Assessing the risks involved in the operationalization of faecal sludge management processes in institutions located in Bushenyi district
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Improved sanitation relays the opportunity to save lives of millions of people who have succumbed to diarrhea and other sanitation related diseases. One important component of sanitation management is Faecal Sludge Management which encompasses management of sanitation systems and services. The purpose of this study is to assess the risks involved in the operationalization of faecal sludge management process in institutions located Bushenyi district. The study was guided by the following research objectives; To describe and the processes of faecal sludge management and their associated risks in Bushenyi district and to examine and characterize the properties that indicate contamination during the process of faecal sludge management in Bushenyi district. To this end the study conducted key informant discussions with two key informants and collected samples from a swamp in which faecal sludge is deposited. The study discovered that that two major onsite collection methods were being utilized namely; septic tanks and VIP latrines. The study identified foul smell, leakages, and exposure to disease causing germs as the major risks associated with the use of the aforementioned onsite collection methods. New comers, people aged above 50 years and cigarette smokers were identified to be at greater risks of being affected adversely by the foul odour. Onsite collection facilities were seen to expose users to disease causing germs associated with faecal matter. The study further discovered that emptying of onsite collection facilities is done both manually and mechanically. Mechanically, emptying is done using emptying trucks which have pumps and pipes that suck the sludge out of the collection facilities. Manually, people go down into the collection facilities and use small jerry cans to remove the sludge. The risks involved in the emptying process include solid waste in VIP latrines, leakages while emptying, and the foul smell. To mitigate the above mentioned risks, emptiers wear protective gear, treat the sludge before contact, and train in skills necessary. Faecal sludge is transported using emptying trucks and deposited in water bodies or treatment plants. The study also discovered that the water at the point of deposition was more contaminated than at the points 100 meters away from it. The study suggested further research into fill up and emptying rates of faecal sludge to be done for individual sectors like the hospitality sector, education sector, industrial sector, etc.