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Toilet Revolution: Shyama V. Ramani at TEDxMaastricht

Mon, 16Sep2013 Comments off

This is one of the best Sanitation/ Global Health stories we have seen lately. Delivered in a  very pleasurable consumable format, by a great speaker who make the topic reachable to a board spectrum of professionals and people. It’s antidotal in nature, while being universal in the realities of solving a village’s sanitation issues. Shyama has an honesty that needs to be incorporated into the newly developing transparency practices oft the world’s NGOs . This talk needs to be shown to the NGO’s and their altruistic “minions” before they venture out to help their global brothers and sisters.

The story starts out after audience imagining life with out toilets with Shyama explaining how she as pure novice, walks into a coastal village after a tsunami, and realizes she must bring the villages toilets back.

She learns along the way  “…2.4 billion people don’t even have access to a toilet that functions, 1 billion don’t have access to any toilet the just have to defecate anywhere they can …” Thus the “….lack of waste management and toilets is making a killer that we are not talking about enough … diarrhea…. the number one killer in most developing countries…”

She Googles and contacts “experts” to educates herself with the facts to get the job done  or so she thinks.

Upon the last new toilet being being initiated with a squat of a villager behind closed doors, Shyama, unlike many of the NGO’s, does not walked away.  The core of her captivating story is what happens afterward … The door is opened, the veil of naivety is exposed and lifted. Where/when most project fall into failure, she and her partner begins the long diagnostic/prognostic/improvement cycle.

Shyama  reminds us it is a an effort that is ongoing with more to learn and invites us to come back… It will be a crime if we do not see the next installment of this story as it continues to unfold.

Essential and very practical points abound within her story. One that are be showing up in other stories from around the world- and  hopepfully becoming a  din that must be addressed. With some paraphrasing, here are a few I see tucked in her tail:
1 NGO’s can’t do it alone and succeed; the villagers are needed – with a vastly redefined roll for NGOs.
2 Technical experts/ engineers may not be the social experts – both are needed.
3 Toilets at the onset are not alway seen as valuable/desirable assets. Education is needed before during and after
4 Women and men of the villages do not have the same perspective on sanitation. The project must address both separately as well as together .
5 Villages without ongoing support services will quickly have “…fossils of abandoned stinking toilets allover…”
6 Schools as an institution do not just naturally promote and desire ecosan toilets. They must also be nurtured. (details not addressed in this piece – but would be important to learn more about)
7 Building heathy social stimulus/pressure/ pride must be part of the scope
8 People who want the toilet must be educated on use and care
9 The villagers must be part of the economic model – the social model. Such pieces as manufacturing / construction/ distribution/ sales/ support / education/ promotion/ etc
10 Microfinance is a viable solution – (a work in progress in the story)
11 Toilets can provide a financially valuable natural resource – fertilizer
12 This all makes it a slower road, but it is a viable road, unlike the fast road the many NGO’s are building.
13 100% may be the target but  80% is a not a bad number to start with- and even that require lots of work.

Shyama  reminds us it’s a an effort that is ongoing and invites us to come back ,so to speak.  It will be a crime if we do not see the next installment of this story as it continues to unfold.

 

1st International Terra Preta Sanitation Conference Aug 2013

Mon, 17Jun2013 1 comment

1st International Terra Preta Sanitation Conference Aug 2013

Location:Hamburg University of Technology. The campus is located in Hamburg-Harburg.

Dates: Wednesday, 28  –  Saturday  31 August 2013

Background

…An analysis of a former civilisation in the Amazon, nowadays Brazil, reveals concepts which enable a highly efficient handling of organic wastes. Terra Preta do Indio is the anthropogenic black soil that was produced by ancient cultures through the conversion of biowaste and faecal matter into long-term fertile soils. These soils have maintained high amounts of organic carbon even several thousand years after they were abandoned. It was recently discovered that around 10% of the originally infertile soils in the Amazon region was converted this way from around 7,000 until 500 years ago. Due to the accumulation of charred biomass and other organic residues, terra preta subsequently formed giving it a deep, distinctly dark and highly fertile soil layer.One of the surprising facts is that this soil is highly productive without adding fertiliser.

