Norovirus and Rotavirus Survival in Urine Collected from a Public Ecological Sanitation System in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

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Norovirus and Rotavirus Survival in Urine Collected from a Public Ecological Sanitation System in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Hello dear all,

Just sharing with you some knowledge.
About a decade ago, a large-scale ecological sanitation project was implemented in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The human urine collected from UDDTs is used as fertilizer to provide crops. The results concerning the agricultural productivity are very interesting and encouraging.

We had the idea to deepen the knowledge on the health aspects of the re-use of human urine, as fertilizer. Since the urine collected through Eco-toilets may contain pathogens (via cross contamination with faeces or other), we have evaluated the survival of enteric viruses in this matrix (few publications in the field compared to other pathogens such as bacteria, intestinal worms).Norovirus and Rotavirus were the two types of viruses used in the study. The results we have achieved are promising.

Your comments are welcome

Good reading!

Dr. Makaya Joseph
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Bonjour chers tous,

Juste un partage des connaissances.
Il a y près d’une dizaine d’années, un projet d’assainissement écologique à grande échelle a été mis en œuvre à Ouagadougou au Burkina Faso. Des urines collectées à partir des toilettes à déviations sont utilisées comme fertilisant agricole. Les résultats en termes de productivité agricole sont très intéressants et encourageants.

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Nous avons voulu approfondir l’état des connaissances sur les aspects sanitaires de la réutilisation de l’urine humaine, comme fertilisant. Etant donné que l’urine collectée à travers les Eco-toilettes peut contenir des pathogènes (via contaminations croisées avec les fèces ou autres), nous avions évalué la survie des virus entériques dans l’urine (moins de publications comparé à d’autres germes e.g bactéries, vers intestinaux). Le Norovirus et Rotavirus, ont été les deux types de virus ont été utilisés dans l’étude. Les résultats obtenus sont prometteurs.
Vos commentaires sont les bienvenus
Bonne lecture !

Et bien à vous !

Dr. Makaya Joseph

Dr Joseph Makaya

Expertise in Health and Environment / Biotechnologies

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Re: Norovirus and Rotavirus Survival in Urine Collected from a Public Ecological Sanitation System in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Dear Makaya,

thanks for bringing your publications to our attention here!

As usual, I looked for your final conclusion and found this statement in the abstract:

Our data using substitutes of human NoV and RV suggested
that there is a virucidal activity of urine against RVs and
NoVs
, given that the effect was lesser for RV. In spite of
disappointing results for boRVA, the use of urine as fertilizer
is still promising provided that future safety studies
are extended to other enteric viruses.

If you now had to translate your research results into practice and formulate policy recommendations what would you say? Or is it too early for that?

Is the source of those viruses in urine coming from cross-contamination with feces?

Also you mentioned:

About a decade ago, a large-scale ecological sanitation project was implemented in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The human urine collected from UDDTs is used as fertilizer to provide crops.

This is indeed a very famous large scale project with UDDTs in an urban area and large-scale reuse of urine.
We have a SuSanA case study about it here from 2011:
www.susana.org/en/resources/case-studies/details/84
(I was involved in reviewing this document and I just noticed that some of my yellow mark-ups are still in there...)

As far as I know the urine collection from the UDDTs stopped a while ago though because people were not willing to pay for the collection service. Is that right?

Do you have more up to date information about this project which you could share?
Has anyone written up more recent "lessons learnt" about it? Is it regarded as a failure or as a limited success story because it provided a lot of learning about how it could work?

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Re: Norovirus and Rotavirus Survival in Urine Collected from a Public Ecological Sanitation System in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Dr. Elisabeth

Thank you for the interest in our research results.
I can try to answer to your questions.

QUESTION 1: "If you now had to translate your research results into practice and formulate policy recommendations what would you say? Or is it too early for that?"

ANSWER: Based on our findings, it is possible to make some recommendations. In the study, the viruses were maintained in the urine for 49 days at which time the Rotavirus particles remained infectious (although low), even at 42 ° C.
In terms of recommendation, we can estimate that the time of hygienisation of the urine in the field (by storage) should be extended (≥ 60 days vs 30-45 days) in order to minimize the risks associated with the presence of viruses . It should be noted that the scientific literature provides information, "naked" viruses such as Rotavirus and Norovirus are the most resistant in the environment; This is what motivated the choice for our study these viral models.

