Issue 43 February 17, 2012 | A Focus on Ecological Sanitation
This WASHplus Weekly contains recent studies, guidelines, and videos on ecological sanitation. Ecological sanitation, or Ecosan, is not a specific technology but an approach to sanitation that regards sanitized human excreta and grey water as a resource. Some of the resources in this issue include a handbook on latrine construction from WaterAid, case studies from Bangladesh, Haiti, Rwanda, and Uganda, and a presentation on ecological sanitation as a business in Malawi.
WSP Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). 2009. Study for Financial and Economic Analysis of Ecological Sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa. (pdf, 5MB)
This study on financial and economic analysis of ecological sanitation (ecosan) in Sub-Saharan Africa was financed by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). It focused on a comparison of sanitation technologies suitable for urban settlements.
The aim of the study was to compare ecosan with conventional sanitation systems in terms of financial and economic costs and benefits, in order to assist decision-makers and sponsors of development programs to make informed decisions about relative merits of different types of sanitation. To achieve this, an analytical framework and a computer model were developed to assess and compare different technologies in terms of financial and economic Net Present Value (NPV).
The economic benefits derived from improved sanitation include health and environmental benefits, as well as those which are associated to excreta reuse. The latter is modeled by taking into account the volume of excreta, the mass of nutrients produced, and the monetary value of increased crop yields. Although there are a wide range of ecosan technologies, the study focused on those which have been implemented at sufficient scales, to enable a more robust analysis based, on a more extensive data set possible.
Man Promotes Toilets, Humanure for a Healthier Malawi, by John Sauer
JENDA, Malawi, Aug. 28 (UPI) — Lack of access to sanitation is still a big problem in Malawi. The Malawian Government estimates that only 23 percent of the population is using improved sanitation facilities such as ventilated improved pit latrines or flush toilets. As in several other countries worldwide, ecological sanitation toilets are starting to gain acceptance in Malawi as another form of improved sanitation. Ecosan toilets are similar to pit toilets; however they require the use of soil and ash on top of the feces after defecation so that the human feces will compost into manure (or as those in sanitation business call it “humanure”). The result is a fly- and odor-free latrine where the feces eventually become a valuable and effective fertilizer.
Those not using these types of sanitation are using either traditional pit latrines (a basic hole in the ground) or are defecating in the open. In most areas Malawi is densely populated, so unsanitary behavior is a serious health risk. Diarrhea is a major cause of illness and death amongst Malawian children. Fortunately for the residents of the town of Jenda, Solister Phiri has taken the fight to end risky sanitation practices to heart.
Read More – UPIU
MUMBAI: Public sanitation, which has been a chronic problem at most religious congregations in the country, can now be handled in a natural and eco-friendly manner, say experts. (…) Public sanitation infrastructure is grossly inadequate in most of the religious places where lakhs of people congregate. (…) For one million people, at least 40,000 to 50,000 temporary toilets are needed; whereas, the local civic body has been able to provide only around 1000 such toilets along the river front every year. (…)
Read all The Times of India
The decreasing quality and quantity of fresh water is one of the biggest challenges for developing countries like Bangladesh. Water used to wash human excreta is not recycled, rather it becomes contaminated by hazardous substances causing serious water-borne diseases”, said Dr. Mujibur Rahman, Professor of Civil Engineering Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). Dr. Mujibur Rahman was one of the experts, presenting a keynote paper at the workshop titled “Integrated support for sustainable urban environment (ISSUE-2)”, organised by Bangladesh Association for Social Advancement (BASA) and Practical Action- Bangladesh at the Seminar Room of LGED Bhaban in Dhaka on the 26th May.
Waste, generated from human and animal excreta and household garbage should be managed as a resource and can be used as an alternative for chemical fertilisers. By using the proper technology urine and human excreta, that contain many nutrients, can replace the chemical fertilisers now used in the agriculture. Ecosan toilets’ or ecosanitation are using this technology, they do not need precious drinkable water, are easy to install and might become an important contribution to the government’s goal of bringing the whole country under sanitation by 2010. However, monitoring and destroying possible pathogenic bacteria should be part of the technology was the advice of the special guest of the workshop, Chief Engineer of the Department of Public Health Engineering, Mustafizur Rahman.
Read More – The New Nation
In order to set up hygienic systems of human waste disposal, to retrieve and re-use the nutrients from human waste, and to economise water use, the concept of eco sanitation has been developed.
A contentious approach to sanitation is eco sanitation where sanitation can be viewed as a three-step process dealing with human excreta, containment, sanitization and recycling. The objective is to protect human health and the environment while reducing the use of water in the sanitation system and recycling nutrients. In practice, eco sanitation includes options such as flush-free (and odour-free) urinals, separation toilets for urine and faeces, dry and composting toilets, dehydration devices for composting of faeces, use of faeces or excreta for the generation of biogas, vacuum sewers and flush systems operating on minimal amounts of water etc.
Read More – The New Nation