Sanitation in Babati Town (Tanzania) - to create a financial ecosystem around dry-toilet?

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  • israelnom
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Sanitation in Babati Town (Tanzania) - to create a financial ecosystem around dry-toilet?

Dear All,

My name is Israel and I am a Masters student in Innovation, human development and sustainability in the University Geneva in Switzerland. For our first Workshop my team and I are going to deal with the theme Water SDG 6, and more specific sanitation. In our Research we have come across Ground Water problem around Babati Town that could be related to open defecation or excreta that were not safely managed. 

Our vision is to create a financial ecosystem around dry-toilet. This ecosystem would gather data and build different business plan  for all the stakeholders involved in order to create a circular economy around sanitation. We intend to create a system model which spurs cross-sector, cross-industry, participatory economic growth for Babati,  that would encourage sanitation to become a political opportunity for local government by creating revenue and reducing the rate of waterborne disease contraction through dry toilet technology.

As we are all in Switzerland and none of us come from the area, we would be very glad to contact locals and NGOs that are already working on the field and try to understand what are the real needs and the feasibility or our project. Thank you very much in advance and looking forward to hearing from anyone who could help us out with some data and local information.

Best Regards
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  • canaday
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Re: Sanitation in Babati Town (Tanzania) - to create a financial ecosystem around dry-toilet?

(Second attempt to write this, as my first draft was erased when I got called away for
a moment. Please fix the platform. This time, I wrote it in Word and then copied it.)

Dear Israel,

Congratulations on this important initiative and thanks for sharing it with us.

Questions:
  • How long will your group work there?
  • How many people are in your group?
  • Will PhD dissertations or masters theses be done there?
  • How was the town chosen?
  • What percentage of people there speak English? Do any of you speak Swahili or have
    fancy cell phone apps for translating? Are you all Swiss?
  • Have dry toilets been installed there before? How have they been received?
  • Do you have any contact with the local government, NGOs, youth groups, farmers
    associations, or anyone there?
  • Have you looked for long-term volunteers who would like to participate in the project?
  • Will youhave internet access when you are there?
I found a bit of info and a map here, where we can see that it is a very dry place:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babati

