Developing and Disseminating Guidance on Faecal Sludge Disposal Sites in Emergencies – Research Component

Organisation: BORDA

Partners: WASTE and Solidarites International

Location: Germany

Type of grant: WASH

Status: Ongoing

  • Faecal sludge being disposed of into a water body, Kurdish Region Iraq


This research attempts to understand what are the driving forces behind the decisions made on faecal sludge disposal in rapid onset emergencies at field level in order to inform the development and dissemination of guidance on the selection, establishment and risk mitigation of faecal sludge disposal sites in the early stages of a rapid-onset emergency.

What is the humanitarian need?

In 2013, the the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) commissioned a Gap Analysis[1] to identify key challenges in emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). This highlighted improving faecal sludge management during emergencies as an area requiring urgent attention. Specifically, methods for disposing of bulk faecal sludge have been highlighted as a significant problem particularly during rapid onset emergencies.

Despite the numerous innovations and technologies for a variety of humanitarian contexts that have emerged, there is still a knowledge gap among persons responsible for managing the disposal of bulk faecal sludge during rapid onset emergencies (within the first 6 months).

What is the innovative solution?

The research aims to understand what are the driving forces behind the decisions made on faecal sludge management in first phase emergencies. With this understanding, more targeted and effective methods of disseminating technical information or guidance on faecal sludge management can be developed. Additionally, this work will identify and review all emerging and proven technical solutions for disposal faecal sludge in first phase emergencies.

What are the expected outcomes?

  1. Presentation of preliminary findings and recommendations to board of experts at a “initial findings sharing workshop” on the 30th of November
  2. Recommendation report of best dissemination methods, based on the outcomes of the research.
  3. Compilation of technical options for faecal sludge management in first phase emergencies, based on most recent research.
  4. Presentation of guidelines and recommendations to the dissemination partner Solidarities International

[1] Elrha WASH Gap Analysis


Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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