Loughborough University
WEDCThesis-2016-2017-DEWHURST.pdf (6.76 MB)

The required conditions and success criteria for container-based sanitation viability and the potential for implementation in Kathmandu, Nepal

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posted on 2020-10-09, 14:17 authored by Richard N. Dewhurst
The impact of the relentless rise in population, compounded by rapid rates of urbanisation, is being felt across the globe, with ever increasing pressures placed on land availability and resources in many cities of the developing world. A consequence of these factors is the emergence of large, unplanned and disorganised high-density urban and peri-urban settlements, where the availability of adequate sanitation facilities is intolerably low, and the space required to provide improved facilities is in exceptionally short supply. Land tenure and ownership further complicate the situation leaving many residents of such settlements with very few options to improve their sanitation. In recent years, a small number of container-based sanitation (CBS) services have been established in this type of environment, whereby human excreta are collected in sealable, portable containers or cartridges, which are subsequently collected and transported to treatment or disposal facilities. The organisations have developed reasonably independently of each other thus far, and therefore the processes by which they deliver their service are bespoke and specific to the contexts within which they operate. The reasons why variations in the operational methodologies exist are due to the developmental processes that the CBS organisations have been through to create their services. The effects of the physical characteristics of the settlements and the existence of localised influential cultural practices, have led to very context specific approaches, and varying degrees of expansion. This research identifies and collates the numerous factors and influences that can affect the success and viability of CBS, based on the experiences of the existing organisations. Through the application of the identified factors, a weighted scoring matrix was developed to create a tool which could be used to evaluate any context with regard to the potential viability of CBS. Through the use of the matrix, the potential of CBS to provide a sanitation solution in any given area can be determined. Following the identification of the required conditions and success criteria for CBS viability, and the development of the scoring matrix, the research applies the technique to the context of the squatter settlements of Kathmandu, in order to determine the potential of CBS technologies to provide these communities with an improved level of sanitation. It was determined that the potential of CBS within the squatter settlements of Kathmandu was low due to the widespread availability of existing sanitation, the low level of potential WTP and the universal practice of washing to anally cleanse following defecation.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)