UDDT in Adama (Ethiopia) start giving service reusing of human waste as fertilizer

  • Mammo
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Ethiopia-Adama University UDDT project seems O&M to blame again!

Hello all,

I suppose I have to introduce myself as this is my first post. I am a PhD student at the technology university of Hamburg, Germany. My study is on sustainable sanitation on a topic: 'low cost plant nutrients and organic matter recovery from human urine'. It is a research on a relatively newer concept of composting with urine. It is part of what we now call Terra Preta Sanitation (TPS). I am also interested and , therefore, involved in sustainable sanitation in a broader sense. I am posting this as a result.

I have recently visited a UDDT project in Adama Uni in Ethiopia. I am here to share my observation. Nice design and construction by GIZ-IS in cooperation with Ottorwasser (summary attached). Well done there. But, as you may read in my report attached (click on file attachments below), it seems it is under utilized. The reason,mainly, being lack of commitment in O&M. It is a pity to see such a nice construction not used in its full potential. I am not sure if O&M was an integral part of the whole plan. If it was not, it is a big big lesson for all of us.

I assume we can not yet say that it is a failure. The question is: what should be done now for it to run???

You may want to see some pictures of the project here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157625119941095/with/7092682645/

For example these 3 photos:


UDDT toilet block outside by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr


1. Temporary storage tank full of urine by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr


Adama-View-behind-UDDT-Oct2010 by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr

Addition by moderator: the design of this UDDT at the Adama university is described in detail here in these 2 documents:
www.susana.org/library?search=adama


Mammo Beriso Bulbo (MTech)
PhD, Research Project
TUHH ... AMU
Germany ... Ethiopia

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  • muench
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Re: Ethiopia-Adama Uni UDDT project seems O&M to blame again!

Dear Mammo and all,

Thanks for your first-hand report and for posting this here.
Could you tell us a bit more about yourself, e.g. what is your PhD on and which country are you from?

This UDDT installation at the Adama University is very close to my heart for two main reasons:
  1. I have followed the design and construction steps, knowing some of the people behind it (like Martin Oldenburg) and I know they really did a good job in design & construction, and worked so hard on it.
  2. It was built under a contract with GIZ-IS, which is the same company that I work for, just a different section (GIZ International Services is the "commercial arm" of GIZ if you like). Hence, I would really love this to be a success and reference site! GIZ-IS is busy right now building wastewater treatment plants at 13 other university sites in Ethiopia for the Ethiopian government (i.e. not development assistance) (but no other dry toilets).
Here is some further information about the current state (I copied this from the flickr set description):

More photos and information added in April 2012 by Solomon Kore, working for GIZ-IS:

1.There is not any imperfection in the design and construction of the UDDT Project in Adama Site.

2.The operation at this very moment is not fulfilling the designed and targeted purposes.

3.GIZ IS is not in control of its daily operations and functions after the successful completion and commissioning of the project. (it is not the scope of our company to do so)

4.Any issue either technical or administrative are to be owned, controlled and supervised only and exclusively by the client (The University)

To come to a conclusion:

A. The urine is not currently used as a fertilizer. It is simply poured on an existing Oxidation pond.

B. The faecal matter is not currently being used for any purpose. It is simply dumped to an existing oxidation pond.

C. Students are restricted to use the toilets not for any special reasons but, because of limited technical and administrative capability to manage the mass use.


So, we see that the problem is in the O&M or more specifically it seems to be with the responsibilities for O&M. What incentive does someone have to do this O&M well? If it is not done well, people resort back to pit latrines which are also there.

When compared to pit latrines, the O&M requirements for UDDTs are higher and it is not a "fail-safe system", there is no doubt about that. You can neglect a pit latrine for years, it will be filthy and smelly, sure, but that's what you expect... Only after 10 years (or less) you have to emtpy it... With a UDDT you have to be more on top of things. Daily cleaning and checking; unblocking urine pipes; re-filling ash containers; emptying urine containers and faeces drums... Are we overloading the maintenance staff - if they are totally not used to looking after a toilet in this way?