Recent research concludes that this culture had a superior sanitation and bio-waste system that was based on source separation of faecal matter, urine and clever additives particularly charcoal dust and treatment steps for the solids resulting in high yielding gardening. Additives included ground charcoal dust while the treatment and smell prevention started with anaerobic lactic-acid fermentation followed by vermicomposting.The generation of new Terra Preta (‘terra preta nova’) based on the safe treatment of human waste could be the basis for sustainable agriculture in the twenty-first century to produce food for billions of people….

Speakers / Sessions

Thursday
Conference Keynote Dr. Haiko Pieplow (tbc)
Session 1: TP soils, soil fertility, organic farming
Key note from Bruno Glaser or Albrecht von Sydow (Germany) (tbc)

  • T. Theuretzbacher (Austria): Investigation on Terra Preta like products on the german-Austrian market
  • N. Andreev (Moldava): The effect of terra preta like substrate on germination and shoot growth of radish and parsley
  • H. Factura (Philippines): Addressing Poor Sanitation and Generating Added Values through Terra Preta Sanitation
  • B. Pelivanoski (Germany): Terra Pellet – an organic fertilizer inspired by terra preta

Session 2: TPS Applications, Quality of products, hygienic parameter, legislation, certification
Keynote presentation Prof. Srikanth Mutnuri (India) (tbc): Terra Preta as an Alternative for the Management of Sludge from Waste Water Treatment Plant

  • S. Böttger (Germany): Terra Preta – production from sewage sludges of decentralised wastewater systems
  • M. Stöckl (Germany): Vermicomposting of fecal matter and organic waste – a quality assessment of products
  • D. Meier Kohlstock (Germany): The integration of Terra Preta Sanitation in European nutrient cycles – Options for alternative policies and economies

Session 3: Terra Preta Sanitation: toilet systems and designs / Logistic and operation / practical examples
Keynote speech Prof. Charlotte de Fraiture (Netherlands) (tbc)

  • R. Wagner (Germany): New challenges of resource management in the Botanic Garden Berlin by producing and applying biochar substrates
  • R. Kuipers (Netherlands): A socio-economic assessment of urine separation, with a reflection on the possibilities for Terra Preta Sanitation, for the recycling of nutrients to rural agriculture in the Philippines
  • M. Bulbo (Ethiopia): TP application in Ethiopia
  • R. Wolf (Germany): Application of Fermented Urine for build up of Terra Preta Humus in a Permaculture Park and Social Impact on the Community Involved

Friday
Session 4: Carbon composting of biowaste and excreta/Climate farming / wood gas technology for energy and char coal production / Pyrolysis vs. hydrothermal carbonization
Keynote presentation Prof. Zifu Li (China) (tbc): Energy balance analysis on the pyrolysis process of animal manure
T. Voss (Germany): Wood gasification in parallel flow fixbed gasifieres for combined energy and charcoal production – experiences from six years of operation (abstact follows)

  • C. vom Eyser (Germany): Product quality of ç from sewage sludge in terms of micropollutants
  • E. Someus (Sweden): Reducing mineral fertilisers and chemicals use in agriculture by recycling treated organic waste as compost and bio-char products
  • J. Fingas (Germany): Climate farming – Practical experience from sub-Saharan Afrika

Session 5: Microbiology, sanitization and lactic acid fermentation
Keynote presentation Dr. Gina Itchon (Philippines): The Effectivity of the Terra Preta Sanitation (TPS) Process in the Elimination of Parasite Eggs in Fecal Matter: A Field Trial of TPS in Mindanao, Philippines

  • A. Yemaneh (Germany/Ethiopia): Investigation of Low-Cost Sugar Supplement for Lactic Acid Fermentation of Human Excreta in Terra Preta Sanitation System
  • A. Febriana (Indonesia): Faeces Treatment By Lactofermentation Process Based On Terra Preta Sanitation System Concept
  • A. Walter (Austria): Microbial communities in charcoal and microbe amended composts
  • F. Scheinemann (Germany): Sanitation and conservation of nutrients in cattle manure and sewage sludge by anerobic fermentation

Click here to go to the conference website

Organisation Committee

Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection at TUHH
GFEU e. V.
WECF

Co-Organisers

Institute of Environmental Technology and Energy Economics at TUHH
German WASH Network
UNESCO IHE
BDZ

all details are from their site

TEDxBerlin Noa Lerner:X-runner. Sanitation Social Business

Sun, 19Feb2012 1 comment

They are reinventing the toilet -

For someone who makes 1 dollar a day, with little water to be used for sanitation, in challenging locations,  having a lack of space, and no existing sewage system.

