During the World Water Week in Stockholm, a screening of a documentary entitled "Chasing Poop – Breaking the Silence" was organized by the international firm NIYEL (www.NIYEL.net) for a wide range of actors in involved with water treatment and sanitation. The documentary highlights the danger that poor fecal sludge management poses to water quality.
The 18-minute documentary follows "poop" through three West African countries: Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, and Senegal - highlighting the little known challenges of fecal sludge management in West Africa. It reveals the different levels of progress in each country and shows how communities, the state, the private sector, and other partners manage fecal sludge from containment, through transport, treatment, and reuse.
Following the screening, an open discussion ensued, and allowed the different viewers as well as experts working on water and sanitation, to share solutions in addressing water contamination by feces and thus ensuring the improvement of water accessibility and quality.
"Water quality cannot be achieved without the proper management of fecal sludge. Countries need to better organize the emptying services, which is an essential link in sanitation; and when poorly managed, leads to fecal sludge dumping into nature and water sources," pointed out Mr. Christophe Le-Jallé Deputy Director of pS-Eau. "It is an urgent problem as we know that in Africa 95% of wastewater is not treated," he added.
"Poor management of fecal sludge exposes countries to public health and quality water supply issues. In developing countries, most fecal sludge is dumped into the environment consequently polluting freshwater sources and leading to negative health outcomes for the surrounding populations." highlighted Mrs.Laetitia Delaunay Badolo, Senior Advocacy Officer at NIYEL.
In addition, Mrs. Ruthie Rosenberg, Director of Citywise Advisor Services at Sanergy, pointed out that, "The presence of feces in the environment leads to poor health and lost productivity. By providing regular, professional collection services and guaranteeing safe treatment and reuse, we could reduce the number of pathogens in the environment and, consequently, the burden of waterborne disease."
(With Inputs from APO)