Sanitation in Black Cotton Soil - Any interesting experience in South Sudan, India or Gambela ?

  • DRanas
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Sanitation in Black Cotton Soil - Any interesting experience in South Sudan, India or Gambela ?

Dear All,

We are a group of students of the post-graduate expert course in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the Alcalá University, in Madrid.

www3.uah.es/expertoashci/?page_id=40

Currently, we're doing an end of the course research project related to sanitation in countries with Black Cotton Soil (BCS) like South Sudan, Ethiopia, India or Tchad :

"Sanitation in Black Cotton Soil Context : state of the art of excreta disposal, used water and medical waste management systems".

The idea is to understand how black cotton soil is currently being dealt with by WASH engineers in the field (given the many challenges linked to this expansive clay), to find out if there are any interesting lines of research opened and in which direction they might be heading to.

If anybody has any interesting experience, knowledge or lessons learnt related to sanitation with BCS that you could share with us we would really appreciate it.

So far we have already managed to talk to some people in South Sudan only, but nobody with experience in either Gambela region (Ethiopia) or India, where BCS is also abundant. This would be also very interesting for us, since it help us have a broader view and a different approach to the same problem in countries with easier context in terms of access to materials, security, etc... ( S.Sudan is very unique in that sense... )

Thank you very much in advance.
Regards
Dany.
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  • canaday
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Re: Sanitation in Black Cotton Soil - Any interesting experience in South Sudan, India or Gambela ?

Hi Dany,

From what I saw in Wikipedia ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertisol ), it seems it would be dificult to have drainfields or Twin-pit Pour-flush, since the soils would not absorb anything when flooded and the pipes would risk breakage. This last problem would also apply to sewer lines. It may be an excellent case for applying Urine-diverting Dry Toilets, which you can read about in SuSanA and in my Spanish/English blog, inodoroseco.blogspot.com. Urine and graywater could go to Wastewater Gardens or Artificial Wetlands.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • DRanas
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Re: Sanitation in Black Cotton Soil - Any interesting experience in South Sudan, India or Gambela ?

Hi Chris,

Thanks a lot for your response.

Yes, UUDT's could be a great solution given the characteristics of this expansive clay, but when we asked people in the field in South Sudan, they're all concerned about the cultural acceptance, and see it as a possible option only in long term projects, when lots of hygiene promotion and work with the community can be done, but definitely not for emergencies.

In this forum I read in an old post that UUDT's were being implemented in Gambela, where the context is less challenging and I guess more prone to development or long term projects. We would love to hear about how that project went, indeed, or any other similar experience there.

Thanks again.
Dany
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  • muench
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Re: Sanitation in Black Cotton Soil - Any interesting experience in South Sudan, India or Gambela ?

Hi Dany,

Which sanitation technologies are you considering? Sounds like digging pits in that kind of soil might not be the best solution. You mentioned emergency sanitation in your second post but not in your first post. Is your research specifically about emergency sanitation?

Have you looked into container-based sanitation systems? There is a reasonable article on that in Wikipedia (could be updated):
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Container-based_sanitation

Those are often with urine diversion but could also be without.

Another thought: you could check into the work done at Mzuzu University (use the search field of the forum for Mzuzu or for Rochelle Holm - they have posted quite a bit on the forum). I don't know if they have that kind of soil in Malawi but in any case they have done research on different types of pit latrines. Perhaps that helps.

Please let us know how you get on or what your end result looks like.

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Elisabeth

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funded via SEI project until January 2019 ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • canaday
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Re: Sanitation in Black Cotton Soil - Any interesting experience in South Sudan, India or Gambela ?

Hi Dany,

I would not rule out UDDTs in an emergency situation, but more education and follow-up is needed. Is there any chance of having enough staff or volunteers for that? I also consider that they have to learn a lot of new things in an emergency relief camp, so one more thing that will serve them for the rest of their lives is not a big problem. In addition, regardless of their background, everyone wants their toilets to be clean and smell-free, so they would have an incentive to learn to use them properly.

In any case, I highly suggest implementing lots of simple Waterless Urinals, as I describe here (in Spanish and English):
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2015/12/un-nuev...inario-sin-agua.html
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2013/05/urinarios-ecologicos.html
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2011/05/inodoro...as-balde-y-saco.html
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2017/05/wurinat...publico-florido.html

These allow us to easily return urine to the soil, where it serves as fertilizer and transmits no diseases. They also reduce demand on the toilets, thus decreasing the number of toilets that are needed.

Please let me know if I can be of any help.

Best wishes,
Chris

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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