Field Diary: Fecal Sludge Management and Monitoring in Kampala

Field Diary: Faecal Sludge Management and Monitoring in Kampala

To learn more about this project on ‘Design and Roll-out of the FSM toolbox and a MLE Platform for Urban FSM’, click here.

Kampala: The Sanitation Context

Situated at the periphery of Lake Victoria in South Eastern Uganda, Kampala is Uganda’s capital city and largest city with 1.5 million residents. Being the country’s economic center with a rapid urbanization rate of 5.2%1, Kampala is facing a multitude of challenges on managing sanitation. In particular, there is pressing need to provide safe and affordable sanitation services for those living in informal settlements. In addition, the city is struggling to cater to the sanitation needs of the transient population who flow into the city in the daytime for work (this group is estimated to be as large as the size of the residential population).2

The MLE program for CWIS cities arose out of perceived gaps in two areas in the Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) space: data ecosystem strengthening, and learning and exchange. The project seeks to improve existing waste management systems by developing and implementing a strong and user-friendly Monitoring, Learning and Evidence (MLE) system. The Kampala wing of the project commenced in July 2018.

Meeting Stakeholders

We held inception meetings with stakeholders including the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), the national utility providing water and sanitation services in Kampala. This enabled us to introduce the program, obtain buy-in and gain an understanding of the city’s overall ecosystem. It also helped us establish a holistic picture of stakeholders; activities, key roles and mandates; and obtain feedback and inputs on the shortlist of indicators. The stakeholder consultative process, coupled with the information obtained from the analysis of the global frameworks (such as JMP, SFD, CSDA & GLAAS), culminated into one key milestone: a master shortlist of 17 FSM indicators.

City Profiling and Ecosystem Assessment

Athena also conducted Kampala city profiling and a data eco-system assessment. Different types of data sets available on FSM were mapped, including various attributes such as data owners, definitions, frequency of collection, formats & tools, coverage (sample or census) and data exchange. Athena also supported the generation of indicator data points for the MLE dashboard from exiting data, while documenting gaps, definitional caveats and inconsistencies. Athena and KCCA have now commenced work on the development of a city data plan on how to fill the gaps identified. It is also working on strategies to generate data sustainably for more effective sanitation planning and decision-making. Athena will support KCCA to implement the city data plan.

Key Takeaways

There are some key learnings from the MLE process in Kampala so far. Firstly, collection of data on FSM is fragmented between different government bodies, which increases the difficulty of collaboration on data collection and use for policymaking. Secondly, FSM actors collect their FSM data using independent sources, each capturing part of the FSM chain. This creates an additional challenge of identifying ways to link these datasets. Thirdly, there is lack of harmonization of key definitions across stakeholders for various indicators, such as “improved vs. unimproved toilet”. For example, UBOS adopts the JMP definition of “improved”, KCCA defines “improved” as “lined pit latrines which are emptiable.” Therefore, standardizing definitions will be crucial for integrating data collection efforts and minimizing duplication.

Fourthly, there is lack of centralized platform for data exchange among stakeholders; current data exchange only happens upon request. Finally, data collection and management is largely manual (pen and paper for collection, basic Word & Excel functions for compilation and analysis). There is need for an improved mechanism to coordinate data collection and update, verification, and exchange to facilitate more efficient and effective sanitation policy-and-decision-making.

1. Presentation by Dr. Najib Lukooya Bateganya (Ph.D), Ag. Director Public Health and Environment (KCCA), at a WaterAid Workshop on Sustainable WASH (SusWASH), November 2017.
2. Presentation on Private Sector Engagement in Sanitation Service provision by Julian Musiime, Sharon Nakigudde, and Dr. Najob Lukooya Bateganya (PhD), at an International Training Program on Sustainable Water and Sanitation (ITP-SUWAS), !8th January 2018.

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Jacinta Nekesa Nangabo & Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)
Jacinta has over 10 years’ experience in programme design and management with local and international NGOs, including Plan International, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and WaterAid. Her interests include policy analysis and advocacy, stakeholder and power mapping, and research and training.