SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Thu, 08 Oct 2015 22:06:41 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: Eco toilets in remote Togo - by: muench
I agree with Erik (welcome to the forum, Erik!) that Arborloos are a great choice in this rural situation, and that informed choice is important.

If you go down the Arborloo route, be aware that we also have a sub-category dedicated to Arborloos on this forum:

And as Erik pointed out, Peter Morgan has written extensively on Arborloos. Peter's publications are always brilliant and very practical. See e.g. these two:

Or search for "Arborloo" in the SuSanA library here:

However, I also wanted to point out that "ecosan toilets" (also known as urine-diverting dry toilets or UDDTs) do not necessarily require reuse of the excreta if there is no desire to do so. There are 80,000 UDDTs near Durban where the users do not reuse any of the excreta. The UDDTs have other benefits which makes them worthwhile (e.g. no need to shift or rebuild the superstructure). They do require handling of the dried faecal matter about once every year or two. But this is not a disgusting process as dried faecal matter is much less offensive than wet faecal matter of faecal sludge from pit latrines.

We have a very good Wikipedia page on UDDTs which will tell you more if you're interested:

Good luck and please do tell us more about your work in remote Togo! How is it funded?

Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Tue, 06 Oct 2015 10:26:57 +0000
Re: Eco toilets in remote Togo - by: ErikTN
To make the squathole with a tight fitting lit can substitute the VIP model. Check also for models. With only 185 households it is however a bit expensive to import special sanitation tools from Sweden.

You may make your own tool for the squathole. It is easy. Just follow the instruction and draw on paper to make the "keyhole model" squathole tool for tight fitting lids:
1. Make a 20 cm diameter circle.
2. From a point on the edge make a line 13 cm (so it look like a lolipop).
3. Draw a cicle of 10 cm diameter at the end point (the outer edge of small circle is now 18 cm from where the line started.
4. Make two parallel lines 10 cm apart from the outside of small circle to tuch the big circle.
5. Trace all the outher lines, and you should end up with a keyhole design
6. Make a new design there the outher edge is 1 cm inside the first design.
7. Cut out the two keyholes and glue on something thin and stiff. Cut this stiff material to fit the paper models. - You now have a big and a small keyhole design.
8. Take the two designs to a carpenter and use the big keyhole to cut a mould of wood. It can be 3 cm thick wood or 5 cm, depending on how much slope you want on the slab, i.e. slope towards the squathole, when the slab is having 4 or 5 cm at the edge.
9. Take the big keyhole cut in wood and place the small keyhole model on top, and make a new line one cm inside the edge on one side of the wooden mould.
10. Now cut with a slant so you get a conical mould with a sloping edge always one cm smaller at the bottom compared to the top. Make the wood smooth with sandpaper.
11. Put a nail in the centre on the top, so you can remove the mould after casting the squathole.
12. Put a thin plastic bag in the dry squathole on the cured slab (after 1 day) and fill with concrete (about 2 litres, depending on thickness of mould, 3-4 cm).
13. You need to put a metal handle into the new concrete lid, so you can easily remove/replace it.
14. The handle is best made from 6 mm soft reinforcemt iron bar, 90 cm for one handle.
15. Hammer to short pieces (10 cm) of 6mm bar into a big piece of wood (e.g. tree trunk), leaving 6 mm apart. Measure 140 mm 90 degrees from the two first pieces and hammer one more into the wood.
16. Use your the "lid bending tool" to bend the 90 cm 6 mm bar into a square style "number 9" where the part outside the circle is double. You should bend in length of 15, 15, 15, 15 and 30.
17. Place the handle in the concrete with the long double iron part of handle in the slim part of the squathole, then it will be ballanced for use.

The lid is tight fitting as cast in the squathole, the handle with double iron in the slim part makes it strong. Due to the conical form of the squathole mould the lid cannot fall into the pit.

Sorry no manual to show, as I always forget to take photos of this (for 20 years). I will try to remember to take these photos next time I work with the local latrine builders /carpenter.

But have a look at the attached photo of plastic squathole mould from They are very good quality. I used to buy them but sometimes I can make them faster locally, and there is the question of sustainability regarding imported tools.

