The Sanitation Value Chain: Designing Sanitation Systems as Eco-Community-Value System

  1. FS①
  2. PR
  3. FR①
  4. FR②
  5. FR③
  6. FR④
  7. FR⑤

2018

PL Photo Project Leader

YAMAUCHI Taro

RIHN/Hokkaido University

Dr. Taro Yamauchi is a professor at RIHN and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Hokkaido University. He has a B.S., a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Health Sciences from the University of Tokyo. He does intensive fieldwork in a hunter-gather society, rural villages and urban slums in developing counties to understand lifestyle and health of local populations and their adaptation to their living environments. His research interests also include sanitation and participatory action research involving local children, youth and adults. He is Vice-President of the International Association of Physiological Anthropology (IAPA) and an executive member of International Society for the Study of Human Growth and Clinical Auxology (ISGA).

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Sub Leader
FUNAMIZU NaoyukiMuroran Institute of Technlogy
Researchers at RIHN
HAYASHI KojiResearcher
NAKAO SeijiResearcher
KIMURA AyakoResearch Associate
HONMA SakiResearch Associate
Main Members
ITO RyuseiHokkaido University
USHIJIMA KenHokkaido Research Organization
IKEMI MayuSapporo International University
KATAOKA YoshimiHokkaido University
SANO DaisukeTohoku University
NAKATANI TomoakiYokohama City University
NABESHIMA TakakoHokkaido University
FUJIWARA TakuKochi University
HARADA HidenoriKyoto University
INOUE TakashiHokkaido University
SINTAWADANI, NeniIndonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Indonesia
NYAMBE, Imasiku AnayawUniversity of Zambia, Zambia
LOPEZ ZAVALA, Miguel AngeInstituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico

Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces. UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 reported that 2.4 billion people are still using unimproved sanitation facilities, including 946 million people who are still practicing open defecation. The developing world still has high under-five mortality and poverty rates. The world’s population is estimated to reach approximately 10 billion in 2050, and this population growth will happen mostly in developing countries. At the same time, depopulation and aging are increasing, especially in rural area of developed world, and the financial capability of many local governments—which are key agents in the management of sanitation systems—is getting weaker.

Sanitation systems are essential for promoting public health, preventing environmental pollution, conserving ecosystem functions, and recycling resources. The question of how to handle the waste of 10 billion people is therefore highly relevant to the global environment.

Working hypothesis of the research

The project investigates the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1:  Current sanitation problems are caused by a dissociation between the value which is provided by the sanitation system and the values of the individual people and/or the community of the people.

Hypothesis 2:  Sanitation technologies cannot work well without a social and institutional support system. The mismatch between prerequisites of technologies and local characteristics additionally complicates sanitation issues.

Figure 1 The Sanitation Value Chain acts within and between other important social values. Example for people in rural area of Burkina Faso (Figure by KATAOKA Yoshimi)

Figure 1 The Sanitation Value Chain acts within and between other important social values. Example for people in rural area of Burkina Faso (Figure by KATAOKA Yoshimi)

Key concept – Sanitation Value chain as a solution (Figure1)

The project proposes a new concept, the Sanitation Value Chain, which has the following dimensions:
1) Places the values of people and community in the center of discussion, and prepares the sanitation system to correspond to this value chain; 2) Designs the sanitation system by focusing on direct incentives for individual users and communities; 3) Recognizes a sanitation system as an integrated system with social and technical units; 4) Designs the sanitation system by making a good match between social characteristics and prerequisites of technologies

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Goals of the project

The goals of this research project are to: 1) propose the concept of Sanitation Value Chain in relation to both developing and developed countries; 2) design several pilot studies demonstrating the significance of societal, academic, and professional involvement in the co-creation of this value chain; and 3) contribute to the establishment of a new interdisciplinary academic foundation regarding on sanitation.

Research topics for achieving the goals

  1. Topic–1 
  2. Life and Sanitation: By field survey, we learn about the values of people and the norm for human excreta, and reevaluate the sanitation system in relation to the residents lives.

  3. Topic–2 
  4. Technology: We identify prerequisites of sanitation technologies and reevaluate the value that sanitation will give us. In addition, we develop new sanitization technology to make use of the value chain by understanding the values of people and local conditions.

  5. Topic–3 
  6. Co-creation of sanitation value chain: We identify stakeholders and describe the value structures of people and communities, and analyze the hierarchy and structure of stakeholders’ value chain and evaluate their affinities. We demonstrate co-creation process of the sanitation value chain.

  7. Topic-4 
  8. Visualization: In order to co-create the value chain, it is necessary to make efforts to communicate research results to actors and stakeholders. Utilizing resources and institutional collaboration of RIHN, we will develop a method to express and transmit outcomes using various media.

Research sites

The project is performing field studies at four sites: 1) the rural area in Ishikari River Basin, Hokkaido; 2) the rural area of Burkina Faso; 3) the urban area in Indonesia; and 4) the peri-urban area in Zambia.

Figure 2 The Sanitation Value Chain acts within and between other important social values. Example in urban area of Indonesia (Figure by USHIJIMA Ken)

Figure 2 The Sanitation Value Chain acts within and between other important social values. Example in urban area of Indonesia (Figure by USHIJIMA Ken)

Figure 3 E. coli exposure pathways. Example of measurement in Bangladesh, From: Harada et al. (2017) Fecal exposure analysis and E. coli pathotyping: a case study of a Bangladeshi slum, International Symposium on Green Technology for Value Chains 23-24 October, 2017, Balai Kartini, Jakarta.

Figure 3 E. coli exposure pathways. Example of measurement in Bangladesh, From: Harada et al. (2017) Fecal exposure analysis and E. coli pathotyping: a case study of a Bangladeshi slum, International Symposium on Green Technology for Value Chains 23-24 October, 2017, Balai Kartini, Jakarta.

Achievements in FS and PR studies

  1. (1) 
  2. Toilet for recycling resources. We have developed functioning toilet technologies necessary for the sanitation value chain (Figure 2) by making urine in the urban area valuable as fertilizer, the “Toilet that can concentrate urine” and “Toilet that can make phosphorus fertilizer”.

  3. (2) 
  4. Tracking propagation of pathogens. Pathogenic bacteria propagate through various routes. We have developed a molecular biological method of tracking this propagation. In Bangladesh we found that: 1) the most important route of pollution is bathing. The contribution the of water and food route is 16% (Figure 3); 2) the contamination of drinking cups is more important (72%) than of the water itself (28%); 3) the types of E. coli contained in human excreta and drinking water are different.

  5. (3) 
  6. Building relationship with people. We have created relationships with locals toward co-creation of sanitation value chains in the fields (Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Ishikari [Japan] and Zambia) (Photo 1 and Photo 2).

  7. (4) 
  8. A new international academic journal on sanitation. Our project members have begun to edit the international academic journal Sanitation Value Chain(ISSN: 2432-5066) in which papers from all over the world are published (Figure 4) Journal website: http://www.chikyu.ac.jp/sanitation_value_chain/journal.html.

Photo 1 Meeting with people in Bandung City, Indonesia (Photo by IKEMI Mayu)

Photo 1 Meeting with people in Bandung City, Indonesia (Photo by IKEMI Mayu)

Photo 2 Activities of a children’s club formed in Lusaka City, Zambia (Photo by Sikopo P. NYAMBE)

Photo 2 Activities of a children’s club formed in Lusaka City, Zambia (Photo by Sikopo P. NYAMBE)

Figure 4 International academic Journal “Sanitation Value Chain”

Figure 4 International academic Journal
Sanitation Value Chain

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