McCall_B533105_Final-Dissertation.pdf (1.99 MB)
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Excreta disposal in humanitarian emergencies in urban areas with a high water table

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posted on 23.09.2021, 13:07 authored by Des McCall
With the global population increasingly living in cities, it is anticipated that humanitarian emergencies will occur more frequently in urban settings. Urban emergencies present particular challenges to excreta disposal, and these are further complicated where there is a high water table. This study investigated recent urban emergencies, looking at what factors contributed to safe excreta disposal, and what obstacles there were. With a focus on learning from practical experience, the research used grounded theory, to identify good practice for excreta disposal in highwater table urban emergencies. A number of ‘core concepts’ were identified, which if adequately considered and incorporated into a response, will contribute to a successful outcome. These include addressing the constraints and opportunities which result from operating in an urban context, effective community engagement and designing sustainable programmes. The research concludes with the presentation of a framework for good practice for dealing with excreta disposal in high water table urban emergencies.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)