By the way, one of our former colleagues showed us photos of flush toilets at the same universities built under this program. What we got to see was not pretty: after only weeks of operation, these flush toilets had also become filthy, blocked, water dripping out of cracks in pipes and so forth. When you see that these flush toilets faced equivalent O&M difficulties as the UDDTs then you realise it is not primarily a problem with UDDTs in particular but mainly an O&M problem.

At the end of the day, if the setup is such that the additional benefits of UDDTs are not valued by the facility management staff (i.e. no odour, easier handling of dried faeces as opposed to faecal sludge, possible proximity toilet to bed room, no water needed, free fertiliser), then perhaps it is simply safer to stick to pit latrines or flush toilets.

It is all about incentives for doing the O&M right, isn't it?

I hope I am not sounding too negative here. I still have a lot of faith that these UDDTs can actually be "saved" and become a great reference project which others will come and study to see how it works and why it works to well.

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Frankfurt, Germany
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  • Yonred
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Re: Ethiopia-Adama Uni UDDT project seems O&M to blame again!

Dear Mamo,
Thank you for your post the information.
let me introduce my self as it is my first post:- My name is Yonas Hagos, i am from Ethiopia and currently doing MSc study in Sanitary Engineering in UNESCO-IHE. i am planning to do research on co-treatment of faecal sludge with anaerobic digested(Imhoff tank) in ADAMA. it is really disappointing to see the "technically well constructed UDDT in Adama Uni" are not functioning as anticipated to be.
as to me, the main missing thing in most of sanitation facilities (as far as i am concerned in Ethiopia) is the lack of O&M. Therefore, unless the O&M is included as the main component of the project in any sanitation facilities/projects this kind of problem will be happening frequently after couple of months of inauguration of the project.

The following statement presented by Dr. Elisabeth as reference is not clear for me.
GIZ IS is not in control of its daily operations and functions after the successful completion and commissioning of the project. (it is not the scope of our company to do so)

As far as i understood, "sanitation or UDDT specifically" should be said successful completed and commissioned at least after it has been used for awhile....but not after the civil structures are completed...i am sorry if it seems negative but..that is really some thing i don't understand and i would be happy to hear further success stories regarding this kind of projects so that the ADAMA case can be rehabilitated and used appropriately.

Yonas G Hagos
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  • natysecond
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Re: Ethiopia-Adama Uni UDDT project seems O&M to blame again!

Dear Mamo,

It is realy interesting to see such kind of initiatives in Adama (Nazareth). To sustain these kind of technologies, demand creation and linkage with farmers (states or individuals)seems indispensible. I hope it is not to late to create demand for the product.

thanks

Bizass
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  • kifle1adama
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Re: Adama Uddt project continity

As all of us know the UDDT project in Adama is still not functional because :-
1- the long term urine storage not constructed or installed?
2- the compost area also not contracted to compost solid waste ?

It needs also an interested devoted person to do it.

Therefore, to make it functional the long term storage and the composting place must be constructed.
The project will be functional and fruitful.

thanks

Kifle Misganaw
+251-911-797-053
Adama Ethiopia
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  • kifle1adama
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Re: UDDT in Adama (Ethiopia) start giving service reusing of human waste as fertilizer

Hello all,

I have to introduce myself as . I am a working at Adama since and technology university,Ethiopia as wast water treatment plant facility maintenance department,and i was working as national skill up grader in sanitary and plumbing thread in Giz-is i was involving during contraction and implementation time of UDDT Adama project therefore, involved in sustainable sanitation in a broader sense.
By the cooperation of the Adama since and technology vice precedent Dr Habtamu , me and ROSA Netherlands Welmoet Rienks Senior Beleidsmedewerker Planvorming |Waterschap Hollandse Delta the UDDT Adama start giving service and open for researchers.
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  • kifle1adama
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Re: Resorce recovery from UDDT

I am happy to inform you Adama UDDT start giving service again.
ROSSA project Holand water bored helped us to construct long term 40,000 liter storage.
beside this I need struvite reactor design to extract phosphorus for recovery.
resorce recovery from the urine for 20,000 liter of urine. I am looking forward to hear from you ?

Kifle
Ethiopia

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