Suggestions:
  • Use dry toilets yourselves from Day 1, to set an example for the community and gain
    hands-on experience from the start.  There
    are various inexpensive, practical, and even portable versions of UDDTs on my
    bilingual blog, www.inodoroseco.blogspot.com   (A somewhat similar student group came to Ecuador, stayed in the city, bussed
    out to the village on work days, the community never really got on board, and the project flopped.)
  • Try to integrate into the community as much as possible, maybe with individuals or pairs staying
    with host families. If possible, it would be good to arrange for a salary for
    at least one full-time local coordinator.
  • Apply preventive measures to protect your health, in a new country for you that has
    challenges in sanitation. These may include high-tech water filters, boiling
    water, participating yourselves in the cooking to assure proper hygiene,
    probiotics (home-fermented and commercial products), maybe prophylactic doses
    of something like Pepto-Bismol (please investigate), etc. Please also have a
    well-stocked first aid kit.
  • Implement a variety of models of dry toilet, to see which are most practical there, most
    effective, and most popular among the local residents.
  • Include modern, presentable ArborLoos, which have the great advantage that the
    excrement gets encapsulated in the soil and no one has any contact with it
    until it is converted into delicious fruits on the tree. I recommend not putting
    roofs on them, since this keeps them less expensive, lighter for transport, and
    allows for more light, fresher air, passive cleaning when it rains, and
    destruction of pathogens via solar UV light. I also recommend putting SATO
    toilets in these ArborLoos, in order to completely control odors and flies.
    SATO toilets for sitting and squatting are sold in Tanzania. A little bit of
    greywater from washing clothes can be used to flush these and, when it rains, that
    may be enough to flush them automatically. These would not contaminate
    groundwater as much as normal latrines, since the pits are not so deep and
    should always be kept well above the water table. Urine diversion can still be
    applied here to take advantage of the fertilizer value and to have less liquid
    in the pit pushing contamination toward the groundwater. (I have just figured
    out how to do urine diversion in conjunction with existing SATO squat pans. )
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arborloo
    https://www.sato.lixil.com/products
  • Focus on the fertilizer value of the nutrient-rich urine, which is often wasted via soak
    pits into the ground (thus also contributing to groundwater contamination).
    Urine can be used in normal agriculture, aquaponics, aquaculture, etc. For
    this, in addition to having UDDTs, private and public, male and female Waterless
    Urinals can be set up, especially in places where people are concentrated, such
    as schools, bus stations, shopping centers, offices, etc. Simple units recycled
    from one-gallon plastic bottles can be done very effectively, as you can see in
    this video. The same funnel can be affixed to the wall vertically, higher for
    men and lower for boys, for public urinals. It can also be affixed horizontally
    at knee height for women and girls who prefer the “ski position” (as in the
    Marcelle Urinal) or at floor height for those who prefer to squat. Urine could
    drain by gravity to neighborhood underground tanks or directly to farms
    downhill.
    www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvBe4CpoH...tnDu9jKcCYCndIiTFRDA  
    https://urinoirmarcelle.fr/
  • Study Nadia Andreev’s techniques to ferment urine with Lactic Acid Bacteria to keep it
    acidic, thus reducing odors and nitrogen loss, while making it better
    fertilizer. This could be coupled with local production of sauerkraut, kim-chi,
    kefir, kombucha, etc. to preserve and take better advantage of local produce,
    while improving people’s nutrition.
    research.wur.nl/en/publications/lactic-a...-agricultural-applic
  • Promote the idea that the sanitation operators recycle these fertilizers directly and
    hygienically in their own agriculture, in order market beautiful fruits and
    vegetables (or even cooked food that is ready to eat), instead of trying to
    sell poop and pee.
 Here are some other relevant links that I found: Please keep us up-to-date and let me know how I can help.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • israelnom
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Re: Sanitation in Babati Town (Tanzania) - to create a financial ecosystem around dry-toilet?

Dear Chris, 

Thank you very much for having taken your time to answer the forum. 
To answer some of your questions: this Is a masters projects. The idea is to pitch the idea by the 10th of December.  At first it is mostly to design the financial ecosystem by recognizing the actors, recognizing what is the most suitable technology to be used and create business plans for every actor involved. Calculate the savings for the government and the earnings for the private sector. 
  • How long will your group work there?
Unfortunately we are not coming to Babati Town, we are doing the Research from abroad and reaching NGOs working on the field and researchers who did the SFD in town. But the idea is to create a Project with a 2 years span. 
  • How many people are in your group?
We are 5 Students. All Different nationalities.  I am Swiss and Brazilian, Kat is American, Janine is Swiss, Anastasia is Russian and Liyana is Malaysian.
  • Will PhD dissertations or masters theses be done there?
At the moment is only a Project, it could be done there if someone decides to follow it as a master thesis further. 
  • How was the town chosen?
It all started with a research about groundwater contamination in Babati Town. And we were wondering if this contamination was due to lack of sanitation infrastructure. 
  • What percentage of people there speak English? Do any of you speak Swahili or have
All of us speak english and none of us speak swahili. we tried to reach BAWASA per telefon and it was hard to communicate. 
  • fancy cell phone apps for translating? Are you all Swiss?
but we do have cell phones with translating apps. 
  • Have dry toilets been installed there before? How have they been received?
we have done some research and we have seen some projects that implemented ECOSAN dry toilets in some other communities, it was accepted but there was still some hesitation in the use of urines as fertilizers. Some other challenges it was the cultural behaviour . 

