Issue of safe sanitation for all will become critical in the post-COVID world, says CSE director general Sunita Narain at webinar on faecal sludge management in Africa

CSE joins hands with Water Research Commission, South Africa, to conduct webinar on mainstreaming shit flow diagrams (SFD) into practice in Africa 

South Africa/India, May 4, 2020: Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the New Delhi (India)-based research and advocacy body, in collaboration with Water Research Commission, South Africa, recently organised a webinar for mainstreaming Shit Flow Diagram (SFD) into practice in Africa. This also marked the launch of the SFD promotion initiative phase-III in Africa. 

Said Suresh Rohilla, senior director, water and wastewater management, CSE: “The purpose of the initiative is to bridge the existing gap in availability of data for monitoring safely managed sanitation (SDG 6.2) and for improved planning to achieve city-wide sanitation.” 

CSE and Water Research Commission share a five-year long partnership, jointly providing solutions to issues concerning safe water and sanitation for all by building capacity of relevant stakeholders (through development of modules, model projects, training programmes and workshops). 

About 100 practitioners from South Africa and other African countries (including Botswana, Senegal, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia and Zambia) attended the webinar. The speakers at the webinar were Sunita Narain, director general, CSE; Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO, WRC, South Africa; Radu Ban, senior program officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Arne Panesar, head of program, GIZ; Barbara Evan, professor, University of Leeds, UK; Jayant Bhagwan, executive manager, WRC, South Africa; Suresh Rohilla; Bhitush Luthra, programme manager, water and wastewater management, CSE; and Sudhir Pillay, research manager, WRC, South Africa. 

Inaugurating the webinar, Narain said: “It is not enough to talk about improving and augmenting sewerage networks -- we need to talk about what kind of sewerage network will work in our part of world. This has a direct link to the issues of inclusiveness, and of affordability. Because when we talk about sanitation, we need to talk about a system which is affordable for a large number of people in our cities, across our countries. This is where the tool of SFD works to provide us with answers.” 

At the webinar, Radu Ban and Arne Panesar took the lead in explaining how SFD evolved and its need in the sector for improved excreta management across cities. Barbara Evans enlightened the participants about how SFDs are envisaged to monitor SDG 6.2. These speakers were followed by Bhitush Luthra and Jayant Bhagwan, who took everyone through the journey of SFDs in India and South Africa respectively.

For more on CSE’s work on SFDs, please contact Sukanya Nair of The CSE Media Resource Centre, 

Please visit for material related to the webinar.