Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

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  • jonpar
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Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Dear all,

If this has already been discussed, please direct me to the relevant part of the forum. Otherwise, I think this is an interesting topic for discussion.

According en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_sanitation the project in Guangxi province, China is an example of large-scale ecological sanitation in rural areas. I can't find much recent information on this. The figures that I can find are impressive but as they are quite dated I am trying to work out if these were planned or implemented? Has there been an evaluation of this?

I am interested to know if there other examples of ecosan at scale - particularly in urban areas. Ethekwini is sometimes mentioned but as far as I understand the urine is diverted and then is soaked into the ground and therefore cannot be described as true ecosan. What is the current status of this in Ethekwini. Are there plans to reuse the urine - perhaps using struvite?

best regards to all,

Jonathan

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  • philfei
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Dear Jonathan,

I spent some month in China in 2009 but had no time to visit the projects in Guangxi. But there is a case study provided by GTZ in 2005 on that project:http://www.gtz.de/en/dokumente/en-ecosan-pds-005-china-guanxi-2005.pdf The toilets have been implemented but I don't think that most of them are still in use.

I visited in 2009 a project by Plan International (Plan China) in Shaanxi province where almost 200.000 people were given access to proper sanitation facilities. Please find further information in the case study: susana.org/lang-en/case-studies?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=509
and some impressions on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157622666927486/

I would be also quite interested in other examples as it seems that there not some many examples from urban areas.

Cheers,
Philipp
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Hi Jonathan,
the eThekwini people are working on the reuse aspect together with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and EAWAG - www.eawag.ch/medien/bulletin/20101014/index_EN .
From what I know there are some other examples (especially) in South Africa, but always with a urine infiltration. There is a company ( www.envirosan.co.za/site/default.asp ) which sells about 7000 UD thrones a month! Very good stuff by the way. Mostly for UD-VIP, but anyhow ….a very large potential for reuse which could be used when the time has come.
Yours
Christoph
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  • madeleine
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Hi all
There is a good example where EcoSan with is going to scale quite quickly now and it is in Bolivia in peri urban areas
There are several good pilots and thanks to a lot research , cap dev- activities formulation of guidelines etc the Ministry of Water and Environment will launch a National program on Ecological Sanitation.
This process of going to scale will be documented by the knowledge node in Bolivia.
www.dinesbvi-nssd-bolivia.net/
There is a short information program as well

,


Another quite interesting example where government is taking the lead on Ecological Sanitation is on Tuvalu. EcoSan will save ecosystems in the Pascific.Very interesting movie-
www.pacific-iwrm.org/videos/Tuvalu-GEF-I...posting-Toilets.html
Cheers from Sweden
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Dear all,
I also wanted to write a quick reply to Jonathan's query.
(Madeleine, the Youtube link which you provided is not working, at least not for me - is it wrong perhaps?).

First question to Jonathan: when you speak of ecosan at scale, are you referring to UDDTs or are you referring to reuse (with any type of toilet?). I have the suspicion that you mean specifically UDDTs + reuse. Correct me if I am wrong.

I am asking because UDDTs can be a great technology also without reuse, as they have so much less odour and much easier faecal matter handling than pit latrines (see the discussion elsewhere on the forum on the horrible working conditions for pit emptiers...).

Regarding that project in China (Guangxi) which you mentioned:
We had briefly discussed this here on the forum (the search function of the forum is really helpful by the way):
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/67-san...m-rural-to-urban#785

Also here you can find the worldwide project list which we compiled and keep updated:
susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1423

For the Guangxi project, we recently did some research (by e-mail) and as a result of this we noted the following down:

Drastically reduced number of users from 2 million down to 600 for this project: Rural sanitation with urine diversion deydration toilets in Guangxi Province (partly abandoned)

Project number: 75
China
Rural sanitation with urine diversion deydration toilets in Guangxi Province (partly abandoned)

09.08.2011 Xizi Ling: number of users clarified based on the emails communication with Mr. Lin Jiang This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


I have the feeling (might well be wrong), that the 2 million figure was never right and somehow inflated and then copied again and again. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

Why do you ask by the way, any specific reason or just general interest?

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Elisabeth
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  • jonpar
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Dear Elisabeth at al

Thanks for the responses. I am aware of the benefits of UDDTs even without reuse. This was the rationale behind the use of UDDTs in eThekwini. But no, when I posed this question I wasn't thinking only in terms of UDDTs and reuse.

Certainly a reduction from 2 million down to 600 is drastic indeed. As you say, somehow the figure of 2 millions must have been inflated (considerably!). I think this is known as "Chinese Whispers".