I have had experience implementing Dry Toilets with Quilombolas Communities in Northern part of Brazil. 
  • Do you have any contact with the local government, NGOs, youth groups, farmers
    associations, or anyone there?
we got to contact some NGOs, and we are trying to talk to BAWASA and WaterAid Tanzania.
  • Have you  looked for long-term volunteers who would like to participate in the project
not yet
  • Will you have internet access when you are there?
we will do the project from switzerland. 

All in all thank you so much for the rich advices we will take them all into consideration while developing the Financial Ecosystem. We are still in the research phase but soon we will start developing the solutions and start creating the businesses plan. 

Thanks again

Best Regards

Israel
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Re: Sanitation in Babati Town (Tanzania) - to create a financial ecosystem around dry-toilet?

Dear Israel,

Thanks for getting back to me on this. I am sorry to hear that you will be doing the proyect long-distance over the internet, since this will make everything much more difficult. I would like to suggest that you try to find at least one person who can represent you there, on the ground. During the pandemic, few foreign travellers will likely volunteer and hopefully you can find a resident of Tanzania (even better, Babati) who would like to step up and represent you there.

Here are some links to volunteer organizations in Tanzania:
https://www.facebook.com/Samaritanafrica
https://www.facebook.com/Tanzania-Community-and-Sustainable-Development-810686932279969
https://www.facebook.com/wwooftanzania2020  (This is especially interesting, as it for volunteering on organic farms.)
https://www.facebook.com/WUSCTanzania https://www.facebook.com/maisha.mcdo  (Works in ag in Babati and has had permaculture courses.)
https://www.facebook.com/roadmonkeyAP  (Has had volunteers in Babati.)

Good luck with the project. Please keep us informed and let us know how we can help.

Best wishes,
Chris 
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • blevira
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Re: Sanitation in Babati Town (Tanzania) - to create a financial ecosystem around dry-toilet?

Hello Israel,

Its great that you have decided to share your proposed study from the beginning.
I presume that you are aiming at creating/proposing a business model around sanitation for the sustainability of the infrastructures and the service provision to overcome the mentioned existing challenges. 
I firstly agree with Chris that conducting such a study in a long-distance via internet is going to be very challenging. Secondly, creating a sanitation business model in Tanzania has been very challenging as 1) The institutional situation in Tanzania for FSM is still not prepared to support long term successful business models 2) Banks in Tanzania do not provide loans with reasonable interest rates for small service providers that work in the sanitation sector 3) There is also a global challenge that, there is internationally no successful FSM business model that prove to be sustainable in the long term and that are independent from subsidies (Donor support, Government support) 4) Absence of reuse standards in Tanzania and so on and so forth... I am however, encourage you to continue with your study as I will be interested to see what come out of it.
I am writing this with experience from the business model that we were trying to develop with regards to DEWATS approach where the aim was for the service providers to be in the position to provide the pit emptying services and sell the treated dry sludge (biosolids) as soil conditioners to farmers, which was assumed to cover 50% of the DEWATS O&M costs.
I would suggest that you first study your proposed research location and if possible be there and see how best you can address and workout on the challenges.

Best regards, 
 
Beda Modest Levira
Environmental engineer and researcher
Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)
Tanzania, East Africa
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Working as the project leader for 2 projects 1) HDIF (DFID) and 2) LIRA 2030 here in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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Re: Sanitation in Babati Town (Tanzania) - to create a financial ecosystem around dry-toilet?

Dear Israel,
Thanks for sharing about the proposed project early on. I agree with Chris and Beda about the difficulties you are likely to face working remotely. However, the world is accepting this way of working. Positively, this gives you an opportunity for a deeper collaboration with local actor/s.
Since you represent a University, I'd suggest exploring how you could collaborate with a local college or university.  This will open up research opportunities for local students as well and develop local capacity. Hopefully, it will also lead to more academic collaborations in the future and benefit both the universities. 
Another suggestion that I have is regarding the point made earlier. Please write about your experience of working on a project remotely. The lessons you learn in this process will be valuable  for all of us and many others all over. 

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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