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Nothing Wasted

Clean water and energy from human waste

Photo of David Jan Chan
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Urban slum communities often lack access to clean water and energy. Most people living in such communities cannot afford a steady supply of potable water, gas and electricity. Those who do get better jobs but remain in the community are still cut-off from such access due to a lack of infrastructure. This dire situation is aggravated by the fact that there is no proper infrastructure for the disposal and treatment of human excrement. As cities continue to grow in population, human waste will only increase, since this is one type of waste that is not reduced by simply adopting a lifestyle of sustainable production and consumption. The idea is to work with sub-national government entities, NGOs as well as the private sector to design and operate a pilot infrastructure for the sanitary handling and treatment of human waste that will concurrently generate electricity and perhaps even provide potable water within the urban slum community.

WHO BENEFITS?

As of March 2015, international financial service company Allianz ranked Manila as the one of the top 20 highly-dense urban areas, with over 3 million people living in slums. The idea is to work with local government on identifying a suitable community within Manila (National Capital) and replicating the idea in other growing cities within the country then the region. These communities will have access to potable water, electricity and sanitation.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

The government has launched the National Sewage and Septage Management Plan in 2010 and released a Program Operations Manual in 2013. However, as of March of 2015, there has yet to be an approved public-private partnership infrastructure project that addresses this critical issue. There are several NGOs working on the issue of water sanitation and hygiene. However most of their efforts are isolated on the concern of potable water to the exclusion of sludge treatment. There are also several non-profit organizations working with communities in the aspect of building homes and providing livelihood. The idea is to bring in government, non-profit organizations, NGOs and even the private sector to collaborate on a pilot site that will consider the problem of human waste, as a possible solution to the energy crisis and perhaps even to the problem of clean water. Such an approach will consider the interests and past efforts of each group and provide opportunity to work together with community leaders. The foundation of the idea is the belief that people are never problems and that problems could very well be solutions as well.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for two or more years

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for less than one year

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • Yes

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am an advocate of sustainable development. My educational background in Chemical Engineering makes me more passionate towards Global Goals 6, 7, 9, 11 and 13. My professional experience with a non-profit organization in the past showed me the need to collaborate with multiple stakeholders.

Attachments (1)

Project Background.docx

High-level background for the project

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