You only need one squathole mould for making latrines for all 185 households in the village. The mould only need to stay in the slab some 20-30 minutes until the concrete has settled.

Pls remember to rinse the tools in water after use.

Regards, Erik]]>
Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Sat, 03 Oct 2015 22:50:50 +0000
Re: Eco toilets in remote Togo - by: ErikTN
When there is a taboo for handling human faeces the only type of ecosan you may promote is the ARBORLOO (plant a tree latrine). Here there is no handling, and you get the benefits from reusing the nutrients for growing a tree in the pit.

One disadvantage is that you need to make a new small pit every 6-12 months, and shift the slab and superstructure.

Peter Morgan in Zimbabwe has very nice low-cost designs. My favourite model is the one with a ring (bricks or concrete) with a smaller slab on top. It can be made with VIP function, but that will require careful construction of the superstructure to function. Check out the models with a seat.

Google ArborLoo, and you get e.g.
Peter Morgan. 1998. Introduction. Compost latrines, which are now being promoted on a small scale in Zimbabwe, have the primary aim of disposing and ...

Go to the homepage to get access to more reports/design manuals or
Search in the achive of

I attach some photos from my work in Guatemala, Zambia, Angola, Tanzania and Mozambique which show feasible options that may work in Togo. The important thing is to use "Informed Choice", i.e. giving people the proper information on cost, O&M for several sanitation options for the future users to make an inteligent choice of what is desirable and affordable for them. The small slabs must be supported by a wooden platform, i.e. they are designed for upgrading traditional latrines with a washable slab. The 40x60 cm slab is the lowest cost option for a slab (1-2 USD in material costs) - If you make it smaller there will only be the hole left

Regards, Erik]]>
Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Sat, 03 Oct 2015 22:03:58 +0000
Eco toilets in remote Togo - by: Dekamile ]]> Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Wed, 30 Sep 2015 14:31:53 +0000 Re: Exodus and Sanitation (migration of people from the Middle East to Europe) - by: muench
Interesting topic you've raised. As a German resident, I can tell you that this refugee crisis is huge for us right now - it's dominating the news and all our conversations... It is wonderful and impressive, I think, how welcoming most Germans have been but now it's also scary as nobody knows if the "influx" will end any time soon (in fact it is likely that it won't) and where all these people will stay, get jobs, go to school etc. (1 million predicted to arrive in Germany this year; total population of Germany is 81 million).

As far as mobile toilets go along the "refugee trails" in Greece, the Balkan countries and then on to Austraia and Germany, this must be a huge problem - I am sure there is a lot of open defecation going on. And I guess the suppliers of chemical toilets (mostly known under the brand name of one company: Dixi toilets) must be making a killing right now!? Composting toilets, like the ones we've seen at festivals (see in this category on the forum: would also be good but I guess they are not yet able to deploy them at such short notice including the required maintenance and processing staff. Nobody expected so many people to migrate in such a short time (although if food rations were cut in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Turkey then no wonder).

Apart from the Dixi toilets, all municipalities in Germany which are receiving refugees now in these huge numbers, try to put them up in some sort of temporary (or permanent) housing where conventional flush toilets and sewer connections are already available, such as exhibition halls, schools, school gyms, empty office buildings, former shopping mals (like some DYI centres that had gone out of business), churches, mosques, former army barracks, container villages - you name it... E.g. in the small town where I live, refugees were living in tents next to our local outdoor swimming pool and were using the toilets and showers there (now that winter is coming they can move to a recently completed container accommodation).

Luckily our wastewater infrastructure is well set up and most of the treatment plants should have no problem dealing with the additional wastewater. Especially not those in the East of the country where some communities were struggling with dwindling numbers of residents (due to low birth rates and rural to urban migration) and therefore sewers had problems as the flow became too low to transport the solids effectively.

Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Thu, 24 Sep 2015 11:58:09 +0000
Re: Exodus and Sanitation (migration of people from the Middle East to Europe) - by: sidd5505
Very interesting argument by Mr. Mwaniki. We have seen such large masses moving to Europe from Middle East. Countries such as Germany and Austria have welcomed them but at the same time other countries have denied to give asylum to these migrants. Who would provide sanitation facilities in these countries? At the same time, even in countries like Germany and Austria; it is very difficult to provide mobile sanitation options for such large chunk of people. It is a very complex issue and it would be great to receive suggestions from others.

