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Fecal Sludge Management In A Unique Environment And Scope Of Reuse: Ways To Recover Resources And To Reduce Wash-borne Risks, Hazards And Vulnerability In Mongolia

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Sayed Mohammad Nazim Uddin (Beijing, China, Peoples Republic), Jean Lapegue, Zifu Li, Jan Franklin Adamowski
Action Contre la Faim (ACF) International France 1, University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB)2, McGill University 3

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 11: Key vulnerabilities and security risks,
AbstractAt present, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is a global concern and priority area in the research and international development sector (Dalton et al., 2008; Mara, 2003). In many of the world's undeveloped or partially-developed countries, and even in some developed ones, frequent outbreaks of various WASH-borne diseases (e.g. schistosomiasis (bilharzia), cholera, hepatitis, diarrhoea, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, Legionnaires' disease, malaria, and Ebola are still prevalent (Collier et al, 2010; Feikin, 2010; Fenwick, 2009; Muli, 1996; Muyodi et al., 2009; Mwanga et al., 2004; Ofulla et al., 2010; Pourrut et al., 2005; Outwater and Mpangala, 2005, Olsen, 2001, Tomasulo, 2014) and millions of dying due to these diseases (UN WATER, 2013)- Mongolia is not the exception. Mongolia is a landlocked country, and Ulaanbaatar, the coldest capital in the world, has been facing various environmental problems (see for instance, Batjargal et al., 2010; Luvsan et al., 2012). Moreover, recent studies have been addressed the sanitary problems and show that the city, particularly its surrounding peri-urban Ger area where 60% urban population inhabit without any sewer connection and drainage system, is experiencing a range of challenges in WASH and health sector (Uddin et al., 2014; Sigel et al., 2012) including household fecal sludge management and treatment. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were applied to evaluate the fecal sludge collection, transportation, storage and treatment through 'eco-toilet oriented semi-centralized composting system' in the peri-urban Ger areas of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, jointly executed by Action Contre la Faim (ACF) Mongolia and University of Science and Technology Beijing, and to assess the scope of reuse of the product through a marketing survey. In addition, the study explored financial sources to widespread replication of the system in the study area and other parts of the world. The evaluation presented in this study illustrated that despite some challenges, the fecal sludge management and treatment system is well accepted by users and is replicable due to the positive response of all users of the technologies and services. Accordingly, there is a strong potential of up scaling these services across Ger areas and elsewhere. The system proved to be feasible, replicable and acceptable in the study area which can be replicable to other parts of the low and middle income regions in the world. Feasibility study of two different technologies for fecal sludge treatment shows that while greenhouse composting is more feasible than the winter composting in terms of energy consumption, winter composting is feasible in terms of productivity and technology. Safety of the compost and the agro-products were validated in an effort to convince more communities, government officials and non-governmental agencies. It may recover valuable nutrients and reduce the WASH-borne risks and hazards of vulnerable peri-urban population associated with poor and unsanitary conditions. Market survey shows that alternative options to apply fecal compost also exist such as in horticultural pursuits, non-consumable agro-products, animal fodders, urban gardening, home gardening, soil amendments for peri-urban polluted soils, as well as land reclamation in mining areas. Although results from household survey showed that the existing technologies and services are highly subsidized and still partly shared by the households, other potential options such as micro-finance organizations including banks, government subsidies, private companies, community fund raising through building social capital (bonding-linking-bridging) can be considered as potential sources of finance for system continuity. A re-invented idea of 'Corporate WASH Responsibility' is an interesting direction to explore possible financial sources and effective mechanism for the sustainability of household fecal sludge management and treatment. Building social capital among the Ger residents may also have added value to generate community funds for monitoring and maintaining the technologies and services at scale. Enforcement of environmental laws and other related laws may also help reduce the costs associated with unsanitary/insufficient WASH facilities in the study area and other parts of the low and middle-income regions. 1. Dalton, H. R., Bendall, R., Ijaz, S. & Banks, M. (2008). Hepatitis E: an emerging infection in developed countries. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 8(11), 698-709. 2. Mara, D. D. (2003). Water, sanitation and hygiene for the health of developing nations. Public Health, 117, 452-456. 3. Collier, S. A., Stockman, L. J., Hicks, L. A., Garrison, L. E., Zhou, F. J., Beach, M. J., 2010. 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Environmental problems of Lake Victoria (East Africa): What the international community can do. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research and Management. 2, 47-53. 7. Muyodi, F. J., Bugenyi, F. W. B., Hecky, R. E., 2010. Experiences and lessons learned from the interventions in the Lake Victoria Basin: The Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research and Management. 15, 77-88. 8. Mwanga, J. R., Magnussen, P., Mugashe, C. L., Gabone, R. M., Aagaard-Hansen, J., 2004. Schitosomiasis-related perceptions, attitudes and treatment-seeking practices in Magu District, Tanzania: Public health implication. J. biosoc. Sci. 36, 63-81. 9. Ofulla, A. V. O., Karanja, D., Omondi, R., Okurut, T., Matano, A., Jembe, T., Abila, R., Boera, P., Gichuki J., 2010. Relative abundance of mosquitoes and snails associated with water hyacinth and hippo grass in the Nyanza gulf of Lake Victoria. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research and Management. 15, 255-271. 10. Pourrut, X., Kumulungui, B., Wittman, T., Moussavou, G., Delicat, A., Yaba, P., Nkoghe, D., Gonzalez, JP. and Leroy, E. M. 2005. The natural history of Ebila virus in Africa. Microbes and Infections, 7, 1005-1014. 11. Outwater, A. H., Mpangala, E., 2005. Schistosomiasis and US Peace Corps Volunteers in Tanzania. J Travel Med. 12, 265-269. 12. Olsen, A., Samuelsen, H., Onyango-ouma, W., 2001. A study of risk factors for intestinal helminth infections using epidemiological and anthropological approaches. J biosoc. Sci. 33, 569-584. 13. Tomasulo, A., 2014. First recorded cases of Ebola in Guinea. The Disease Daily: Outbreak News. Website: (accessed April 2014 14. UN WATER 2013 Mongolia: UN-Water Country Brief. Website: (accessed March 2013) 15. Batjargal, T., Otgonjargal, E., Baek, K. & Yang, J. 2010 Assessment of metals contamination of soils in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 184 (1-3), 872-876. 16. Uddin, S.M.N., Li, Z., Gaillard, J. C., Tedoff, PF., Lapegue, J, Mang, HP., Huba, E.M. Kummel, O., and Rheinstein, E. 2014c Exposure to WASH-borne hazards: A scoping study on peri-urban Ger areas in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Habitat International. (In Press) 17. Sigel, S., Altantuul, K. & Basandrorj, D. 2012 Household needs and demand for improved water supply and sanitation in peri-urban Ger areas: the case of Dharkhan, Mongolia. Environmental Earth Sciences 65 1561-1566.
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