Speaker: Mohammad Toriqul Islam
Mymensingh city corporation (MCC) is one of the largest cities in Bangladesh with an area of 21.73 square kilometers and 83,682 inhabitants. The city has no sewerage system and the entire population depends overwhelmingly on manual emptying services for sludge management, which is inadequate, unhealthy, and degrading the environment. This study provides an understanding on the current situation of Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) in City Corporation (CC) area and to provide detail information and analysis of the current situation and practices related to waste generation, collection, disposal, treatment and scope of a comprehensive FSM model.
Bangladesh is a developing country and considered predominantly as a rural economy. The population of Bangladesh is 164 million and ranks number 8 in the world population. With an urban population growth rate of 5.1%, about 35.6% of the total population is living in urban area. Urban population growth has a linkage with generating various types of wastes in faster mode. It is also happening in Bangladesh. Nowadays, waste management has become a major concern in the cities and towns due to high rate of migration in urban areas. Unplanned growth of the cities and towns cause health and environmental hazard in the country. In urban areas, faecal sludge (FS) is not being managed properly due to lack of awareness among the urban dwellers and insufficient service delivery from the city corporation. City Corporation services in most of the cities and towns are already over-burdened, and simply cannot meet the growing demand, resulting in unhygienic and filthy living condition in the neighborhoods.
The study method comprises analyzing the nature of the both qualitative and quantitative data which collected from the field assessment, Face-to-Face interviews with households, KIIs, FGDs. On the other side, secondary resources are from literature review of various books, reports, and publications. The survey results show that most of the households in the MCC are using sanitary latrine either pit or septic tank provision for human feces. Most people within the study area are aware of the negative consequences of not using latrine. Therefore, the owners of the households usually keep provision to install sanitary latrine within the premises by spending their own money. The issue of installing a latrine within the owner’s premises is the responsibility of the landowners. In this regard, the landowners should take clearance approval certificate on the design and the physical structure of the latrine from city authority following BNBC. Basically, the city corporation has provided efforts on awareness raising initiative and provided some hardware support for the installation of sanitary latrines among the hardcore poor in the vulnerable areas and communities. However, the city authority has limitation to engage adequate manpower and allocate resources to serve the city dwellers effectively. Consequently, the private sweepers are also serving the household owners for emptying and disposing the FS. During the study period, there was no FS treatment plant in MCC area, and it allocated a separate place outside the town for legal dumping of the collected FS. To ensure improved FSM, City Corporation should increase the capacity of the conservancy department through increasing manpower, vehicle, and others equipment. Innovative and appropriate approaches should be taken by the MCC for the emptying, collection, and disposal of FS in safe and environmentally friendly manner. Separate disposal places are the prerequisites for different kinds of wastes. Extensive awareness programs are needed to make the city people aware of the different kind of waste disposal and about the negative consequences of dumping wastes directly into the environment.
This study shows present practice scenario of the urban people on sanitation issues in broader aspects. Based on analytical outcomes, this study has identified some of the issues where more efforts would have to be given for improving overall sanitation situation and introducing effective FSM approach within the city area. Most of the households in the Mymensingh municipality have access to a toilet irrespective of its quality. Due to lack of standard design of septic tanks and proper treatment facilities, cent percent of FS in this area is discharged into environment. Moreover, many toilets are illegally connected to open drains and water bodies. Based on the findings of this study, City Corporation authority is convinced to cut-out this illegal connection. Despite this action, environment will never be healthy and safe unless and until a proper emptying and treatment procedure is established. Based on the study finding, a comprehensive FSM model has been designed and implemented.