Replication challenges with urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) in Uganda
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UDDT stands for urine diversion dehydration toilet. UD stands for urine diversion.
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TOPIC: Replication challenges with urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) in Uganda

Re: Replication challenges with urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) in Uganda 07 May 2014 07:05 #8499

  • JKMakowka
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@HAPitot: That document must be from 2011/2012 at the beginning of the WASHtech project I think.

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For the broader picture the very recent comprehensive review of the South-Western Towns project funded by the ADA can be found here: www.entwicklung.at/en/countries-and-regions/uganda/

A follow up project has started last year continuing official Austrian support to the WSDF in South-West Uganda and newly also those in eastern Uganda. The main focus is however not on UDDTs but water supply (target 350,000 people in small towns and rural growth centers), but it has again a (mostly software) sanitation component. They aim to have a 100% latrine coverage of the same people (using the broad GoU definition that includes shared sanitation), but as far as I can tell there is no plan to actually construct UDDTs (or other latrines) on a larger scale. The sanitation component is mentioned as "community obligation" meaning that it is a precondition for water system funds allocation. However there is some talk about an incentives schemes or some smart indirect subsidies to help reaching the 100% target (again including shared sanitation, as everything else would be highly unrealistic).

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Not having actually worked much on UDDTs here in Uganda, my impression is never the less that it isn't really a "success story" for the most part. It has found its niche in a few places, but even there is is usually only found where some outside funding was suppled for it. Most Ugandans from local NGOs and government that I have talked to, don't really consider it a viable alternative as far as I can tell, and the current focus in sanitation seems to be on improved pit-latrine emptying (which is definitely needed in urban areas).
Personally, I don't attribute cultural etc. reasons for it, but rather (partially true, partially perceived only) that the initial construction costs are too high compared to other common options. This is to a large part due to very "fancy" UDDTs constructed as pilots and examples at various sites, which are now seen as what a UDDT needs to be and thus considered un-affordable.
Add to that the totally missing service chain, general lack of willingness to do O&M, usually plenty of land for the "next" pit and low pressure to safe water or gain organic fertilizer (not true in some parts of the country, especially the north), and you have a seemingly "failed" technology. Consequently promotion of UDDTs isn't really on the development agenda here in Uganda.
Krischan Makowka
Technical Adviser at the Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET)
www.uwasnet.org
Last Edit: 07 May 2014 07:19 by JKMakowka.

Re: Replication challenges with urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) in Uganda 07 May 2014 09:18 #8503

  • muench
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Very interesting conversation about UDDTs in Uganda!

To keep it all together in one thread I have just moved a post by Charles Niwagaba (Makerere Uni, Kampala) to this thread (see at the very top of this thread on page 1). It was exactly 2 years ago when he wrote:

Just a little bit about Uganda - The coverage of ecosan in Uganda is not well known, by the way, so the 7% is just an estimate. Estimates from practitioners put the ecosan contribution to be some 10,000 - 15,000 UDDT toilet units in Uganda but there is no document to support these estimates.

It is true that the 10 year ecosan strategy for Uganda 2008-2018 has as an overall strategy goal: 'In 2018, quality of life in Uganda is improved as water resources and human health are protected by safe excreta management through sustainable ecological sanitation systems which are implemented at least at 15% of the total sanitation coverage in the country'. However, even if the strategy goal is nicely stated, there is no dedicated effort to commit resources to increase the coverage of ecosan in Uganda.

[...]

Kabale town is in Southwestern Uganda and it is one of the towns where the implementation of Ecosan started in Uganda, with the support of the Government of Austria way back in around 1997/98. Whoever wants to see large scale application of ecosan in Uganda, we send them to Kabale and Kisoro.


I also think that it never a good idea to build only "fancy" demo UDDTs, such programs might backfire and give UDDTs the reputation of being only there for wealthy people - so people sit back and wait for that elusive donor funding to appear at their doorsteps...

That's pretty much what happened in the EU-funded Ecosan Promotion Program in Western Kenya, which also led to only very limited spontaneous replication after the external funding ended...
(was e.g. mentioned here on the forum in the past: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34-uri...dts-in-western-kenya).
That Ecosan Promotion Program was still useful and important though, and has provided crucial input for the UBSUP programme for the urban poor which also uses UDDTs now (funded by BMGF): forum.susana.org/forum/categories/97-ena...p-wstf-and-giz-kenya

But the spontaneous replication, that should be our aim and sign for success, I think.

Hanns-André Pitot has in this thread written about lower-cost UDDT models in Uganda:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/55-wg-...-a-reasonable-target

If I understood him right, he has faced huge challenges to convince the staff at the Ugandan Ministry of Environment that such lower-cost UDDTs should also be promoted by the Ministry (not just the more solid, expensive ones).

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Last Edit: 07 May 2014 09:19 by muench.

Re: Replication challenges with urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) in Uganda 07 May 2014 21:33 #8518

  • HAPitot
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Thanks, Elisabeth, for these many links you are pointing out! And thanks to Krischan for the link to the review of the SW towns program.

