Summary Report - Training Course on Sustainable Sanitation
Support for Environmental Management of the Iraqi Marshlands Project
International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC), UNEP DTIE
6 - 17 December 2004
The UN inter-agency assessment in 2003 found that most settlements in the vicinity of the Iraqi Marshlands lack basic sanitation systems, and wastewater is often drained through open channels to the nearest stream or to the street. The presence of human waste in streets was noted in 50 percent of villages in the region. Outbreaks of water-borne diseases have been observed and continue to pose public health concerns. The provision of wastewater treatment services is therefore a critical necessity for public health. In addition, the return of displaced persons to the marshland area continues to place increasing burden on the provision of drinking water and sanitation. To help address such needs, UNEP-DTIE-IETC organized a training course on sustainable sanitation, within the framework of the on-going project to support environmental management of the Iraqi Marshlands.
This technical training course was designed to focus on major aspects of sanitation and wastewater management. The objectives of the training included building capacity of the Iraqi decision makers on the concepts and practice of sustainable sanitation, and providing and exchanging information to prepare for the pilot projects on sustainable sanitation. The Iraqi participants, 27 in total, were from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Municipality and Public Works, Southern Governorates, and the academia. The participants had backgrounds and specialization in wastewater management, urban planning, environmental monitoring and environmental research. Training was conducted through lectures, site visits and group working exercises. The participants actively took part in discussions during the lecture sessions, site visits, and throughout the group working exercises. The Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC), IETC supporting institution, organized this course in cooperation with UNEP-DTIE-IETC. Technical support and cooperation was also extended from the Sewage Works Bureau of Osaka City and Osaka Prefectural Government.
Lectures focused on theoretical and practical aspects of wastewater management. Lectures included concepts of wastewater treatment, history and experience of wastewater management, wastewater treatment technologies, operation and maintenance of sewage treatment works, low-cost sewerage systems, prevention of waterborne diseases, industrial wastewater control. In addition, the participants were also introduced to project cycle management, water quality management in Japan, and monitoring of aquatic environment, utilizing examples from Osaka.
Site Visits and Demonstrations
Site visits were organized to provide opportunities to learn about various options for sanitation and wastewater treatment, and their management practices. The visits included large scale, community-scale, and household level treatment, as well as an industrial reuse facility. Facilities visited include: Hirano Sewage Treatment Works (large-scale) in Osaka City; community wastewater treatment plant (medium-scale) in Ibaraki New Town; Johkaso (Japanese household wastewater purifiers) plants in Toyono town; Sewerage Science Museum in Osaka City; and wastewater reuse facilities at Kubota Corporation.
A demonstration on Marshland Information Network (MIN) was held to introduce the ESTIS (Environmentally Sound Technology Information System) platform. MIN will be used for networking and data exchange of partner institutions and individuals for this project, in Arabic and English.
These exercises were organized over 2 days to introduce the project cycle management (PCM) approach to the participants. Lectures were given on the methodology, followed by group working sessions on PCM, using hypothetical cases of sanitation projects in Iraq. Based on the group work outcomes, each group presented their problem analysis and recommendations. This work gave an opportunity for the participants to share information and exchange ideas in order to work together to reach consensus.
The Iraqi participants had a meeting with the officials of Osaka city, Osaka prefecture and the Japanese Parliament members from the New Komei Party. They enjoyed a brief tour to Kyoto. Evening classes to learn a few greetings in Japanese were also organized at the JICA facility where the participants stayed.