Enabling Environment and Technological interventions in developing a Faecal Sludge Management Master Plan in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

4 Poster Track: Applied Research » 4 Institutional arrangements

Speaker: Isha Basyal

Summary – for publication in conference brochure:

Kathmandu Valley (KV) with 3.1 million people is undergoing rapid sanitation infrastructure development which aims to upgrade and expand sewerage infrastructure coverage from the existing 70% to 90% of its people by 2050. The remainder of the sanitation demand is being fulfilled and will continue through onsite sanitation systems (OSS) even after 2050 due to sewer access constraints. To ensure the long-term success, KV needs an effective plan which maximises the financial sustainability of its sanitation infrastructure through structuring faecal sludge management (FSM) along with wastewater management. This project explores these avenues and recommends FSM strategies with investment cost.

Introduction, methods, results and discussion:


Kathmandu Valley with the support from Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to cover 90% of its population through sewerage connections and infrastructure while over 400,000 of its people will still be relying on the on-site sanitation systems, shown in Figure 1. With over billion dollars investment planned for the next 30 years on sewerage infrastructure, FSM in comparison will have smaller investment requirements but it would play a very critical role towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 6.2 in specific.  Nonetheless, the overall management of generated faecal sludge was missing from the current investment plan. To address this, the City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation Technical Assistance Hub in South Asia engaged a team of national and international consultants to develop faecal sludge management (FSM) recommendations and investment plan for the next 30 years. The project also focused on the FSM enabling environment, including the promulgation of bylaws for municipalities to implement the program and strategies for private sector inclusion.


For assessing the existing on-site sanitation situation in all the 18 municipalities, rapid technical assessments of 3,600 households was conducted using the FSM Toolbox platform. Stakeholder consultations, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted for data verification and filling data gaps. Data modelling included determination of daily FS volume, number of trucks required, cost of the collection and treatment programs, and the tariff required to sustain the program.  Projections with five-year increments for the period 2020 to 2050 was developed assuming that participation in desludging will increase with effective enforcement of municipal bylaws and evidence based promotional campaigns.

Results and Discussion

Of the several project findings, this paper will only focus on the proposed enabling environment, treatment technology paradigms and associated investment costs.

The first key enabler for the success of KV project was identifying key line authorities and their clear roles and responsibilities as shown in Figure 2. Additionally, a proposed draft FSM bylaw was developed which can be customised as per municipality’s needs.  Second was formalising the private sector, workforce development through alliances with local and international universities as well as expanding Water Operators Partnership model to FSM which has been successfully implemented by ADB, Nepal.

The project proposes a mix of co-treatment and co-location of FS treatment infrastructure with municipal wastewater treatment be utilised. In addition, standalone systems are also proposed for the farther flung municipalities with OSS concentrations. The treatment technologies considered ranges from mechanized systems to passive systems. The overall investment cost of $52 to $62 million USD was estimated for over the 30-year planning period.




Conclusions and implications:


Rapid and unplanned urbanisation in developing countries like Nepal put immense pressure on their existing sanitation resources. The ultimate solution to meet these sanitation demands has been seen through the development of sewerage systems. However, during the development of the KV sanitation improvement plan it was found that still around 400,000 people will be relying on OSS after 2050. This has highlighted the necessity of inclusive sanitation planning not only in terms of treatment infrastructure but also in terms of sustainability, responsibility and accountability.

At the same time, it will be crucial of KV to work on the missing links like ensuring the establishment of enabling environment through enforcing municipal bylaws, formalising private sector, building their capacity to increase participation and creating alliances for workforce development in FSM. The outlined short, medium and long term goal for the overall program needs immediate implementation to achieve the end goal of 2050. 

Relevant references:

Faecal Sludge Management for Integration into the Kathmandu Valley Wastewater Master Plan
Volume 1
City Wide Inclusive Sanitation Technical Assistance Hub
South Asia

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