Assessing the promotion of urine-diverting dry toilets through school-based demonstration facilities in Kalisizo, Uganda

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Assessing the promotion of urine-diverting dry toilets through school-based demonstration facilities in Kalisizo, Uganda

Dear All,

We have recently published an article in the IWA Journal of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development that readers of this forum may find interesting. It concerns the promotion of urine-diverting dry toilets in a primary school setting in the context of Uganda. The research was conducted while the primary author, John Trimmer, was serving as an environmental health engineer with the United States Peace Corps Volunteer in the town of Kalisizo (located in Rakai District, in southern Uganda), and it formed the basis for his Master’s Thesis, completed at the University of South Florida, which can be found here: scholarcommons.usf.edu/etd/5834/

The work would not have been possible without the assistance of colleagues at Brick by Brick Uganda, and social scientists from the Rakai Health Sciences Program. Titles, abstracts, and links to the article are included below. I hope you find it interesting!

Sincerely,

John Trimmer, Sarina Ergas, and James Mihelcic
University of South Florida, Tampa


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Assessing the promotion of urine-diverting dry toilets through school-based demonstration facilities in Kalisizo, Uganda

John T. Trimmer; Neema Nakyanjo; Robert Ssekubugu; Marc Sklar; James R. Mihelcic; Sarina J. Ergas
Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 2016 Jun, 6 (2) 276-286; DOI: 10.2166/washdev.2016.045
washdev.iwaponline.com/content/6/2/276

Abstract:
Urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) are designed to recover nutrients and organic matter from human excreta for agricultural reuse. Their wider implementation could help address problems in areas where water scarcity limits coverage of sanitation systems and declining soil fertility jeopardizes nutritional security. Demonstration facilities can improve stakeholders’ views of UDDTs; however, it is uncertain whether these facilities should be located at households or institutions.

Using a novel methodological approach that included qualitative data collection before and after introduction of demonstration UDDTs and quantitative monitoring of treatment conditions, this study evaluated changes in local attitudes and knowledge resulting from a UDDT promotion strategy at two primary schools in Uganda. Before introduction, students had little knowledge of UDDT facilities, while most attitude-related statements conveyed negative viewpoints and skepticism. After introduction and six months of operation, students exhibited increased knowledge, and 68% of attitude-related statements conveyed positive opinions that focused on the UDDTs’ long-term economic value and their role in creating a more hygienic school environment. These changes were seen in facility users and in other students at the schools who were non-users. In the future, with these improved perceptions, students could become compelling representatives for UDDTs within their communities, potentially increasing adoption.
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