What we do
The ISSUE programme or Integrated Sustainable Support for Sustainable Urban Environment was one of the first large partnership programmes that WASTE has been involved in. It grew out of field experiences in urban areas in the developing world, where solid waste is poorly managed and sanitation needs, especially in poorer areas, are inadequately met, if at all. It is essential to address these problems in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals. However, conventional approaches to solving these problems are often woefully inadequate. The strategic thinking behind ISSUE was to increase the awareness of municipal decision and policy makers about the potential of more sustainable sanitation options, which are inexpensive to install, easy to maintain and affordable for the users.
The main goal of ISSUE was to improve the enabling conditions for key-stakeholders in the South to make and implement sustainable choices over the management of waste streams in urbanised areas. The programme placed a special emphasis on sustainable sanitation. Sharing knowledge played a key role in the programme as did Waste Ventures, a business development programme, which provided support in consolidating ISSUE and ensure its sustainability.
A total of nine partners, from six countries were involved in the project: ACEPESA (Costa Rica):CEK and Alphalog (Mali), Practical Action (Kenya), EEPCO (Tanzania), Mythri, Fodra and Scope (India) and CAPS (Philippines)
How we do it
All the partners followed a four-phase programme. The first phase involved forming a consortium with interested stakeholder and undertaking baseline studies of the districts where the projects would be located. The second phase involved setting up demonstration projects and disseminating information to stakeholders and decision-makers to increase their awareness of alternative approaches to sanitation. The main activity during this phase was organising workshops to identify appropriate solutions, learn from each other and work towards forming city-wide sanitation plans. The third phase fitted seamlessly with the second phase and entailed the wider dissemination of lessons learned, seeking to influence regional and sometimes national policy development and seeking the involvement of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) working in field of sanitation field, and providing them with credit where needed.
The objective of the fourth phase was to develop citywide strategic sanitation plans. Most (but not all) of the districts developed strategic sanitation plans for their city. These were discussed with the city planning offices, which acknowledged the possibilities of sustainable sanitation and recognised the desirability and viability of including them within future urban plans.
- Roughly 1100 ecological sanitation units have been constructed, including 8 community facilities and 6 for schools.
- Through the Waste Ventures programme, 4 local banks and financial institutions provided €250,000 of credit to 15 small and medium enterprises.
- A total of 38 different organisations participated in the programme. These included local governments, politicians, research and educational institutes, banks and finance institutes and local NGOs and CBOs.
- 5 Citywide Strategic Sanitation Plans were developed, which will be implemented in the next phase of ISSUE (2007 - 2010)
- Partners, consortia and students carried out 36 different studies between them, all related to introducing sustainable sanitation.
- 14 different training manuals were developed.
Achievements in the countries
- The mayor of San Fernando (the Philippines) embraced the ideas of Ecological Sanitation and her support contributed to three neighbourhood pilot projects being set up. In addition sanitation played a central role in the development of the city’s environmental plan. San Fernando is a now regarded as a role model for other cities in the Philippines. A local ceramic factory developed a toilet bowl suitable for the ecosan concept. The bowl is being marketed locally and the design is passed on to other ISSUE partners.
- CEK and Alphalog, two organisations in Mali, installed a number of ecosan toilets in their target areas, based on the Philippine design of a urine-diversion toilet. CEK focussed on urban areas in Bamako, while Alphalog targeted a village nearby Segou.
- In Kenya, Practical Action worked in Nakuru, installing 3 public ecosan toilet blocks. These are operated under public-private partnerships and are gradually becoming economically viable. GIS based data collection, provided a very detailed inventory of the sanitation, waste and water situation in the city and which will be of use in the future.
- In India, three consortia were established in the cities of Musiri, Doddabellapur and Delhi (by Scope, Mythri, and Fodra respectively). Each consortium chose a different approach: In Doddabellapur the focus was on schools and public areas, In Musiri it was on individual and communal toilets while the Delhi consortium focussed on study and logistical aspects.