FSM Heroes

Earlier this year, we held an open call to peer-nominate your FSM heroes as part of FSM6. These are your nominations! Thank you to all the FSM Heroes! 

*Some entries have been edited for clarity

*Entries are organised alphabetically by first name 

AK Gupta

"In the last five years, Mr Gupta has been the torchbearer, and instrumental in building capacities of 5000+ officials across the country on aspects of FSSM such as Citywide Inclusive Sanitation, Integrated Wastewater and Septage Management, and Co-treatment. Responding to the restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Gupta understood the need to move to an online platform, and thereby facilitated online capacity building of 1000+ officials for preparing FSM action plans for their cities. He works with states leading in FSSM as well as supports those states/cities at an early stage and exploring safe and sustainable options for liquid waste management."

Barbara Evans

"Barbara is my hero because of her unique combination of intellect and applied scientific understanding, grounded professional experience, sense of humour, depth of insight and clarity on what we need to do and how we need to focus to improve sanitation services for all (including and beyond FSM), her commitment to her work and to support others and their development and her ability to speak her mind and inspire others to contribute to solving a not-very-sexy but incredibly important global issue of poor sanitation and resultant loss of good health and quality of life for so many. Barbara inspires me incredibly and I feel honoured to work alongside her in our sector."

Bipin Dangol

"Bipin Dangol is Senior Sanitation Expert at IsDB. He has 20 years of experience with intensive knowledge and skills on project development and management, action research, strategic planning, organizational development, external relations. Bipin has a proven track record on sustainable sanitation, FSM, drinking water quality monitoring, household water treatment systems and arsenic testing & mitigation options."

Bob Reed

"When I was on my first FSM-mission to Bangladesh, and had to build a faecal sludge treatment plant, Bob was there to guide us during this process, helping us out with his decades of experience. I also had really good conversations with him about sanitation and faecal sludge management in regards to a possible PhD topic."

Businge John

"J.Businge is the CEO and founder of forever sanitation limited, which deals in waste management, mostly toilet emptying, plastic septic tank installation, sat pan installation and construction of pit latrines, septic tanks and bio-digesters.he is my hero because since March 2013, he has emptied over 3,250 pit latrines, removing 5,200,000 liters of sludge in 32,500 barrels and serving more than 65,000 people. He has inspired his community through the profound contribution the company makes to cities and districts where he operates. He also offers advanced knowledge, skills, training, sanitation support and training in what he does."

Christoph Luthi

"Christoph Luthi has put immense efforts within his department in ensuring that FSM knowledge base is well developed and efficiently disseminated to global south countries where such solutions are greatly needed. He oversees the whole loop from knowledge generation to knowledge dissemination and support where it is needed most".

Damir Brdjanovic

"Professor Damir is a FSM enthusiast who has dedicated his efforts towards sustainable sanitation for all. To this end, Damir has produced in person and with other inventions to specifically deal with feacal matter. To this end, Damir has trained and more than 10000 professionals in FSM and sanitation across the globe. His inventions have been tried in the most difficult of situations in the global south. Professor Damir is our hero in FSM."

Dave Still

"For well over 20 years (when I first met him, but probably he was hard it before that) Dave has quietly got on with developing pit emptying equipment and using it. He runs a business, but that has not made him a businessman. He is an engineer with a conscience, a heart and soul. He puts his beliefs into action ... not researching, talking and writing, but solving practical problems for people in South Africa and elsewhere who need improved sanitation - along all stages of the sanitation chain."

Deepa Karthykeyan

"Lead the Fsmtoolbox project"

Dr. Doulaye Kone

"More than 10 years ago , I had a chance to receive Dr. Doulaye Kone, in my experimental field , at the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (2ie, Ouaga , Burkina Faso), where I was preparing my Master thesis and studying the feasibility of Jatropha to treat wastewater. At that time, Dr. Kone, as a visiting Prof. was already providing lecture on FSM, which topic not well known as today . And since then he have been drastically promoting sanitation / FSM and therefore putting a lot efforts to save lives ! A giant and Champoin in water and sanitation in general and particularly in FSM, He has been leading the Reinvented Toilets Programs at BMGF, to not only saving live but generate safe resources (water , energy and fertiliser) for a better economie. As inventor of FSM Conference, Dr. Kone has been tremendously contributing to demonstrate to users , operators , Governments and international communities the important of FSM to meet the SGG by 2030 !!!"

