Equality for sanitation workers is key to transforming waste into Brown Gold

Photo: Hariprasad VM

By Amita Bhakta

This blog was written for the Brown Gold project at the Institute of Development Studies. The original post is available here.

The Brown Gold project explores the ways in which faecal matter — which is rich in water, nutrients and organic material — can be reimagined as ‘brown gold’. By doing so, we can enhance the livelihoods of all people living in off-grid communities. Yet, in contexts where toilet facilities require manually emptying, greater attention must be paid to those involved in extracting human excreta: sanitation workers. Achieving this means we better need to understand the ways in which workers are marginalised.

We need to look beyond the end user

We need to look at how caste intersects with other identities

We need to look towards brown gold

We need a rights-based approach