GSAP Microflush Toilet is making steady progress (Ghana and Bolivia)

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Notes by moderator: ++++++++++

Household level GSAP Microflush toilets are made by trained local toilet MAKERs in Ghana (as well as other countries) for ~$300US and this incudes a $100 gross profit to the MAKER. The toilets are sustainable, off-grid, flushing on 150 cc (1 cup) of water from the prior user's handwashing. They are harvested for a rich compost after 2-3 years of 15 or uses per day...much less than 1000 sterling.

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Re: GSAP Microflush Toilet is making steady progress (Ghana and Bolivia)

I am in Ghana at the moment and just completed training (class and field training) for another 10 toilet MAKERs as we refer to those who can fabricate the GSAP* Microflush toilet. The toilet is a locally sourced locally fabricated, off-grid, sustainable toilet that flushes on just a 150 cc of water that comes from the previous users' hand washing. MAKERs have been trained in some 15 countries, some of which have been quite active.

The model creates a small enterprise for the MAKER in his/her community wile helping to solve the community's sanitation issues. The basics system including the filter-digester, user interface and facility enclosure averages about $300 USD for the household version and that includes ~$100 profit to the MAKER.

The S-Lab at Providence College, Dept Engineering-Physics-Systems has been working on 4 different processing systems for the filtrate, two of which we are currently prototyping. When these studies are finished, I will post a link to the paper.

It has been a while since I provided an update on our work; Elisabeth reminded me that I should do this even while busy and lacking power with unsteady internet in Ghana.

..Steve

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* Note by moderator: GSAP stands for Ghana Sustainable Aid Project
A related earlier discussion about this technology is available here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/106-us...roject-usa-and-ghana

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Re: GSAP Microflush Toilet in Ghana is making steady progress

Dear Steve,

Thanks a lot for the update from the field, despite lacking power and internet access. Much appreciated!

You said here in August 2013: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/106-us...t-usa-and-ghana#5452

The S-Lab at Providence College in the US has been studying several options for blackwater treatment from our digester. We expect publishable results in the first quarter of 2014; I will keep you posted on this.


Are these publications available by now?

Also, can you please post some photos of the toilets and prototype treatment units from the field?

And why do you write "MAKERS" in capital letters, is it an abbreviation for something? Just wondering.

Have you received additional funding for this work or is it based on donations for your NGO called Ghana Sustainable Aid Project (GSAP)?

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Re: GSAP Microflush Toilet in Ghana is making steady progress

We finished testing on our lab processing system in May and have since deployed 2 versions in the field in Ghana, We will be monitoring these closely; if successful, I believe we will have the first completely closed toilet of this type.
We do receive some small grants for our work in the S-Lab and, of course, GSAAP is working with partners to deploy its MAKER and LENDER program in several countries around the world. The MAKER is in caps as we like to refer to our trained toilet fabricators as makers.
I am in Bolivia at the moment training ~20 new toilet MAKERs, mostly woman! These are happy days for me as we see small enterprises for the MAKERs (and LENDERs) as they help solve the sanitation problem in their communities with the GSAP Microflush Toilet.

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Re: GSAP Microflush Toilet in Ghana is making steady progress

Dear Steve,

Thanks for this update from the field.
I have now created a separate sub-sub category for Biofil-type toilets as we hear so much of them in various projects. See here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/205-biofil-toilet

However, I am wondering if they should be actually classified as vermicomposting systems? Currently I have listed them under composting systems, separate from the vermicomposting sub-sub-category which is here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/206-vermicomposting

And I wonder if there are any of the technical questions that I have asked of Biofilcom's Peter here, which you could perhaps answer (where it doesn't relate to their business aspects):
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/205-bi...gal-bangladesh#14708

Also, do you have any new publications ready for sharing by now?
And can you please post some photos of the toilets and prototype treatment units from the field?
It would really help to see more photos...

In one video from Senegal I saw a Biofil toilet with steep stairs. Do you also build them like that or do you try to cater also for those who find stairs a problem?

Which NGOs or government departments are you connecting with in Bolivia?

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Re: GSAP Microflush Toilet in Ghana is making steady progress

Elisabeth,
Biofil is the name of a company. We don't classify our toilet with that name. GSAP refers to its toilet as the GSAP Microflush toilet; it couples the microflush valve developed in my lab with a generic filter-digester that processes waste with macro-organism enhanced aerobic digestion. The normal macro-organism we use is e-fetida, an earthworm found in many countries. Other organisms (e.g. black soldier fly larvae, dung beetle, wood lice)also work well. We more or less focus on the worms.
Hence, our toilet is composting, vermicomposting, digesting, filtering and digesting but we don't use the term biofil-type.
I did publish a paper last summer with WIT on GSAP's LENDER model. It is available at the organization's webs site and is open access.
Re: steps, our MAKERs install our systems at a depth depending on local water table conditions and when it is high, steps are required though a ramp can be used for handicap access.
I would prefer not commenting on the questions you sought from someone else.
We have a temperature study paper in process and this will be submitted before the end of the year.

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Re: GSAP Microflush Toilet in Ghana is making steady progress

Here is the link to the open access paper about Steve's work in Ghana which he mentioned in the above post:
www.witpress.com/elibrary/wit-transactio...nvironment/200/34325

I copy the title and abstract below:

Microfranchising Rural Sanitation: A Sustainable Development Model For A Scale-up Of A Sustainable Technology

Author(s):
S. Mecca, H. Davis, A. Davis

Abstract:
The GSAP Microflush toilet system, a locally sourced-locally fabricated toilet that features a macro-organism enhanced aerobic filter-digester and an innovative valve that flushes on just 150 cc of water has proven to be an effective sustainable sanitation solution for developing world tropical communities. This paper examines a sustainable model for bringing the technology to scale by bringing together the building and microfinance functions necessary for the neediest of households to own such a toilet. The plan developed by the non-profit Global Sustainable Aid Project and the S-Lab replaces outright grants with progressive performance based loans to the microfranchise with a model that has appeal for traditional philanthropic and humanitarian aid foundations. The goals and structure of the model and pro forma for alternative scenarios emphasizing the sustainable elements of the approach are described. Early results of the application are presented.

Keywords:
rural sanitation, toilets, off-grid, closed systems, open source sanitation, sanitation credit, microcredit, microfranchise, macro-organism enhanced digestion, aerobic digestion, microflush valve

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
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Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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