Decentralised Wastewater Management in ASEAN: Training Modules for the Realisation of SDG 6

Training or Learning Material
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The training modules entitled: "Decentralised Wastewater Management in ASEAN: Training Modules for the Realisation of SDG 6," developed by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in collaboration with the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), provides a comprehensive guide to equip water and sanitation professionals, policymakers, and stakeholders in ASEAN countries with the basic knowledge and skills required to effectively implement decentralised wastewater management (DWM) systems. This initiative aims to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) in the ASEAN region, which focuses on clean water and sanitation.

The training modules first highlight the critical challenges in ASEAN regarding water and sanitation, emphasising the importance of DWM as a sustainable and cost-effective solution. They also underline the necessity of comprehensive capacity building and training to promote DWM, especially in rural and peri-urban areas, to address water pollution challenges.

To effectively utilise this material for the training process, it is recommended that trainers employ a variety of instructional methods, such as lectures, workshops, case study analyses, group discussions, and field visits, ensuring a comprehensive and engaging learning experience.

The training modules cover a range of topics essential for DWM implementation. The introduction module addresses the importance of SDG 6, the significance of domestic wastewater management in ASEAN, and the principles and benefits of DWM. Key components of DWM are discussed, including on-site treatment systems, cluster or community treatment systems, collection and transportation, treatment technologies, and reuse and resource recovery. The assessment and planning module provides a step-by-step process for DWM implementation, including practical exercises. The design and construction module focuses on design principles, technology selection, and capacity building for local construction and maintenance. The operation and maintenance module covers monitoring frameworks, routine maintenance, troubleshooting, emergency response, and financing mechanisms.

Case studies from ASEAN countries present successful DWM implementations, lessons learned, and challenges. The action planning module guides the development of an enabling environment for DWM, resource mobilisation, and progress monitoring. Integration with Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programmes emphasises aligning goals, intersectoral collaboration, behaviour change, and community adoption. The climate resilience module assesses the impact of climate change on DWM systems, promoting resilient designs and circular economy principles. The cost and benefit analysis module discusses the economic aspects of wastewater treatment and provides examples of benefit-cost ratios. Finally, the advocacy and communication module covers techniques for raising awareness, stakeholder engagement, public-private partnerships, and knowledge management within ASEAN.

In conclusion, these training modules are vital for building local capacity to implement effective DWM systems, advancing SDG 6, improving public health, and fostering sustainable development in ASEAN. The initiative emphasises the need for a comprehensive approach, including policy development, continued capacity building, and stakeholder engagement, to ensure the successful implementation of DWM systems in the ASEAN region.