Fred Muwanguzi

"Fred Muwanguzi, is a charismatic person whom I have known for over 8yrs, he started a gulping business that was despised. Looking at the status as an Overseer of six born again churches and a degree holder who was working with an international organization but resigned to start fecal sludge business. I credit him for that and surely he is my FSM Hero because I witnessed how he started with barely nothing amidst criticism from colleagues, family and church members. He has successfully established FSM business in Jinja city, serving the whole region. It employs young men and women who work in different departments. A once despised business is now attracting other people to seek employment and ideas on how to serve their communities He has been able to register with government and the company is a member of UWASNET. His passion has attracted support from USHA that is supporting them to reach steady business status in Eastern Uganda. His Vision is to do WASH as business with a focus on preventing Trachoma and other sanitation related illness irrespective of the monetary element. I anticipate business sustainability in the near future because he works with passion."

Frederic Monette

"This researcher has played an effective role in the structuration of university unit playing with FSM system in Africa and Caribbean countries."

H. Yazhini

"Tiruchirappalli has nearly 1,218 sanitation workers on payroll and 1,330 workers on contract. City Health Officer (CHO) Yazhini takes special care of sanitation workers and regularly orients them on health and safety, in collaboration with NGOs and civil societies."

Habibur Rahman

"Mr. Habib playing a vital role in FSM practices in country like Bangladesh where still the sewerage system for safely managed sanitations are quite inadequate and vulnerable due to country strategic concept! Habib is negotiating with the GO-NGO as well as Donor level to scaling up the SWEEP(a Mechanical emptying septic tank cleaning service) in 3-large cities , Bangladesh under the successful Public-Private Partnership agreement settlement. His wide vision on creating sanitation entrepreneurship as well as strengthening city utility makes an inevitable impact on changes FSM equilibrium in Bangladesh. Coverage of LIC(Low income people) under the CWIS concept is a great achievement for him as a WASH development think tank!"

James Tembo

"James is extremely dedicated, is always there for his students and colleagues, a very patient and considerate lecturer, and always in for a joke. He has all the qualities a true FSM hero needs!"

Joel Kabika

"Joel works very hard to educate others in faecal sludge management, and does so in a bright and light way, always in for a joke. He is a FSM hero that enables the next generation of FSM heroes!"

Linda Strande

"Linda Strande is developing new technologies for FSM, conducting research on FSM and contributing to create evidences and design for the developing countries."

Lukman Salifu

"I met Lukman twenty years ago, when he pioneered work on FSM at the World Bank, within the larger context of sanitation. He is a complete engineer, guiding and leading top level national and global planning and policy for better FSM and sanitation, always guided by his practical field experience. He has mastered the art of high-quality applied research blending science with hard-won experience to improve practice. Finally, he is generous with colleagues to advance the sector, lending a welcome hand if he sees an opportunity to advance thinking and action in FSM and sanitation."

M. Kesavan

"Karunguzhi Town Panchayat houses the state’s first FSTP, established in 2017. Karunguzhi has strived to be a model town to demonstrate FSM as a standalone solution for small towns. Mr Kesavan, Executive Officer of the Town Panchayat, has been instrumental in leading these efforts. He has not only successfully operationalised the FSTP but also established it as a resource centre where sector professionals, school and college students and the general public can learn about the full cycle of sanitation. He has supported a women’s group to manage the operations & maintenance of the FSTP."

M. Kumar

"Our 56-year-old hero Mr. M. Kumar resides at Srirangam in Tiruchirappalli, and is a de-sludging operator driving one of the two de-sludging trucks owned by the Tiruchirappalli City Corporation.Tiruchirappalli is a pioneer in community and public toilet (CT/PT) management where more than 50 per cent of the structures have on-site containment systems. With over 26 years of experience, Kumar is a well-known sanitation worker. He has adopted a periodic de-sludging schedule and ensures that the CT/PT containments are emptied safely and regularly. Some CT/PTs require frequent emptying and he manages such challenging situations well. Kumar is appreciated by the CT/PT caretakers for his immediate response and action to their de-sludging requests. The Corporation also owns four blockage removal vehicles to support the functioning of the underground drainage network. Kumar is also known for his unfailing support to his colleagues at the ULB whenever they need help to unclog the sewers."

