Ecosan from rural to urban? (in China)

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  • xz.ling
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Ecosan from rural to urban? (in China)

Hi everyone. I'm a master student in Bauhaus Uni of Weimar, from China. I had a three-month internship in ecosan program, it was really great!

I'm studing "European urban studies" and have some questions and thoughts about ecosan in urban area that want to ask and discuss with all of you.

Since ecosan make a success in rural area, do you think urban poor area like slum would be a transformer point for ecosan from rural to urban area? And I think to adapt ecosan to area with high density of population, collection and transportation of the excreta would be a problem to solve. What do you say?

As you know I'm studing urban staff and how to connect ecosan to urban staff bother me for so long time. Recently I have a thought that when we talk about urban planning, infrastructure is indispensable, of course including sewage system. Ecosan could be an alternative for conventional sewage system and maybe can totally replace the exsiting system. Do you think so? And I'm thinking to make it feasible in urban area, a commercial or industrial chain should be formed. From producer (people) to collector to user (farmer). Many job opportunities can be created within this chain and encorage people to continue the system by themselves. To only rely on the sponsor from some NGO or oganisation would not be long term solution.

Does anybody know if there is still any active project in China? I saw a news recently in China that there is no enough toilet for puples in a rural school and there is no water to clean the toilet since the water pressure in the pipe is not enough. The school locates in Yunnan province. I think that would be a good chance to build UDDT there. But I don't know if somebody notice that.

If you want to share information with me, please reply me here or send me email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Waiting for your reply!
Master student in Bauhaus Uni of Weimar

"European Urban Study"

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  • jdoczi
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Re: Ecosan from rural to urban?

Hi there,

I know someone that is working on small scale rural sanitation in Yunnan Province - maybe you can contact him and work with him on doing a UDDT there!
His name is Martin Lemenager and his organization is GRET. His email address is: lemenager "at" gret "dot" org , and you can find out more at www.gret.org
I'm sure he would be happy to hear from you, just tell him that I referred you and that you are interested in his work on sanitation in Yunnan!

Also, I think there are already lots of groups trying to work on urban slum sanitation - it definitely is a difficult problem! Have you looked at Sulabh International already? They are working on urban sanitation with biogas / composting toilets / public toilet complexes etc.: www.sulabhinternational.org/st/advantages_sulabh_toilets.php , they are just one of many groups you could work with on this.

Hope that helps!

Best Regards,

Julian Doczi
---
Julian Doczi
Senior Research Officer - Water Policy
Overseas Development Institute
UK
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Ecosan from rural to urban?

Dear Xizi,

I would like to give you some answers, but some of your questions were somehow very broad, so not easy to answer. Let me try.

Firstly, regarding ecosan projects in China. Well there are the ones which we listed in the worldwide projec list here:
Worldwide project list for ecosan projects (compiled by GIZ)

Then there are also four SuSanA case studies here:
www.susana.org/case-studies (filter by country)

And we also have 18 documents if you put China in the search field of the SuSanA library:
www.susana.org/library?search=China

And we have six in Chinese language in the library (filter by using the language filter on the right).

So these should be reflecting current sustainable sanitation projects in China. If anyone knows of projects or publications that we don't have in these lists yet, please let us know.

Your other questions:

Since ecosan make a success in rural area, do you think urban poor area like slum would be a transformer point for ecosan from rural to urban area? And I think to adapt ecosan to area with high density of population, collection and transportation of the excreta would be a problem to solve. What do you say?

Do you have "slums" in Chinese cities? What are the conditions there (probably a bit better than slums in African, Indian or Bangladeshi towns?)?
Yes, the service of collection and transport of excreta is crucial (see in one of the other categories in the forum about this question: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34-uri...-for-slum-sanitation )
And what exactly do you have in mind when you say "ecosan"? Are you thinking of a specific technology or the broader concept of "closing the loop with agriculture"?

Recently I have a thought that when we talk about urban planning, infrastructure is indispensable, of course including sewage system. Ecosan could be an alternative for conventional sewage system and maybe can totally replace the exsiting system. Do you think so?

Well, you shouldn't see ecosan in competition with sewer systems, rather as a complimentary option in those cases where sewer systems are not feasable, e.g. due to costs or water shortages.
Remember though that a sewer system can also tackle greywater and stormwater management whereas the focus with ecosan is mainly only on excreta management (well, not strictly true, but at least in the case of one specific technology: UDDTs).

And I'm thinking to make it feasible in urban area, a commercial or industrial chain should be formed. From producer (people) to collector to user (farmer). Many job opportunities can be created within this chain and encorage people to continue the system by themselves. To only rely on the sponsor from some NGO or oganisation would not be long term solution.

I agree, any solution that is financed from outside of the contry is not something that can be scaled up for the longer term. The solution and financing needs to come from within the existing setup, e.g. via taxes and tariffs. Especially for a country like China, where the institutions and municipalities are pretty strong (I would assume). Regarding that value chain, see also the link to the other forum post which I had mentioned above.

Keep on thinking and developing your ideas! And I look forward to hear from others with experiences in China, too?

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Ulm, Germany
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Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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  • philfei
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Re: Ecosan from rural to urban?

Dear Xizi,

during my time in China in 2009 I visited different projects where UDDTs have been more or less successful implemented. You can find some impressions on Flickr:

China - Community-led water and ecosan programm in Shaanxi Province
(by Plan International/China)
www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157622666927486/

UDDTs at homes and a school in Yunnan Province (By Yunnan Environmental Development Institute (YEDI))
www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157622499718732/

ecosan concept in the Olympic Forest Park, Beijing
www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157621204204702/

In China are different organisations pretty active in the field of sustainable sanitation:

1. Center for Sustainable and Ecological Sanitation (CSES) which is based at the University of Science and Technology (USTB): Professor Li Zifu
2. Clean Water Alliance: James Gao

The China Node for Sustainable Sanitation has published many publications on sustainable sanitation in China: www.ecosanres.org/node_China.htm

I hope this helps.

Please feel free to contact me, if you need the email adresses of the contact persons ( I don't want to post them here).


Cheers,

Philipp
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
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