Africa-South Asia Online Conclave and Training: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas

The recently released Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF clearly states that India has been responsible for the largest global drop in open defecation -- in terms of absolute numbers -- since 2015. The country has built over 170 million toilets in 0.6 million villages under the government’s ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ launched in 2014. The question one may ask here is, does this otherwise commendable feat signal the end of the story of our quest for sanitation? We don’t believe it does.

The story in India has now moved forward to one of a new challenge. The construction of such a huge number of toilets requires serious thinking on safe containment and management of the waste from them. In rural areas, where on-site containment is the only solution, an emphasis on correct toilet designs and management of liquid waste from toilets and bathrooms is needed to move towards safe sanitation. Wrong choice of technologies, sub-optimal construction, and neglect of local geography have often led to leaking of black water into ground and surface water sources.

The story in Sub-Saharan Africa remains where India was before 2015: the region needs to work on eradicating open defecation. The JMP report says that around 196 million of the 494 million people practising open defecation in the world are from Sub-Saharan Africa. But the countries in this region must not wait to first become ODF and then start planning for safe sanitation – they must plan ahead and holistically, and start focusing simultaneously on safe sanitation practices.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) invites you to a 10-day virtual training– kicked off with an online Africa-South Asia Conclave – to discuss and demystify the issues and concerns faced by countries of the Global South in managing faecal waste in rural areas, where a majority of the population of these countries resides.

The subjects of discussion

  • India’s initiatives in moving towards safe sanitation – the official perspective
  • Identifying the gaps and challenges in Global South
  • CSE’s recommendations for attaining Sustainable Development Goal 6 on sanitation
  • Ground realities: How Bangladesh/Malaysia have brought about changes on the ground


Basic information

The training course will involve self-study, and lessons will be imparted through learning tools such as presentations, audio and video files, case studies etc. Wherever required, the training will provide online forums for discussion. Quizzes and assignments will also be a part of the programme. The course will be conducted on Moodle and Zoom platforms.

The key takeaways

  • What are the safe, adaptable and sustainable decentralised technologies currently available for managing toilet waste and grey and black water?
  • How can countries leverage the use of such technologies to attain the SDG on safe sanitation?
  • Understanding faecal sludge treatment systems -- from emptying to safe disposal and reuse
  • How can faulty toilets be retrofitted?
  • Understanding the water-toilet connection – how to make the use of toilets sustainable
  • How to use Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials effectively to advocate safe disposal and reuse of faecal sludge?

Eligibility for training
The training course will be beneficial to government officials, elected representatives, CSR agencies, students, academicians, researchers, consultants, practitioners and non-profits from Asia and Africa.

The course is fellowship-based

  • If departments or organisations are nominating participants, a letter of nomination should be sent to Course Coordinator (details below).
  • If individuals are applying, they must submit a curriculum vitae and a 350-word statement of purpose on how s/he expects to utilise the knowledge imparted in the training. These should be submitted to the Course Coordinator.

The last date for applying for the training is August, 15, 2021


Shivangi Agarwal,
Research Associate,
Rural Water-Waste Programme, CSE
Email: /
Mobile: + 91-9599426168



Webinar Recording
Online Training P{rogram
Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas for Africa-South Asia
Press Release
CSE organises Africa-South Asia online conclave on faecal sludge management in rural areas; experts from Tanzania, Uganda, Malaysia, Bangladesh and India speak at the event
Managing Faecal Sludge in Rural Areas: CSE’s recommendations
By: Sushmita Sengupta
Issues, Gaps and Challenges of Managing Faecal Sludge in Tanzania: Experience from Field
By: Amour Seleman
Challenges of Faecal Sludge Management in African Countries
The Uganda Context

By: Eng. Olweny Lamu
Faecal sludge management under India’s Swachh Bharat Mission
By: Sujoy Mojumdar
A turtle’s journey towards 2030 Targets
By: Dr Abdullah Al-Muyeed
Faecal Sludge Management Malaysia
By: Dorai Narayana
Speakers and Discussants
Sunita Narain
Director General,
Centre for Science and Environment
Amour Seleman,
Senior Environmental Health Officer,
Environmental Health,
Water and Sanitation Section,
Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Tanzania
Engineer Olwemy Lamu, Assistant Commissioner,
Planning and Development,
Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department,
Ministry of Water & Environment, Uganda
Sujoy Mojumdar
Water Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist,
Dorai Narayana,
International FSM consultant,
Abdullah Al-Muyeed
Chief Operating Officer at CWIS-FSM Support cell,
Department of Public Health Engineering,
Sushmita Sengupta
Senior Programme Manager
Centre for Science and Environment