I was asking because WSP - who are doing a survey on urban / peri urban sanitation projects with a view towards assessing how well they are servicing the needs of the poor.

best regards

Jonathan
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Dear Jonathan,

Sorry, but I didn't understand this sentence of yours:

I was asking because WSP - who are doing a survey on urban / peri urban sanitation projects with a view towards assessing how well they are servicing the needs of the poor.

Who is "they"? What do you (IWA) have to do with WSP?
Too cryptic for me...

Also what did you mean by ecosan then, if it was not UDDTs + reuse?

Regards,
Elisabeth
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  • madeleine
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Hi Elisabeth and Jonathan
I do not think there is a big use of counting the numbers of latrines in different projects of the world .Failing use and management of toilets we will find all over indifferent of technologies. Beside there are many projects that never entered the database. In China there are several that never entered the database. Tuvalo is another example that we did not have in the database whereas there is already a gouvernment committment and acceptance of the technology since it a good a measure to be able to adapt to increasing water scaricity this is also the case of Bolivia where there is a national ecological sanitation program in developement .

So what is really interesting is to follow how the technology is accepted and the integration of the same in national guidelines and furter into national programs.

What we have noted currently is the increased interest of the reuse as a driver for fertilizers. It is really interesting how the ministry of Agriculture is becoming more important for the implementation of sanitation with reuse not only in the rural areas but also in urban areas (African small town) In Niger there is a huge Agriculture program in 18 district with an investment of 10 million Euros part of this will be invested in productive sanitation.

We also know that that the coverage of UDDT / ecosan in Uganda is 7% and the government aim to increase this coverage to 15% (see here for more information: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34-uri...uddts-in-uganda#1495 ). This is an interesting target.

The technologies from eThikwini is also spreading in neigboring countries and overseas as good example.Rwanda is another country where Ecological Sanitation has been introduced within the policy and where they apply reuse.These are not really on a project level but on within the gouvernment plans and priorities.

Back to Bolivia for all of you a nice video from the potatoe harvest of field larger than 2 hectares in El Alto (fatest growing city in Bolivia)



Cheers
Madeleine
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  • jonpar
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Hi Elisabeth, sorry I didn't reply earlier. I prefer a definition such as this one "Ecological sanitation is a holistic approach to sanitation and water management based on the systematic closure of local material flow-cycles (Werner et al., 2003)." which is quoted on the ecosanservices.org website. I was having a brief discussion with some WSP people about pro-poor urban sanitation projects that have worked at scale, and we were interested to hear about the experiences from Guangxi province and any other examples of "ecosan" at scale. best regards, Jonathan
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  • tmsinnovation
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Hi Jonathan

Just a quick question with respect to the definition you posted,

systematic closure of local material flow-cycles

would you agree that this systematic closure can take place in a series of systematic steps? In other words over a number of years?

Kind regards
Trevor
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  • jonpar
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Hello Trevor, yes - I think as with all forms of infrastructure upgrade it is possible to implement in one big step or in a series of small steps. A small steps approach is intrinsic to a strategic approach towards sanitation planning. In fact it is often necessary due to limited resources. You can see a diagram on this in this presentation www.soafrica.com/Client/AfricaSan/T8/2%2...chieving%20scale.pdf . The diagram should have been referenced to GHK Guide to Strategic Planning for Municipal Sanitation ( www.netssaftutorial.com/fileadmin/DATA_C...cipal_sanitation.pdf ). I also like the idea of thinking big, but taking small steps as we know it is hard to introduce a massive change in the way we do things overnight voices.yahoo.com/think-big-take-small-steps-10634481.html?cat=3 best regards, Jonathan
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Re: Examples of ecological sanitation at scale

Hi Jonathan

Thank you for your reply.

Following the logic of your previous post, could it be said that the eThekwini Basic Water and Sanitation programme, with the verified 75.000 UDDT installations, is becoming an ecological sanitation programme at scale?

The following two points should be read with the question;
1. Although the initial strategy of eThekwini was not focussed on ecological sanitation and the reason for chosing UDDT's for the programme was due to the associated cost benefit, as unlike VIPs, UDDTs do not require a tanker truck to remove / empty facael sludge. This said, strategies are not static, so now with all these UDDTs installed, an opportunity exists to take the next logical step and further investigate the cost benefit of re-use.
2. The ongoing research through the VUNA project into the cost-benefit of urine reuse in eThekwini.

Does this fit the step by step approach that we have been discussing here?

Rgds
Trevor
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