I’m just back from a meeting with on-the-ground actors in Faecal Sludge Management (FSM). We discussed some of the challenges they face so that we can develop a programme for building their capacity. We hosted four groups.
One of the things that came out clearly is that having adequate and sufficient tools is a very big challenge they face. One of the issues we have here is helping them to see what they do as a business rather than a social enterprise. We can’t go on supporting them forever, but it hasn’t always been easy to show them that they should aim to purchase their own equipment.
Another key issue identified was sites for dumping the waste once they have exhausted it. The way this works differs between organisations. Bigger exhausters have to go probably 20km through Nairobi jams to dump, which increases their prices and decreases their efficiency. At the level we typically engage at, they have a small site where they can dump, but they would want to be able to connect at different points in the sewer line, because transport is via a hand cart, and taking it up and down windy narrow paths over a long distance is very inconvenient.
Other issues that were raised included lack of respect for their profession, security, management of the business and obtaining a license from the relevant body.