Operation and Maintenance of School Toilet in low resource (especially water scarcity) settings


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  • KaiMikkel
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Re: Operation and Maintenance of School Toilet in low resource (especially water scarcity) settings

Following up on what Krischan wrote, I just checked and at least one part of Guinea receives annual rainfall of 4,300mm (163 inches!). So, based on what you've written it sounds like the problem is not a lack of access to water but either a lack of impermeable roofing material (corrugated steel for instance) and/or a lack of some or all of the other necessary elements of a rainwater harvesting and storage system. The good news, perhaps, is that you are working with folks who are planning and carrying out the construction of new school buildings. Given this, and assuming the additional funding can be secured, it should be a relatively simple matter to include in the design of those new buildings the necessary elements of a rainwater harvesting and storage system. Assuming adequate rainfall, such a system - especially when combined with dry toilet technology (like UDDTs) - should allow any given school to be self sufficient in the areas of water and sanitation. Plus, rainwater is a wonderful source of drinking water when certain steps are taken to ensure that the end product is properly filtered/purified.

Two groups to check out in this regard (both happen to be located in Mexico) are Isla Urbana and Caminos de Agua . The former is renowned for convincing the government in Mexico city to fund 80% of the installation costs associated with private (homes and schools) rainwater harvesting and storage systems. The latter is well known in part for designing and fabricating point-of-use water filters using biochar, ceramics and colloidal silver (effective at neutralizing bacteria and viruses), kind of along the lines of the larger site-built and community-sized filters designed by Aqueous Solutions .

Hoping this info helps. :)
Kai Mikkel Førlie

Founding Member of Water-Wise Vermont (formerly Vermonters Against Toxic Sludge)
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Operation and Maintenance of School Toilet in low resource (especially water scarcity) settings

I guess since you are posting here you are aware about UDDTs and how much water they can safe...

Other that that, attached a general WHO guide for typical water needs for schools in low resource settings (but not especially water scarcity).

I would also look into simple grey-water recycling options. Used water from hand-washing places can probably be collected, and with a relatively simple sand-filter brought to a quality that should be good enough for cleaning of toilets and floors etc.

Edit: Have a look at this for some ideas (and sadly what to avoid also): www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/125

P.S.: Keep us updated about possible solutions you will find!

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  • Katakana
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Operation and Maintenance of School Toilet in low resource (especially water scarcity) settings

Dear All,

This is Kanako from Japan, fascinated with improvement of WASH in Schools since 2010. Currently I am working for a project of preparatory survey for school construction in Guinea, and designing operation and maintenance plan of school toilets along with hygiene promotion plans.

The sites and this country generally are lack of water resources. It is quite hard to secure water access when you do not have money like schools or poor communities that I face with. The precious water somehow managed to prepare will be used for hand-washing (and unofficially for drinking by thirsty students.)

Does any of you know resources or good examples of school toilet maintenance or cleaning project or plans under circumstances like this? I would like to have your inputs of information on the toilet maintenance method that does not require (much) water.

I am also open for your suggestions of reading and contacting for Guinea WASH (in schools) resources!

Thank you in advance!

~ Kanako
Kanako Katayama
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