sfd210 September 2016, New Delhi: A 2-day training was conducted on 7-8 September by Centre for Science and Environment on Shit Flow Diagram (SFD). This was attended by Vinitha of the Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP). The main objective of the training was to train trainers on the concept of SFD which is used to represent the route of excreta flowing through our environment, identify contained and non-contained systems, and identify the gaps along the value chain and intervene using appropriate solutions. As CSE is the only organization in India involved in SFD initiatives, they are training WASH professionals on creating SFDs through such Training of Trainer programmes.

sfdShit flow diagram is a tool for advocacy and not a analytical tool. It used in engaging city stakeholders, helping them in diagnosis and decision making. It is broadly based on percentage of population and not on the volume of waste. In the representation of a typical SFD is given alongside, the red arrows represents faecal sludge entering the environment while the green arrow represents faecal sludge which is safely contained or disposed. The width of the arrow represents percentage of population and the dotted line represents effluents coming out of the containment or pouring into open drains.

The first day of training consisted of an introduction to the SDF Promotion Initiative  and a session on How Adults Learn. This session dealt with the the effectiveness of SDF which provides a summary of the current situation in a pictoral form which is easily understood and absorbed by the viewer. There was also an overview of SFD, tools used to develop SFDs and methods of data collection.

Subsequent sessions dealt with how to impart training in the most effective manner. The importance of using case studies and intiating and moderating dialogues was discussed. The need to moderate discussions so as to guide the trainees into coming up with either possible solutions to challenges faced or questions relevant to the possible solution was emphasized. The importance of ‘homework’ or background study was underlined as the trainer may be required to resolve queries or provide inputs to situations that go beyond immediate training requirements.

The second day of training began with the screening of the CSE film “FSM in Delhi” on the sanitation value chain in Delhi. This was followed by a review where each of the participants had to present the previous day’s sessions to the rest of the group in a creative way. This was followed by a group activity where the participants had to make their own SFDs using the case studies available. This was a practical experience of analysing data, extracting necessary inputs for the tool and finally generating the SFD.

A panel discussion was also conducted where questions such as why the on-site treatment of greywater (non-sewage waste water) is not being adequately addressed were raised and discussed. By the conclusion of the training, it was evident that the SFD is indeed an effective tool to present a situation to decision makers and make them sit up and take notice of the problem. TNUSSP is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is focused on supporting the Government of Tamil Nadu’s urban sanitation programmes in the city of Coimbatore. Vinitha’s training in developing SFDs and teaching others to do the same is important to bring home the crucial need for proper faecal waste management to not only local administration but also the community which is actually bearing the consequences of unhealthy sanitation practices.