Freya is a specialist in water and sanitation, with a background in Civil Engineering and Masters of Water Resource Engineering and Management. Freya’s career spans International Development Banks, NGO’s, research institutes and private consulting firms and has worked for extended periods in Indonesia, Nepal, Samoa, Vietnam and Australia.
Freya’s work at the Institute for Sustainable Futures focuses on Water and Sanitation for International Development. She is involved with urban water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) monitoring and evaluation, Legal and Regulatory assessments, Fecal Sludge Management and City Sanitation Planning and synthesis of research from multi-year programs investigating ‘Enterprise in WASH’ in Asia-Pacific and community managed sanitation in Indonesia.
Prior to ISF, Freya was based in Indonesia working with World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Public Work s and Local Water and Sanitation agencies. Freya designed and implemented regional studies assessing institutional, financial, technical and social challenges to improving urban sanitation for low income households. With World Bank she has also assisted with the evaluation and synthesis of multi-year technical assistance programs in Indonesia, rapid technical assessment in Vietnam and contribution to various National government regulations, guidelines and workshops. Freya has also provided technical input to ADB’s supporting Water Operator Partnership to improve operation of faecal sludge treatment plant in four cities and IFC’s support to Manila Water Corporation to develop sanitation models for low income households.
Previously working with Australian consulting firm GHD, Freya was job manager and design engineer within the Waterways and Sewerage service areas. As part of GHD’s Melbourne Water Alliance team, Freya was located within the Melbourne Water office to supervise the design and delivery of major infrastructure projects in alliance with operator and contractor. Based in the Samoa Water Authority office in Apia, Freya was involved in GHD’s assistance in the implementation of the ADB funded Samoa Sanitation and Drainage project.
Mills, F, Willetts, J, Petterson, S, Mitchell, C & Norman, G 2018, 'Faecal Pathogen Flows and Their Public Health Risks in Urban Environments: A Proposed Approach to Inform Sanitation Planning.', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 1-26.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Public health benefits are often a key political driver of urban sanitation investment in developing countries, however, pathogen flows are rarely taken systematically into account in sanitation investment choices. While several tools and approaches on sanitation and health risks have recently been developed, this research identified gaps in their ability to predict faecal pathogen flows, to relate exposure risks to the existing sanitation services, and to compare expected impacts of improvements. This paper outlines a conceptual approach that links faecal waste discharge patterns with potential pathogen exposure pathways to quantitatively compare urban sanitation improvement options. An illustrative application of the approach is presented, using a spreadsheet-based model to compare the relative effect on disability-adjusted life years of six sanitation improvement options for a hypothetical urban situation. The approach includes consideration of the persistence or removal of different pathogen classes in different environments; recognition of multiple interconnected sludge and effluent pathways, and of multiple potential sites for exposure; and use of quantitative microbial risk assessment to support prediction of relative health risks for each option. This research provides a step forward in applying current knowledge to better consider public health, alongside environmental and other objectives, in urban sanitation decision making. Further empirical research in specific locations is now required to refine the approach and address data gaps.
Abeysuriyaa, K, Khawaja, N, Mills, F, Carrard, N, Kome, A & Willetts, J 2018, 'Faecal sludge reuse in birendranagar, nepal: A case study of the world health organisation's multiple barrier approach', Water Practice and Technology, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 1-20.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© IWA Publishing. This case study presents an innovative initiative to facilitate safe reuse of faecal sludge (FS) by introducing the World Health Organisation's multi-barrier approach within a Farmer Field Schools framework for participatory experiential learning. A novel FS treatment process based on fermentation by 'effective organisms' (EM) was piloted to test the feasibility, safety and acceptability of the resulting fertilizer. Fermented FS in agricultural application was found to perform at least as well as other common fertilizers it was compared with, while its lower cost delivered higher profits per cultivated hectare. Participating farmers found it easy to prepare and use, and viewed it favourably overall. EM-based fermentation was, however, found to be insufficient as an FS treatment to render safe reuse, particularly with respect to helminth inactivation. The paper discusses strengthening the treatment barrier, and improving the application of the multi-barrier approach by the systematic consideration of non-treatment barriers using guidance from the WHO's Sanitation Safety Planning Manual. Further research to enable effective monitoring and support systems for maintaining treatment and non-treatment barriers, and for understanding long term impacts of fermented FS application is recommended. In combination, adequately treated fermented FS may be a candidate for scale up necessary for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
Abeysuriya, K, Khawaja, N, Mills, F, Carrard, N, Kome, A & Willetts, JR 2017, Applying the WHO's multi-barrier approach to faecal sludge reuse, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Mills, F, Willetts, JR & AlÁfghani, M 2017, Increasing local government responsibility for communal scale sanitation Part 1: Review of national program guidelines and two city case studies, Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
AlÁfghani, M, Prayitno, D, Mills, F & Willetts, JR 2017, Increasing local government responsibility for communal scale sanitation Part 2: Using Regional Budget (APBD) to support postconstruction sustainability of communal sanitation, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Kome, A, Ross, KE, Carrard, N, Willetts, J, Mills, F, Abeysuriya, K & Murta, J 2016, Learning Brief: Exploring legal and policy aspects of urban sanitation and hygiene, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
During 2012-2014, SNV did four country reviews of legal arrangements for urban sanitation and hygiene (Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Indonesia).
Based on this experience, this document was developed to provide guidance on how to undertake a legal scan for urban sanitation.
Over time, the ultimate objective of this work and related activities is that WASH professionals will be able to undertake a high-level assessment of legal arrangements for urban sanitation in order to both:
1. use the frameworks and tools offered by legal and policy arrangements to improve urban sanitation and hygiene outcomes; and
2. advocate for improvements in legal, policy and institutional arrangements to facilitate sustainable sanitation and hygiene outcomes for all.