Maddurala Nagamani

"Nagamani is just not a Helper, She is the 20 years young solo girl sanitation worker in the Nasapur Fecal treatment plant located in coastal region of Andhra Pradesh . She received the first septage load from a Covid Quarantine Center without any fear and setting a positive example for all co-workers. Nagamani showed immense courage and volunteered for this task. At this crucial point, she had accepted this challenge and to ensure the safety of residents."

Mathi Vathanan

"Government of Odisha is one of the frontrunners to have recognized the significance of adopting a comprehensive approach to FSSM in the urban areas. In this, Mr Mathi Vathanan, the Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Odissa, is the key driver, and champion."

Mona Mijthab

"It is inspiring to see the interdisciplinary approach of an Industrial Designer to provide people in a LMIC with sanitation solutions that not only provide safe sanitation for the people but are also safe for the environment in that leakage or disposal of FS to the ground or directly into water bodies is avoided."

Mouhamadou Gueye

"Hé drives important initiatives [sic] on sanitation"

Mr. Kanagaraj

"Mr. Kanagaraj, is a senior sanitation worker at Narasimhanaicken-palayam Town Panchayat. His role is to supervise other sanitary workers during the scheduled work hours. He is also responsible for the welfare activities for sanitation workers. The salaries of the sanitation workers are credited to their bank accounts each month. However, a majority of the workers are illiterates and often struggle to withdraw cash. Mr. Kanagaraj helps such workers voluntarily, to withdraw cash every month. He also played a crucial role in distributing essentials to sanitation workers, and also organising mental health wellness and counselling sessions for them during the pandemic."

Mr. S. Palanisamy, I.A.S

"The Government of Tamil Nadu has been a pioneer in the sanitation sector by recognising the importance of full sanitation coverage as core to improved standards of public health. Officers like Mr. Palanisamy have played a pivotal role in operationalising FSM across the state. He leads the administration, schemes and rollout of projects in 528 town panchayats, and was instrumental in establishing the state’s first FSTP at Karunguzhi Town Panchayat in 2017. The 30 KLD plant is functioning successfully and serves as a model for treatment of septage. It is also a resource centre frequented by sector professionals, and college and school students to learn more about FSM."

Mr. Thirumavalavan

"The Government of Tamil Nadu has prioritised the full cycle of sanitation, including strengthening of septage management as an economical and sustainable complement to network-based sewerage systems."

Nalliah Perumal

"Mr. Perumal experienced open defecation by himself during his childhood in his village and that made him to successfully mobilized and motivate the women folk to build 68000 household toilets from 2010 to 2016 and achieve ODF in many villages. His joy and happiness did not last long. While he was driving in a rural area in January 2017, he was shocked to see a honey sucker was dumping faecal sludge collected from septic tanks into a river. Immediately he took steps and built a faecal sludge treatment plant and called all the honey suckers in the area to dispose the faecal sludge safely in the treatment plant. He, with the advice of expertise is producing compost from human waste. The compost is regularly tested. The result of lab testing with 36 parameters is encouraging. He motivated the farmers to apply the compost in their vegetable farms."

Osbert Atwijukye

"Osbert is my FSM Hero because of his involvement in strengthening the concept of sanitation entrepreneurship in Uganda. He has passion for the approach, and designed/contextualized designs which are simple,low cost such as the decentralized faecal treatment plants, gulper technologies."