Correct, it’s an issue I have been pointing out for years, this problem of the perceived costs of UDDTs! – and the Ministry (of Water and Environment) hasn’t responded, as far as I know. But let us also acknowledge that they are trying, when it comes to toilet promotion, and ecosan promotion in particular. Their trainings of masons, for example, are really good, only, it’s for upmarket toilets.

What has helped is, indeed, this precondition in water supply projects of having a functional toilet in place. This leaves the technology open to the users, and it can benefit any kind of technology. But, again, that’s people who can afford a water connection.

But do you, Krischan, know of any really good sanitation project here in Uganda? I wouldn't - sanitation is a tricky business with no obvious answers. And don’t expect people to shift to a completely new and somehow demanding technology within the time frame of a development project!

But when it comes to O&M in particular, I think the advantages of ecosan are obvious. I know of communal VIP latrines (a recent trend here in Uganda), that have been abandoned when it came to emptying the latrines. Whereas the emptying of ecosan toilets can be done by the users, and the materials can even be used as an input into a fertilizer business (the idea I was trying to implement in Adjumani). I still think, ecosan toilets can be the cheapest hygienically safe long term solution to the users (remember the discussion I once had with Christoph: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/55-wg-...-a-reasonable-target).
Hanns-Andre Pitot
Technical advisor water and sanitation
presently in Moroto, Uganda
Last Edit: 07 May 2014 21:38 by muench. Reason: added URL to discussion with Christoph

Re: The oldest and biggest ecosan project in East Africa is still expanding, but slowly!!! 09 May 2014 14:46 #8547

  • carmendsw
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Interesting discussions about sustainability and acceptability (financial and social) in this discussion thread. As pointed out already, costs are not the only inhibiting factor for uptake.

As part of the WASHTech project the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) was developed and tested. The TAF is a decision-support tool that helps to assess if a specific WASH technology is applicable in a certain context. In Northern Uganda (in Pader, Kabale and Agago districts) the TAF was applied to the UDDT. (the findings are summarized here http://www.washtechnologies.net/en/taf/case-studies )

The review identified challenges around Operation and Maintenance and design which negatively affected sustainability. Furthermore, for sustainability and upscaling there is a need for a management model at institutional and community levels.

One of the unforseen outcomes of applying the TAF was that it also helped those involve appreciate better the positive aspects of the UDDT.

Re: The oldest and biggest ecosan project in East Africa is still expanding, but slowly!!! 12 May 2014 20:15 #8590

  • HAPitot
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Thanks, Carmen, for this post! I would actually very much agree with the written conclusions of the case study. I'm not so sure about the pluses and minuses, however. Why would, for example, the ecosan toilets not benefit the producers/providers (of ecopans, for example) economically? I guess, you'd have to know the criteria for the rating.

In any case, thanks again, H-A
Hanns-Andre Pitot
Technical advisor water and sanitation
presently in Moroto, Uganda

Re: Replication challenges with urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) in Uganda 13 May 2014 13:53 #8605

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Dear All,

I also wish to write a few lines on the issue.
The swTws (South Western Towns Water and Sanitation) started in 1996 and still kind of exists today as WSDF-sw (Water and Sanitation Development Facility - south west) in Mbarara. WSDFs are the national approach for piped water supply and sanitation in Rural Growth Centers (RGCs) and Small Towns (STs) in Uganda. To reach out over the whole country - MWE has opened 3 more branches - the WSDF-N (north in Lira) - E (east in Mbale) and - C (center in Wakiso).

(See also this case study which I co-authored: www.susana.org/lang-en/library/library?v...p;type=2&id=1558
Kwikiriza, L., Asiimwe, A. Nuwamanya, H., Schattauer, H. (2012). Large-scale peri-urban and rural sanitation with UDDTs, South Western region, Uganda - Case study of sustainable sanitation projects. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA).)

EcoSan or better UDDTs have been seen as one of a sanitation solution soon after the project start and it was a difficult start. Uno Winblad - whom we had invited for the first trainings said - " ... if you guys want to break your horns here in faeceophobic Africa - I will support you but I would not try EcoSan again in Africa." (Remember - he has written Sanitation without Water together with Wen Kilama in Tanzania in the 70s and worked later mainly in Asia).

Consequently I see one of the major achievements of the introduction of UDDT technology in swTws - that now we can talk about human excreta in Uganda and East Africa without people turning away their heads or even leaving the meeting as it was in the late 90s.

A bit later - the in EcoSan well known Minister for Water and Environment - Hon. Maria Mutagamba helped a further big deal to talk about sanitation in Uganda and African Countries. She has a UDDT at home on the farm and she did not shy away from publishing 4 pagers about EcoSan in the Ugandan newspapers New Vision and Monitor.

