Newsdetails South Asia

Newsdetails for South Asia

15.06.2017 14:07 Category: News from BORDA South Asia
by Lincy Paravanenthu, BORDA India

In Devanahalli, India, an Award-Winning FSTP Becomes a Model for South Asia

Bringing decentralised FSM into effective operation at city scale and ensuring its sustainability is an undertaking of years. In 2017 BORDA SA has seen its efforts pay off handsomely. The Devanahalli FSTP, handed over to municipal authorities this year, is now a model for commissioned FSM projects across India and South Asia.

In Devanahalli, India, an Award-Winning FSTP Becomes a Model for South Asia


• For BORDA SA, the path towards FSM in India is already years in the making. The first step was taken in 2010, when BORDA SA was requested to deliver an FSM assessment for the state of Kerala, in consultation with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB). The aim was to produce a set of recommendations on the appropriate quality and quantity of sludge, suitable treatment options, and relevant policy regulations.


Soon after this state-level assessment was completed, BORDA SA continued working with ADB and the World Bank, conducting city-scale assessments including sanitation mapping for Guwahati, Tripura, Nepal and Bangladesh. This work has remained at the recommendation stage, as the conversion to implementation—the chance for BORDA SA to put its findings into practice in these places—would take years.


But the knowledge gained is actionable, the recommendations are adaptable, and patience pays off! With the support of local partner CDD Society and a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BORDA SA was finally able to apply their knowledge in Devanahalli, India, on the outskirts of Bangalore.


Seeing that the infrastructure for post-toilet urban sanitation in and around Bangalore was (and is) at a bare minimum, the programme team recognised an urgent need for city-scale faecal sludge management (FSM). Devanahalli presented an opportunity for BORDA and CDD Society to implement in 2016 a first-of-its-kind faecal sludge treatment plant (FSTP) and introduce the local government to the concept of FSM as an essential public service.


This undertaking builds on BORDA and CDD Society’s prior success in its initial focus area: strengthening the Operation & Maintenance (O&M) sector for servicing decentralized urban sanitation infrastructure in the state of Karnataka (home to Bangalore). With the Devanahalli FSTP, the team has branched out to designing, building, implementing and operating FSTPs, as well as developing management approaches for sustainable operations and financing. The FSTP has now been handed over to local control. This is all part of a holistic, scalable FSM solution that meets local needs and works within local conditions along the entire FSM value chain from initial capture to final reuse.


In Devanahalli, reuse is a highlight. The faecal sludge of its 30,000 residents is kept out of the environment and safely converted into reusable by-products: dried sludge as fertiliser, wastewater for irrigation, biogas for cooking. Another highlight—new in FSM—is a dedicated property tax inclusion that secures long-term funding for the FSTP. This kind of policy support from the Town Municipal Council provides a strong foundation for sustainability.


Success has brought awards (FICCI - 2017 Best Innovation in Sanitation) and requests for replication. Devanahalli is a model for 30 new FSM projects currently commissioned in towns across India, with over 100 expected by 2019 as part of the Clean India mission. And there is movement on old fronts: FSM system designs for Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. BORDA’s 40th year is a big one indeed.