of the DWWTs. The visit was not focused on the technology aspect- rather the participants were asked to observe the loop holes in the sanitation value chain with regards to hazardous events that could cause health risk to particular / relevant exposure groups. A range of issues such as manual scavenging, illegal faecal sludge disposal, lack of PPE, etc. were discussed.Dhruv Pasricha from the water team accompanied the trainers and participants during the field visit. This field visit set the tone for the rest of the training, as participants used this visit for the group exercises on the following days. 

Over the next two days, Darryl, Mahreen, and Ridhima took the participants through different steps involved in preparing for an SSP and describing a sanitation system. These sessions included setting SSP objectives and boundaries, mapping a system along with waste characterisations, identifying potential health hazards and exposure groups, gathering additional information and validating the system description done.Each of the sessions were accompanied by group exercises interspersed with energisers. With the example of the site visit conducted in Alwar, participants were able to develop a sanitation system map which comprised of defined boundaries of intervention, and gaps and issues within the existing sanitation system. These two days also saw exhaustive discussions around identifying hazards and hazardous events, risk assessment and the severity of a risk. 

Dr. Rohilla joined the programme on Day 3 to interact with the cohort. He encouraged them to begin with the basics, question each step taken, and to be in sync with the particular context of a problem. The day also saw a skype session with Prof. A.K. Sengupta, Director, Institution for Hygiene and Environmental Sanitation, Kolkata. Participants got the opportunity to understand the case study and findings of the SSP risk assessment done for the East Kolkata Wetlands.

After getting through some core elements of the planning process, participants proceeded towards developing an incremental action plan, which included the component of Operation & Monitoring (O&M). This saw discussions around using SSP for O&M of existing sanitation systems, their control measures and how these can be improved if the need arises.A crucial session on procuring finances for SSP was given by Rahul Mankotia. This session saw most questions from our urban local body participants!

Are gender perspectives important in sanitation? Saakshi Joshi facilitated an interactive session in which participants discussed their on-ground experiences as both users of sanitation facilities and practitioners in the sector, and opinions on inclusivity in sanitation services. This touched upon themes like female physiology, menstrual hygiene management, open defecation and open urination.

The training ended with a dedicated written and video feedback session conducted by Rudresh Sugam, to understand the areas of improvement and identify participants who would be willing to be a part of long-term network with CSE. An additional anonymous feedback was done by Darryl Jackson regarding participants’ opinion on the training meeting its objectives as mentioned at the start of the programme.

List of Participants 

For further information, please contact:

Saakshi Joshi, PhD
Senior Research Associate, Water Programme
+91-11-40616000 (Ext: 321)
Email: Saakshi.joshi@cseindia.org  

Rudresh Kumar Sugam
Senior Programme Manager, Water Programme
+91-11-40616000 (Ext: 389), 
Email: rudresh.sugam@cseindia.org

Dr. Suresh Kumar Rohilla, 
Senior Director & Academic Director, 
(School of Water and Waste,CSE, AAETI).


Participant Feedback
All objectives were on-point with examples. My main objective was to understand and be able to implement SSP. There should be follow up activities like reviews and assessment of participants' progress in the implementation of SSP. I would recommend this course to my colleagues from CSIR-IIR and others in the sanitation field in Ghana.

Elizabeth Von-Kiti, Research Scientist, CSIR-IIR, Ghana
SSP could be implemented in east Delhi where we are planning a holistic faecal sludge management solution. We talk about public health. SSP gave a guideline by which public health could be quantified and assessed. The sessions had a very good balance of presentations, real life examples, group exercises, and observations from site visits.

Jacob Paulose, Project Officer, CURE India
Module 3 was the most important take away for me which I would like to take further in practice. I got to learn something new about sanitation planning relevant to the Indian context. I would like to recommend government officials for this training and be associated with CSE for future trainings.

Ruchi Singla, Environment Planner, IPE Global Ltd., India
I am giving my heartfelt thanks to the CSE team for their patience, great cooperation, and great hospitality. The training staff was very knowledgeable and well trained.

Ravindra Gajbhiye, Director, SAAD, India
My top most objective was to understand the steps of SSP. I got a new perspective on sanitation and health and can implement this on field now.

Anjaney Kumar, Senior Programme Officer, PRIA