The WSDFs are still promoting UDDTs as one of the sanitation options. Right now the Operations Manual for the WSDFs implementation of Water Supply is under review. In this context there will be also a close review of the Sanitation implementation approach and what Fredrick Tumusiime has mentioned - ".... embedding sanitation marketing and paying attention to FSM; e.g. construction of faecal sludge disposal facilities ... " will be among others included. Bye-laws and enforcement as Franz Höllhuber has put it here ".... there is an essential role for government. Full coverage will not come with carrots alone. Practical regulations and good enforcement are surely required!" ... will also have to play a big role.

The process has started, the final product - Sanitation Implementation Manual for WSDFs - should be out after workshops and feedback from the ground beginning 2015.

There was another question on how sanitation was and is promoted? The WSDFs are using among other methods local drama groups to inform the whole population of a town about sanitation and hygiene. I believe there must be tens of videos of shows staged by the Kinimba actors (Kabale) and other groups. Kinimba has done at least one show in english language - if one has the video I would like to have a copy.

Interesting to read that using manure from UDDTs is lesser a problem in Adjumani. I visited recently UDDTs in Karamoja (Namalu) with the WSDF-E and was surprised - have not seen better maintained UDDTs in a long time!

Costs of UDDT - I think a toilet needs at least be connected to the house and accessible under the same roof - it needs to be bright and light inside so you can see where you are stepping..... A toilet in the middle of a compound - hardly accessible at night or in the rain - is not very interesting for people to make a change. Attaching it to the house would also reduce the costs of UDDTs - as already one wall exists and the other walls could be much slimmer as they are stabilized / joined into the main building. Another thing I have learned - avoid 90 degree bends in urine piping, this avoids even little stagnant urine and therefore smell.

Thanks and greetings
Hans
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Last Edit: 13 May 2014 14:47 by muench.
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Re: Replication challenges with urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) in Uganda 13 May 2014 20:23 #8609

  • muench
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Dear Hans,

Thanks a lot for your post with this important background and historical information about ecosan and sanitation in general in Uganda. I found it very interesting.

You mentioned the minister Maria Mutagamba (I checked in Wikipedia and was happy to see that she is still minister in the Ugandan government to this date!).

There was a movie about ecosan made by WASTE in 2005 (now 9 years ago!), called "The Human Excreta Index". In that movie there is an 8-minute segment about ecosan in Uganda and there is a point where Maria Mutagamba says "yes, yes, yes, I have one of these toilets (UDDTs) at my house and I make sure every visitor sees it and uses it!".

You can watch her statement exactly at this point in the video here, just after the enthousiastic school girl:

youtu.be/Ky0wZBaC2Kg?t=7m39s

This is the link to the entire video (includes that well-known ecosan example at a school in Kalungu, see susana.org/lang-en/case-studies?view=ccb...mp;type=2&id=141):



(I am wondering if now, 9 years on, the teachers and students are still as happy about their toilets as they were in that video? Would be remarkable if that was the case).

That statement by Maria Mutagamba prompted me to decide that I also want to have a UDDT at my home. First I installed one at my workplace (then UNESCO-IHE in Delft) and later in my house in Germany. In both cases it was a Separett UDDT from Sweden.

Oh, and what you said about Uno Winblad's sentiments, he spoke about them in an interview here where he praised how easy ecosan is in China - and he also mentions what he called "faecophobia" in Africa... (and in Hindu culture):



And just for fun, do check out what Arno Rosemarin had to say 9 years ago about the issue of phosphorus in the same series of interviews by WASTE (all still very relevant now):



More segments from the movie The Human Excreta Index are available here:
susana.org/lang-en/videos-and-photos/res...amp;type=3&id=27

It's a little bit scary to see where we were 9 years ago and how we have progressed to some extent, but not as fast as we thought back then would be possible... Still the same issues 9 years later. OK, 9 years is nothing in the scheme of things, we have to be patient with sanitation and behaviour change...

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Last Edit: 13 May 2014 20:26 by muench.

Re: Replication challenges with urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) in Uganda 14 May 2014 09:44 #8615

  • Juergen
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Dear Hans,

thanks for your contribution; just a few remarks:

Faecophobia is not an African problem, I found it in Asia (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka), too. In these countries, anything else but a pour-flush latrine wouldn't be acceptable, even in the drier regions - and there is water enough for flushing, since it's just a few litres which are used per flushing. That's nothing if compared to irrigation. Over large areas in Uganda, this might be viable, too. Well arranged wetlands are certainly a way of processing the sludge and some convenient use for using it afterwards may be found.

Anyway, the observation made about linking the toilet directly to the house and making it well aerated, lighted and roomy is a very good idea; in the Far Western Development Region of Nepal, exactly this made a failed project successful in the end, and the use of toilets became popular. As it turned out, the mere fact of being or feeling observed when walking to the toilet built outside the house had hindered many users -particularly women and girls- to use these toilets; second reason for not using it was the often offending smell and flies inside the toilets (initially dry toilets), which was dealt with through improved ventilation (pipe and windows) and the siphons keeping flies back in the pits.

Best regards,

Jürgen
Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable. (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

Truth is what stands the test of experience. (A. Einstein)
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