QUESTION 2: "Is the source of those viruses in urine coming from cross-contamination with feces?"

ANSWER : The types of viruses studied (Rota and Norovirus) are not excreted by urine. However, urine collected through UDDTs may contain these viruses by cross-contamination with fecal matter or other environmental sources.

QUESTION 3: "As far as I know the urine collection from the UDDTs stopped a while ago though because people were not willing to pay for the collection service. Is that right?"

ANSWER : I am pleased to know that you have contributed to reviewing the above-mentioned document.
For your information, the collection of EcoSan products (urine and faeces) always continues. Indeed, there are 4 associations in charge of the management of the EcoSan system in Ouagadougou. These associations are still carrying out their activities but with many financial difficulties. After the end of the EcoSan project, the management of the system was entrusted to the municipality of Ouagadougou. Since many UDDTs are defective due to lack of maintenance, the managers of the associations are discouraged because they no longer make any profit.

QUESTION 4: "Do you have more up to date information about this project which you could share?"

ANSWER : Between 2011 and 2013, the EcoSan project in Burkina Faso was extended in semi-rural areas and in secondary towns such as Koupela, Pouytenga. Finally, the report is that the populations of these localities are more interested in the achievements of the project, compared to those of Ouagadougou.

QUESTION 5: "Has anyone written up more recent "lessons learnt" about it? Is it regarded as a failure or as a limited success story because it provided a lot of learning about how it could work?"

ANSWER : In order to provide lessons learned from the EcoSan Project in Ouagadougou, The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) through IWMI EcoSan sponsored a recent study in which I was personally involved as a consultant. As such, I do not have the finalized report of the study. If possible, you can contact the SEI, in particular Mr Linus Dagerskog.

In my opinion, the EcoSan project in Ouagadougou was not a failure but rather a limited success story, as is often the case in most development projects, when the partners leave, there are always difficulties In financial resources. The EcoSan project was accepted by the populations and the authorities, proof is that the UDDTs have been integrated into the strategic plans of the ministries in charge of sanitation and agriculture in Burkina Faso.

With regards,

Dr. Joseph Makaya
From Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Dr Joseph Makaya

Expertise in Health and Environment / Biotechnologies
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  • linusdagerskog
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Re: Norovirus and Rotavirus Survival in Urine Collected from a Public Ecological Sanitation System in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Hello Elisabeth and Dr Makaya!
I can confirm that back in 2012 I did a follow up study (commissioned by IWMI) to evaluate the state of the Ouagadougou Ecosan system and also do analysis on how the system could be more viable from a business point of view. Dr Makaya did the data collection in the field as a local consultant (merci beaucoup!).

The reports were submitted to IWMI, and the Ouagadougou case is about to be published (finally) as a chapter in an IWMI/Practical Action book on cases of various sanitation business models.

I attach the two reports I wrote at the time if anyone is interested.

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At that time the four collecting CBOs in the pilot sectors had collected 300 m3 of urine and 44 tons of dried faeces and sold most of it to farmers. However, under the circumstances of that time, cost recovery for the CBOs was only 24-43% of their running costs from collecting/selling human fertilizer (from 551 of the original 938 households). The rest of their costs was subsidized by the municipality, which pulled out the support in 2014 after a change in local government. I know the CBOs struggled to continue, and in two of the sectors a more recent project run by ACF with partners has been trying to revive the system.

The conditions were not optimal for the CBOs - the collection fee was low, households were dispersed, transport to farmers difficult and demand for fertilizers fluctuating. Considering this i think they have done quite a job to hang on for so many years.

Best
Linus

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Re: Norovirus and Rotavirus Survival in Urine Collected from a Public Ecological Sanitation System in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Hello Linus. Thank you for the comments and the documents attached.

Best regards !

Dr. Joseph Makaya

Dr Joseph Makaya

Expertise in Health and Environment / Biotechnologies
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