Give dry toilets a fighting chance – Masterclass at CABRI

This is the presentation (pdf, 5MB) given at the Collaborative African Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) workshop on policy and funding strategies to improve WASH service delivery, held 6 to 8 June 2018.

It was also the first time I formally co-presented with Joshua Palfreman.

Points from Joshua:

“You don’t need to understand the technical science behind specific technologies – you just need to facilitate the broad policy incentives to allow entrepreneurs like Bernelle to push their ideas forward. Donors and venture capitalists won’t support initiatives that aren’t legal or officially recognized. “
“Formal doesn’t make sense if every other sector is informal. Then, the focus should be on transport infrastructure.”
“Waste pickers are essential. They need to be recognized.”

Interventions required to assist alternative forms of sanitation:

Does policy in my country support innovative technology? 
Do standards and official guidance exist (e.g. the Bureau of Standards)? (for e.g. Black Soldier Fly compost, or enzyme / Bokashi assisted composting)
Do vocational training / TVET colleges have courses tailored to alternative technologies?
Do tax and licensing incentives exist?
Central vs Decentral 
African countries have weak enforcement capacity, weak institutional  capacity and have a weak presence of governance in unplanned settlements. Centralised efforts by government regularly fail due to the lack of capacity and influence these stakeholders hold in unserved communities.
Markets and technologies that are able to scale, scale very well at the right price point and business model due to quick adoption.
Subsidies for Recovery 
Tax incentives (vat relief, tax write off)
Paid per mt diverted, in line with SWM subsidies
Grants and scholarships for vocational training
Employment of specialists to write new standards
Free transfer based infrastructure to connect primary NM collectors with bulk evacuators
I hope to craft a policy brief using these points to have something to give to people next time they ask ‘so what do you need from us’ 🙂

Fitting pieces of the puzzle

I met Josh at a Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership lecture in 2015. His ideas about informal solutions for waste management challenges impressed me, and we started talking about a DIY bottle shredder that I could use to make my floating wetlands mesh. He has recently moved to Cape Town and I hope that we can continue the thinking into realised projects.

Josh’s research articles (ResearchGate)

Chemonics Blogpost about the need to incorporate solid waste management into sanitation – the ‘environmental sanitation’ definition.



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