Several technologies displayed at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India “will be field tested in coming months in cities across India and Africa”, writes Doulaye Koné in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) blog “Impatient Optimists”.
These include reinvented toilet technologies, pit latrine and septic tank emptying technologies, as well as sludge-to-energy processing technologies. Some of the participants at the fair in New Delhi, like the President of the Fecal Sludge Emptying Association from Senegal, wanted to buy some of the technologies on display on the spot. He was very disappointed to learn that we still need to do additional testing to validate their performances before commercialization but we were thrilled about his excitement.
Beside the field testing, the BMGF has announced a collaboration agreement with the South African government on sanitation innovation solutions. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has committed ZAR 30 million (US$ 2.7 million) to test and promote toilet technologies being developed by BMGF grantees in schools and rural communities in South Africa. BMGF is contributing US$ 1 million to support the testing of technologies selected. South Africa’s Water Research Commission is the implementing agency.
“In terms of rural school sanitation, the technologies will be demonstrated in the Cofimvaba district in the Eastern Cape as part of the Technology for Rural Education Development project,” the department said. “The technologies will also be demonstrated in the 23 district municipalities that have been identified by the government as critical in terms of service delivery.”
More information on BMGF sanitation grantees is avaialable on SuSanA.org.
- Doulaye Koné , What Happened at the “Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India” and What’s Next?, Impatient Optimists, 11 Apr 2004
- South Africa, Gates Foundation to ‘reinvent the toilet’, SouthAfrica.info, 28 Mar 2014
Can you imagine not being able to go to school because you’re on your period? | Source/complete article: Women24, Feb 10, 2014.
Excerpt - Sue Barnes’ Project Dignity allows girls and young women in townships and rural areas to keep attending school while they’re menstruating.
Sue Barnes displays the Subz panty pack she has designed for girls who cannot afford sanitary products. Picture: Marilyn Bernard
Sue Barnes, founder of Project Dignity, a remarkable initiative for South African school girls, has been recognised as the 2013 Clarins Most Dynamic Woman of the Year.
Barnes, from Cowies Hill in KwaZulu-Natal, founded the project after she learned how many girls in poor communities skip school while they menstruate.
Lacking money to buy sanitary products, many South African school girls don’t attend class during menstruation.
They also put themselves at risk of infection by using unhygienic alternatives to sanitary pads, such as newspaper or even sand and leaves. As a result, millions of girls miss up to a quarter of their school days.
The Water Research Commission (WRC) was established in terms of the Water Research Act (Act No 34 of 1971), following a period of serious water shortage. It was deemed to be of national importance to generate new knowledge and to promote the country’s water research purposefully, owing to the view held that water would be one of South Africa’s most limiting factors in the twenty-first century.
Below is a bibliography of the the many useful reports and manuals prepared by WRC on sanitation and wastewater treatment. These are available on the WRC website.
- WRC: Building Knowledge for SA’s Future……………….2
- KSA 3: Water Use and Waste Management…………….3
- Ecological Sanitation………………………………………………4
- Services Provision…………………………………………………….6
- Wastewater Treatment…………………………………………..18
- Education and Awareness……………………………………..26
A parliamentary committee wants to cancel a 550 million Rand (US$ 81.7 million) rural sanitation contract with an NGO for its failure to deliver services on time. The ministers of Public Works and of Human Settlements want to give the NGO, Independent Development Trust, a second chance.
The parliament’s human settlements portfolio committee wants to cancel the second and third phases of the Trust’s contract to build pit and flushing toilets in 25 rural municipalities. The Independent Development Trust was to have completed the first phase of its three-year contract, worth 100 million Rand (US$ 14.8 million) in April 2011, but it only spent 46 million Rand ((US$ 6.8 million) on 8368 pit toilets – a third of which were delivered after the deadline.
The committee plans to table a report in parliament calling for Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde to cancel the rest of the contract. Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale pleaded with the committee to give the development trust more time and not to hand the contract over to the private sector.
However, MPs told Sexwale that they had been trying for 10 months to get the trust to deliver and tender documents indicated that it had no experience in sanitation and should not have been given the contract..
Source: Anna Majavu, Times Live, 27 Jun 2011
Durban — It might seem unusual for a waste utility to be concerned with the goal of ending world hunger, but that’s part of the mission of the Water and Sanitation department in South Africa’s second largest city of Durban. AllAfrica’s Julie Frederikse spoke with Neil MacLeod, who heads this department for the municipality known by its Zulu name, eThekwini.
“Intensive agriculture requires fertilizers, whose main component is phosphorus, yet where does our phosphorus go after it goes into crops and is digested?” said eThekwini Municipality Water and Sanitation director Neil MacLeod. “Into a toilet. And then it goes into a treatment works, then into a river, and it gets washed into the sea.”
With an estimated 30 percent of household water used to flush Durban’s toilets – water which the city has paid to pump and purify – MacLeod sees flushing toilets as unsustainable technology. Like much of Africa, South Africa is water-scarce, with water restrictions expected soon for this city of 3.7 million, whose population is swelling by some 150,000 people per year.
MacLeod sees salvation in an alternative toilet that uses no water at all. Called the Urine Diverting (UD) toilet, it separates urine from faeces so that nutrients can be recovered and returned to the earth. Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus – aka NPK 5:3:1 – is an excellent fertilizer for growing vegetables.
A new initiative in South Africa is testing practical, community-scale ways to use urine as a fertiliser. The initiative is part of new project funded by the Gates Foundation.
Urine-diverting dry toilet in Umlazi, near Durban. Photo: Eawag
After installing about 90 000 urine-diversion toilets in home gardens, the port city of Durban now wants to install 20-litre (quart) containers on 500 of the toilets to capture urine, which can be turned into fertiliser.
Although a news item about the initiative claimed that the municipality would be paying households about around R30 (US$ 4.40) for a week’s supply of urine, the project coordinator Bastian Etter from Eawag, says that this is “an invention of a journalist of Agence France Presse (AFP) and not the strategy of the eThekwini Municipality”. “Neither the eThekwini Municipality nor our research team has set up a compensation scheme for collected urine”, Mr. Etter said in an e-mail.
Posted in Africa, Economic Benefits, Funding, Research, Sanitary Facilities
Tagged EAWAG, eThekwini Water and Sanitation utility, finance, Gates Foundation, South Africa, urine, urine diverting toilets
WRC – REVIEW OF SANITATION POLICY AND PRACTICE IN SOUTH AFRICA FROM 2001-2008.
Download Full-text (pdf)
Report to the Water Research Commission, 2010
A study conducted by DWAF (2005) to audit the sustainability of the sanitation projects implemented from 1994-2003 found that a significant number of these projects were not sustainable. This problem of poor sustainability could be due to a lack of common understanding and interpretation of the national sanitation policy by municipalities and other implementing agents.
The Water Research Commission initiated this study to examine the understanding and interpretation of the national sanitation policy and programme by municipalities and to identify aspects of the policy that were poorly understood and/or misinterpreted and to make recommendations for bridging the gap between policy and practice.