Planned UDDT project in Chris Hani District, SA: search for ways of urine reuse

  • SophieL
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Planned UDDT project in Chris Hani District, SA: search for ways of urine reuse

Dear SuSanA,

with my local group of Ingenieure ohne Grenzen Hamburg we are in the middle of planning a sanitation project in a school in Chris Hani District, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
In September we plan a travel to visit two schools in that area to see which one would be fit for an implementation of a UDDT project. We are currently looking for a partner NGO in the region and advice for the reuse of the urine.

I have read about projects that have already taken place in the Eastern Cape, but i didn't see anything about the reuse of the urine.
Have any of you got knowledge of farmers who might be interested in using the urine as fertilizer on a larger scale? Or is there a way that you would recommend on how to approach farmers of the region?
The two schools have around 400/800 pupils, so the urine to be collected will be too much for use in a school gardening program. The faeces, however, we plan to compost and use in a school garden.

I would be very happy to receive any kind of input, or ideas on who to contact about the matter and in that region.

Best regards,
Sophie
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  • madeleine
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Re: Planned UDDT project in Chris Hani District, SA: search for ways of urine reuse

Hi Sophie,
I suggest that you enter in contact with Jay Baghwan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at WRC in Johannesburg .WRC and CIRS are undertaking research on franchising school sanitation services in Eastern Cap, se article attached .They would be able to inform you . Another good person to contact would be Ethne Davey (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) former member of Ecological Sanitation Research Reveiw Panel she i chair of the board of Amanz' abantu Services . They work in school as well.
Two very good contacts worth while contacting them & good luck
Kind regards
madeleine

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  • christian.rieck
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Re: Planned UDDT project in Chris Hani District, SA: search for ways of urine reuse

Hi Sophie,
I would like to point out to you a similar project of your colleagues from Aachen. They had built school toilets in Ukunda, Kenya. They have also designed for urine reuse with local farmers. However it is a very ambitious undertaking, since you are not sure if farmers accept this kind of fertiliser. Here you can see some pictures on flickr www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157628950684835/ .



Otherwise you can find an article on a Kenyan blog, where some updates about the project will be posted (as far as I know). Some older article you can read here
ecosankenya.blogspot.com/2011/03/enginee...rders-in-ukunda.html

In general I would not go for using the faecal matter in schools as there is always a risk of contamination with pathogen, especially worm eggs. In order to make dehydrated faeces pathogen free you really need an effective high-temperature composting, well monitored and professionally conducted. I am sure you are not able to do something like this in a school environment. I find it much better to bury the faeces and plant a tree on top. That is also the way the 75,000 UDDTs in Durban are managing their faecal matter. See the SuSanA case study for this project
www.susana.org/lang-en/case-studies?view...peitem&type=2&id=791

Cheers
Christian

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  • SophieL
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Re: Planned UDDT project in Chris Hani District, SA: search for ways of urine reuse

Thank you for the contacts Madeleine!

And thank you, Christian, for the links of the project in Ukunda.
As far as the faeces and it composting is concerned: we are pretty sure that this part of South Africa does not have any problems with worms. Our research team will visit one or two local hospitals to confirm this.
Would you still advise to refrain from using the composted matter? I have found lot of divers opinions about it.
In the best case we would use the Terra Preta composting method. Although I admit that this also would be ambitious. When visiting the schools we would need to confirm that there is interest in composting at the school. Maybe incorporate the composting methods in a gardening program.
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  • tmsinnovation
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Re: Planned UDDT project in Chris Hani District, SA: search for ways of urine reuse

Hi Sophie

I would suggest taking a look at the following case study: www.susana.org/lang-en/case-studies?view...peitem&type=2&id=791 , with particular attention to the lessons learnt, as well as the contacts at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Also search for other relevant case studies in the SuSanA library.

In addition, just a clarifying question, what worms are you referring to:

we are pretty sure that this part of South Africa does not have any problems with worms


Regards
Trevor

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  • SophieL
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Re: Planned UDDT project in Chris Hani District, SA: search for ways of urine reuse

Hi Trevor,
to be honest I'm not the one responsible for the research of diseases. And I don't know what this information was based on. I was talking about schistosomiasis. And as i was looking now the only suitable information i could find about it was this article here, saying it was reappearing: www.sajs.co.za/index.php/SAJS/article/view/411/980
Our plan was to visit hospitals of the region and inform ourselves about common diseases there before laying out the technical design of the toilet.
I'm sorry if this may be an unsatisfying answer but as we are still planning our project we are still gathering the information needed.

Thank you for your input!
Sophie
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  • muench
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Re: Planned UDDT project in Chris Hani District, SA: search for ways of urine reuse

Dear Sophie,

Welcome to this forum!
It is really encouraging to see that German engineering students are taking an active interest in the sanitation situation for poor people in sub-Saharan Africa and are volunteering their time to really do something. I want to congratulate everyone from Engineers without Borders. I think school sanitation is a very worthwhile issue to turn your attention on.

Having said this, I think it is also extremely difficult to create something that will last for a long time, given the distance from Germany to e.g. South Africa. Thus, as you rightly point out, the involvement of a local NGO is crucial. Even better: local governmental institutions. How will you ensure that what you build will still be there and function 10, 20 years later? It is quite difficult to achieve, let me warn you... (whether UDDTs or any other type of sanitation system).
From the start, you should try to think about this: how can we encourage spontaneous replication? I.e. more school toilets without more external funding? Try to be the catalyst for more...

So my questions are:
  1. How did you pick this Chris Hani Disctrict? Does someone from your team have a connection to it? What are the characteristics of this district?
  2. UDDTs are an interesting type of school toilet - and often very appropriate. However, why are you locking yourself into the simultaneous use of urine and faecal matter as fertiliser? It is exciting when it works but also an added level of complexity. Does the school have a school garden? Interest in fertiliser? You know that UDDTs can also work well without any kind of reuse (see the 75,000 UDDTs of eThekwini in South Africa - Trevor already sent the case study link).
Lastly, do you have contacts to the group of Engineers without Borders in Aachen? Have you followed their project in Ukunda, Kenya? They recently made an update on the Ecosan Kenya Blog, see here:
ecosankenya.blogspot.com/2012/01/update-...hout-borders-in.html

And also, I recommend to you the GIZ technology review on UDDTs in case you haven't seen it yet. It is right now 95% complete (we are still busy improving it). We are trying to emphasise in there that reuse is an optional add-on for UDDTs, but not a must.
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=874

Oh, and if you get a chance, you should attend one of the training courses by the German Toilet Organisation for NGO workers on the topic of school UDDTs (unless you have already been on one of their courses?). They have two coming up in February and March(basic and advanced course), see here:
www.germantoilet.org/projekte/fortbildun...ation-trainings.html

Good luck and keep posting.

Regards,
Elisabeth

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