Sanitation alumni leave no one behind

19 November 2019

World Toilet Day 2019 draws attention to those people being left behind without sanitation and the social, economic and environmental consequences of inaction.

Sustainable Development Goal 6.2 states: “By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.” The 4.2 billion people in the world living without safely managed sanitation services often face many forms of discrimination. 

The one-year MSc in Sanitation programme given at IHE Delft yields graduates with fundamental understanding and knowledge on urban and peri-urban sanitation, especially in informal settlements, as well as the skills necessary for creating impact. Below, three alumni of the programme share their stories of life after graduation, showing the impact they are having in their communities.

Farhad Safi is implementing city-wide sanitation in five Afghan cities

Farhad Safi completed MSc in Sanitation from IHE Delft in 2019. After graduation, he joined the Afghanistan Urban Water and Sanitation Program, the biggest of its kind in the country, as Team Leader for Sanitation Activities. He, together with his team, supports the programmatic interventions to increase access to urban sanitation services for residents of six major Afghan cities.
In Afghanistan as a whole, no urban area has a centralized sewage collection and treatment system. While most of the citizens are currently relying on onsite sanitation, a single treatment plant does not exist for safe treatment of faecal sludge.
Farhad is presently engaged in leading the preparation of citywide sanitation plans for five cities (Mazar e Sharif, Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar and Kunduz). These plans aim to provide a base for implementation of sanitation infrastructure and establishing enabling environment across all components of the sanitation chain: toilet, containment, emptying, transport, treatment and disposal/reuse.

Pride Kafwembe, Head Business Development - Faecal Sludge Management unit in Zambia

After a few months of completing my MSc in Sanitation, Pride Kafwembe joined the newly-established Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) unit within the Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company (LWSC) as Head – Business Development FSM. This exciting unit is fully dedicated to FSM service provision within the fast-growing city of Lusaka. This is a new line of business for LWSC as it embarks on city-wide sanitation service provision, an upgraded diversion from its traditional way of conducting its business.

Hitherto, the utility has been absent in the FSM market in Lusaka as it focused exclusively on sewerage service provision. With only about 15% of the city’s population accessing its sewerage services, there has been a growing need for the company to tap into the vastly expanding demand FSM market. With this expanded mandate by the utility, the new line of service will entail that everyone in the city will have access to equitable and quality sanitation service provision.

As Head Business Development FSM, Pride is responsible for developing business strategies/solutions for FSM for revenue generation for LWSC and to run it as a sustainable service for the utility. He is also responsible for researching the FSM market and devising marketing strategies to attract and ensure customer loyalty.
The Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company will be implementing the first ever Performance Based Contracts model for improved faecal sludge management - a Public Private Partnership arrangement where private operators have been given contracts for providing quality emptying and transport services on behalf of the utility in selected zoned service areas in the city as the utility embarks on this transformation.

Pride will be responsible for managing the contracts for the emptying and transport operators to ensure that they provide quality emptying and transport services for the households/properties on onsite sanitation facilities, which has a coverage of about 85% of the city’s over 3.2 million people.

The knowledge and skills he acquired from the MSc in Sanitation programme has well positioned me to effectively deliver on this new and exciting task he has embarked on. As one of his objectives, he want to leave a legacy that he was part of the team that rolled out the FSM in Zambia and impacted lives positively.

As part of his personal interest, he wants to create awareness about sanitation challenges and possible solutions, good sanitation practices and hygiene; and share information about studying sanitation at IHE Delft. He wants to highlight the opportunities at various universities in Africa and Asia which are part of the Global Sanitation Graduate School where the MSc in Sanitation is being rolled out. He does this by using social media platforms and traditional print media. Recently he wrote an article which was published in the national newspaper Zambia Daily Mail in November 2019.

Ziggy Kugedera works on behaviour change in Pakistan

UNICEF’s WASH country program aims to eliminate open defecation in Pakistan and ensure safely managed sanitation by 2030. According to the latest WHO/UNICEF JMP report, more than 20 million people in Pakistan defecate in the bush, and the proportion of those accessing safely managed sanitation is not known. 
Ziggy Kugedera joined UNICEF Pakistan as a WASH Communication for Development and Knowledge Management Specialist after graduating from IHE Delft’s one-year MSc in Sanitation programme. His role within the dynamic WASH team is to provide technical support to colleagues and government stakeholders on social and behavior change programming and knowledge management for documentation and sharing of field experiences and lessons learnt. 

The Pakistan Approach for Total Sanitation, which Ziggy supports the implementation of, aims towards achieving and sustaining an open defecation free environment both in the rural and urban contexts with clear emphasis towards behavior change and social mobilization enhancing the demand side of sanitation. The approach endorses the use of several branded total sanitation models which include Community Led Total Sanitation, School Led Total Sanitation, Component Sharing, Sanitation Marketing as well as Disaster Response.

He is also working with UNICEF in supporting the government in the implementation of the Prime Minister’s flagship Clean and Green Pakistan initiative, which aims to ensure that no one is left behind with regards to water, sanitation and hygiene. To address the problem of safely managed sanitation, he and his colleagues are conducting the first ever urban formative research to determine behavioral practices among residents and service providers related to fecal sludge management and other WASH activities. They are also partnering with academic institutions to generate evidence on the fecal flow in urban areas, for which currently there is no data.
Ziggy’s other role is to generate evidence through research and document good WASH practices mainly under the Department for International Development funded Accelerated Sanitation and Water for All project.

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