What are the general reactions of the community at large towards the idea of human excreta for manure?


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  • canaday
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Re: Nutrient recovery and reuse of human excreta

Dear Geoffrey Muthumbi,

Welcome to the Forum.

This is a big question and one of our biggest hurdles. Resource recovery happens all of the time, whether we recognize it or not. People go out into corn fields to urinate and defecate, the corn grows bigger, and this is mostly not a problem because the corn grows high above the ground and it gets cooked. Knowing that it contains so many nutrients, people sometimes specifically apply wastewater to their fields, which is very unsafe, unless great care is applied to control disease.

Everyone is correct to be concerned about feces, only they should just remember and control the real risks and not fall into the irrational fear, called ''fecophobia''. We need to remember that ''feces'' is a temporary state. It had been soil, then plants, then sometimes animales, we eat these, and they spend only about our guts, so why can't they become soil again, thanks to decomposer microbes.

I suggest you read this 2-part interview with me:

... and, of course, these books and articles:
(Which I just translated into Spanish and should be available soon.)

Also search for this topic on this Forum and the SuSanA Library. Let us know how your research and studies go. And tell how you then achieve resource recovery.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Nutrient recovery and reuse of human excreta

Dear Muthumbi,

Very pertinent topic. Impossible to summarise it in a few sentences.

If you browse through the previous discussion on this topic in this sub-category, you will get a pretty good idea:

Also check out the key documents post of this topic here:

So what conclusions did you draw regarding this topic after taking this online course and doing some reading on it? How is the situation looking for your own country (Kenya?) according to your perception so far?

Perceptions differ a lot even within one country (urban versus rural folks for example) and do also change over time. Those changes over time also for European countries were discussed here on the forum:

Hope this helps a bit to get you started?

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethvonmuench/
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  • muthumbi
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What are the general reactions of the community at large towards the idea of human excreta for manure?


I am a student doing an online course on Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation (SWSS). Currently we had a topic on nutrient recovery and reuse and having no field experience in this topic, would like to know more about it. My questions are, just what are the general reactions of the community at large towards the idea of 'human excreta for manure'? are there cases that it has been abhorred? if so what are the procedures employed to reduce these occurrences( ensuring that majority embrace the idea)?

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