How can we empower urban local governments to adopt operative guidelines for septage management?
Tamil Nadu, India faces a problem of illegal and unauthorized dumping of untreated septage waste and little state involvement. This presents an urgent need for improved fecal sludge management. Athena is therefore working to empower urban local governments to adopt the Septage Management Guidelines (SMGs). It is using a systems-approach to planning and design, to support effective management of fecal sludge across the value chain. The project considers collection, desludging, transportation, treatment, reuse and disposal to then develop an integrated and holistic strategy covering institutional, regulatory, financial and social facets. The project therefore popularizes simple and cost effective ways of collecting and managing FSM data among urban local bodies, and additionally proposes a novel approach to decision making and monitoring septage linked service delivery outcomes.