I've been observing various practices over the last month in Mumbai slums and last week at Mathare in Nairobi. Access to water poses significant challenges for how we might re-imagine the management of human waste in such areas. Availability of water is often limited to particular times of day. Sometimes the access is semi-legal – either way it's a big business and at times is open to varying degrees of exploitation by street-level vendors. It often needs to be carried from an access point back to the users' dwelling. Hence buyers carefully prioritise what they use water for.
Does this suggest that water-less solutions for waste management are likely to be more popular/effective/sustainable? If water is to be used – is the larger picture of access, distribution and user priorities being considered?
Images: Mathare in Nairobi, Kenya + Dharavi in Mumbai, India