Siddharth Shah]]>
Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Thu, 24 Sep 2015 11:36:42 +0000
Exodus and Sanitation (migration of people from the Middle East to Europe) - by: mwaniki
In recent months, we have seen through the media the largest migration of people from the Middle East to Europe since the end of the Second World War. This is a desperate journey. Hundreds of thousands of refugees or immigrants or whatever you may call them are from countries ravaged by war and death.

With no way of making income and their own safety, they have no alternative but to flee for their lives and become asylum seekers for a better life. What we see are refugees walking along railroads, motorways mile after mile after mile. Some have walked for more than 1,500 miles and 500,000 are expected to arrive soon in Germany through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria.

Although these people are probably getting food and water where is SANITATION?

As developed countries, I would have expected to see mobile toilets and alternatives along the route as the migration is not ending that soon. Or are they doing OPEN DEFECATION which in itself a health hazard to others?

Regards / Mwaniki]]>
Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Wed, 23 Sep 2015 13:43:32 +0000
Elaborate field tests identify suitable equipment for emptying full latrines in emergencies - by: jspit

Together with the IFRC and Oxfam GB, WASTE and the NL Red Cross now want to utilise the ‘ideal equipment’ in different countries under different conditions to assure a broad working range. Additionally the partners are still actively exploring and field testing possible alternatives, such as macerator pumps that might reduce the problem of blocking the intake, safe faecal sludge treatment in intermediate storage facilities like bladders and safe transport of faecal sludge. Organisations and companies that would like to contribute are requested to contact Jan Heeger of the NL Red Cross ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Jan Spit of WASTE ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).]]>
Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:13:31 +0000
Re: How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes - by: joeturner
Worth repeating that the Red Cross they're talking about is the American Red Cross throughout, though. The National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies often work together but also operate independently. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is active in disaster sanitation (although I'm not clear how they operate on the ground, maybe someone can tell me). Sanitation in disasters is often organised under a WASH cluster - see here:]]>
Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Thu, 04 Jun 2015 20:57:36 +0000
How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes - by: KaiMikkel

Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Thu, 04 Jun 2015 20:30:54 +0000
Sanivation (Kenya) sharing lessons learned on sanitation as a service - on live youtube stream - recording available - by: AFoote
1. Sanitation as service and how we got here
2. Household toilets (suprising tid bit, people want one)
3. Poop and it's ingredients
4. The opportunities we see for social businesses in sanitation

We hope you'll join us and ask some tough questions.

Register via this link

See you on the web,
Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Tue, 12 May 2015 04:55:55 +0000
Re: eSOS: oh boy! here we go again... - Smart eSOS toilet for emergencies (emergency Sanitation Operation System) - by: muench
She replied by e-mail and gave permission that I copy this to the forum for her:

22 Feb 2015

Dear Elisabeth,

I am sorry for delays in responding. I am currently in Tacloban, Philippines for the eSOS field testing.
I have just arrived few days ago and currently trying to arrange logistics and other related things to get the toilet to the location.

I would love to be active in the forum, but I am afraid I have to restrain the urge to do that now.
Mainly because I have no new information to share at the time being.

I hope you'd understand. My greetings to everyone participated in the discussion about eSOS toilet. I am grateful for all the interests they have given.

May I draw your attention to my recently published paper? It is not about eSOS toilet, but it is relevant to some of the discussion when ppl are questioning about the decision making process when planning for emergency sanitation.