Parnasha Banerjee

"Parnasha Banerjee, has been a champion for FSM by working tirelessly behind the scenes being the backbone for the NFSSM Alliance driving collaborative action. The Alliance is a collaborative body that drives the discourse and policy of faecal sludge and septage management (FSSM) forward in India. She has no ego, is always available for any alliance members, treats everyone with respect and goes the extra mile to make the Alliance inclusive and impactful. Under her servant leadership, she has been tirelessly enabling taskforces on gender, communications, technology and financing – all critical to nurturing an engaging FSM focused community of practice. She easily collaborates with not only WSH leaders but with community members, ensuring their voice and representation is included in meetings and retreats. Finally, her creative magic and perseverance have shaped compelling media content making the case for India and FSM. She is an FSM Hero because she builds consensus and encourages discourse on FSSM with over 100 members. You do not see her even on the NFSSM Alliance website; she is the force behind the success in collaborative action."

Pierre Henri Dodane

"He supported me in doing so many things impacting my FSM surroundings with vision, and keeping doors open."

Pride Kafwembe

"I've seen Pride grow from a student of sanitation to someone taking his knowledge and applying it to achieve novel solutions for FSM in his city. He is one to watch!"

Prof. Charles Niwagaba

"Very passionate. He was first person to hear mention poo, faeces, shit very freely. Right from school admired to be like him."

Professor Christopher Buckley

"He is my hero because he is always available to help anyone not matter the time. I admire how his mind is able to tackle any project that comes his way and always listening first before giving his opinion. He is passionate about his work that if you have worked with him it will definitely rub on you and create a huge impact on how you view life."

R. Paramasivam

"Mr. Paramasivam, the sanitation inspector at Periyanaicken-palayam Town Panchayat (TP) has been the backbone of the water and sanitation management. He is responsible for the implementation of all the FSM and solid waste management related works in the TP. He oversees about 150 sanitation workers serving 8,000 households in the TP, assigning and supervising the cleaning of household and street-level drains, sanitary conveniences, and regular desludging of septic tanks."

Roshan Raj Shrestha

"Ever since I have met him, my inspiration to work in the sanitation sector has always increased. He keeps on motivating young professionals like me. He never stops to show up the sky to doodle with our interventions in the sector and scale up the knowledge and contribute accordingly. He is the doer and motivator to the people around the world and especially to me."

Sam Stanley

"I nominate Stanley for the many unseen sacrifices just to extend our knowledge on dewatering and the ripple impact this could have in the whole FSM chain."

Seydou Niang

"Seydou Niang is a hero in terms of inclusive and long term collaborations, knowledge sharing with all types of actors, in terms of vision of FSM and human factors designing solutions together with essential technologies."

Sherina Munyana

"Sherina personifies perseverance with a smile. One of the first female FSM entrepreneurs in Uganda and Africa, having founded Sanitation Solutions Group in 2014, Sherina has overcome the obstacles put in her way to create a successful FSM service delivery company that continues to grow and diversify. Sherina and her team have helped support hundreds of entrepreneurs and provided services such as pit emptying and toilet upgrades to many thousands of households. Her company is trusted partner throughout Uganda and an inspiration to sanitation entrepreneurs globally. Thank you Sherina for your FSM service!"

Sibongile Ndaba

"Sibo has been an inspiration in how she has worked with utilities to develop FSM business. I have worked with Sibo for almost 4 years now and have learnt a great deal from her thoughtful approaches to engage with utilities and build capacity. Sibo is from a private sector background, possibly one of the reasons she has avoided the often-paternalistic approaches of our sector. Her academic training in development studies possibly also helps her to be more sensitive to the colonial legacy of the development sector and how to avoid the power imbalance at the heart of many failed projects. Sibo has modelled how to work hand in hand with utilities in Lusaka and Livingstone to develop FSM services from the very initial planning stages to scaling up models for citywide coverage."

Sun Gil Kim

"Sun Gil Kim was the chair of the ISO/PC 318, which is the ISO Technical commitee tasked to develop an international standard on Faecal sludge treatment unit that generates valuable resources."

Timeyin Uwejamomere

"Timeyin is a strong FSM advocate in Nigeria. He through his organisation, Mangrove and Partners works with the Nigerian Government to improve policies on effective FSM management. He has facilitated several stakeholder workshops to advocate and build capacity on effective FSM management. He plays the crucial role of getting Government and civil service involved to put the right policies in place for the effective management of FSM. His research on FSM spans across Africa."