Decision support system for the provision of emergency sanitation

• We developed a DSS to select and plan for faecal sludge management in emergencies
• The DSS is useful for planners to make decisions in relatively short time
• The DSS is designed as a computer-based program that can easily be modified
• The DSS is user-friendly and can be operated offline
• Preliminary validation of the DSS shows that it can provide realistic results


Proper provision of sanitation in emergencies is considered a life-saving intervention. Without access to sanitation, refugees at emergency camps are at a high risk of contracting diseases. Even the most knowledgeable relief agencies have experienced difficulties providing sanitation alternatives in such challenging scenarios. This study developed a computer-based decision support system (DSS) to plan a sanitation response in emergencies. The sanitation alternatives suggested by the DSS are based on a sanitation chain concept that considers different steps in the faecal sludge management, from the toilet or latrine to the safe disposal of faecal matters. The DSS first screens individual sanitation technologies using the user's given input. Remaining sanitation options are then built into a feasible sanitation chain. Subsequently, each technology in the chain is evaluated on a scoring system. Different sanitation chains can later be ranked based on the total evaluation scores. The DSS addresses several deficiencies encountered in the provision of sanitation in emergencies including: the application of standard practices and intuition, the omission of site specific conditions, the limited knowledge exhibited by emergency planners, and the provision of sanitation focused exclusively on the collection step (i.e., just the provision of toilets).

Fiona Zakaria

PhD Research Fellow
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
Department of Environmental Engineering and Water Technology
Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands

Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Thu, 05 Mar 2015 10:02:25 +0000
Re: Latrine lighting in emergencies - by: mkoslengar
Yes... Light surrounding communities, light throughout the camp, and you are not only less likely to have issues but YOU BRING REAL SOLUTION to ALL beneficiaries.

From my little experience in Emergencies in at about 6 african and middle East countries...I can fully understand that budget constraint ( budget size and activity specific ) has not always helped Engineers to design a sustainable and inclusif WASH response.

I don't agree to come to the conclusion that ''if in doubt, its best not to light anywhere if we can't light everywhere' but I honestly think, WASH partitioners must try to push/convince donor on the necessity to provide '' full response '' once rather than intermittent and incomplete responses which rather generate un-satisfaction and discrimination.

In your case, if no budget change is possible, then light the surrounding of toilets and get the support from the refugees committee to monitor and ensure surveillance at night time ( I have an experience when the refugee committee designated young people who carry out night shift ensuring the camp safety)

Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Mon, 16 Feb 2015 20:27:52 +0000
Re: Latrine lighting in emergencies - by: nicolag

Its nice that gravity light have come up with a new system - but as per usual, I don't see the technology as the great issue - and don't see gravity lights helping this situation (whether they are in production or not - chances are they would not be in Malawi and you need to have them individually and manually turn them on rather than them staying on and lighting a general area. Also, similar to what's been mentioned - i don't see how its much different to cranking something).

I am not talking about lights for individuals - I am considering lighting of a large area with latrines.

You make a key point for me. Light surrounding communities, light throughout the camp, and you are less likely to have issues.

Although lets claw back to the current situation - emergency situation, people in camps, surrounded by communities lacking power. There is a budget for a small amount of lighting (I'm talking one of the larger lights or 5 of the small ones per camp - these camps are 300 - 3000+ people with one cluster of ladies latrines). The money is to make the latrines safer to use at night.

After what you've said, do we come to the conclusion that if in doubt, its best not to light anywhere if you can't light everywhere?

Do we disregard small money allowed for lighting and encourage someone from the shelter cluster to take this on at a larger level?

Has anyone seen lighting in camp settings, be at latrines or not, that works?

Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Mon, 16 Feb 2015 12:14:50 +0000
Re: Latrine lighting in emergencies - by: mkoslengar
Lighting latrines in Emergencies is really and interesting thing to do.

Many technical options exist, Chris already provided The gravity light that looks a most interesting option to try . However, you seem to already having some Beacon MB2 380 set.

Coming to your question, I would advise you concentrate in lighting the surrounding of toilets. Don't be surprised !!!!! , to avoid theft issue, you must make sure all tentes are provided with same light system and the local community in the vicinity of your camp must benefit the same service as well. Lighting only latrines and the remaining of the camp in the dark would not necessary solve the problem you trying to address. How your toilets are designed? how far are they from the tentes, are they grouped toilets?, are they roofed?, what is the superstructure mad of? every and single question i'm asking here has strong signification when you decide to light the toilet.

I remember back in 2008, a very experienced WASH person told me to not light toilet if I can't do so for the entire camp as it could be an indicator for the criminal to know/identify the time of use /user

Challenging environments, emergencies, reconstruction situations, resilience issues Sun, 15 Feb 2015 23:12:42 +0000