. . . . . . . . .

  X-Runner is designed with the  following principles / features:

- It must be desirable
– It is private / respects privacy and dignity – it is  in the home
– The waste is  easily transported from the home by the resident (not surprisingly the job falling to the women-typically)
– The toilet base is  also the transportation system in the form of a wheel
– There is a central place for collecting the waste from multiple homes

- This central place is desirable to visit based on the ability to socialize with friends and the access to amenities
– This central collection point has it has a biodigester
– The waste is turned into a useful resources –  energy  and fertilize

- The energy  is returned home from this same place making a complete circle

For more information:

 blog
brochure
 www.xrunner-venture.com

new study: Social Factors Impacting Use of EcoSan in Rural Indonesia

Mon, 27Sep2010 1 comment

The  Social Factors Impacting Use of EcoSan in Rural Indonesia report came out in June 2010.

The Study Starts of stating the fact that “Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) 2010 data indicate that around 38% of the rural population has access to improved sanitation services and that open defecation remains a widespread practice for over 60 million Indonesians. “

With  a majority of Indonesia being  Muslims the study include a a look at Muslim teaching on the subject of sanitation.  “The study objective was to identify the social, religious, cultural and gender-related factors  which influence rural people’s attitudes towards urine and excreta-based fertilizers in general and the EcoSan urine diversion system in particular.  It doe not pretend to be anything but a modest study: ” the study does not seek to be a comprehensive reflection of the whole of Indonesia. Instead, it provides a preliminary assessment of attitudes towards EcoSan, and identifi es some key drivers and inhibitors…” It survey 350 people in 5 out of 33 provinces included Muslims, Christians and respondents with traditional
beliefs. Four producers and retailers of excreta and urine based fertilizer were also identifi ed and interviewed.

One of the key finding  come in this paragraph:

“The study data show that this is not only a Muslim religious objection,
but that Christians also consider it difficult to keep the excreta dry by not
using water above the disposal hole. While the percentage of Muslims who
considered it difficult to keep the disposal hole dry was fairly constant, the
percentage of Christians who felt this way varied from 35% in Kulon Progo,
Central Java to 78% in East Sumba. This confirms the assumption that
use of water for cleansing, where available, is also an Indonesian cultural
behavior that inhibits the use of a toilet system requiring dry storage. “

The study reports  the researchers’  findings that  more than “…80% of the respondents are willing to use urine or feces-based fertilizer.” The report goes on to say  a similar number are willing to consume products from  the fields using compost based fertilizer.  The hard part,  the study  states,  is only 50% of the people surveyed are will to to be involved in processing  the urine and feces to make the compost.  (I would like to know how this  compares to other locations around the world 50%  Seems high-  a positive rather than negative –  )

The study goes on to look at the roles/ potential roles  men and women of a family unit have on

  • selecting fertilizer for crops, and for selection installing,toilets for the family.
  • selecting toilets  installing them  and composting waste from them.

The conclusions are complex.  Hopefully organizations that want to just plop down ecosan units all  anywhere in the will carefully read this  short but informative report in its entirety. We must truly understand  the people, if  we / they are to have success  with  ecosan or any other viable alternative!

Report Sections

INTRODUCTION: ECOSAN IN INDONESIA
  • Background
  • Objective of the Study
  • Consideration of EcoSan as a Sanitation Option
  • Methodology
DEMAND FOR ORGANIC FERTILIZER EXISTS  ACROSS RELIGIONS AND REGIONS
  • Excreta-based fertilizers are still a sensitive issue for some
RESERVATIONS ABOUT USING ECOSAN TOILETS
  • Gender Differences
IS HUMAN EXCRETA-BASED FERTILIZER NAJIS?
CONCLUSIONS

Publishing Agency:

The Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) “…a multi-donor partnership administered by the World Bank to support poor people in obtaining affordable, safe and sustainable access to water and sanitation services.”

Editors/Authors/ Researchers:

The research was carried out by Entin Sriani Muslim assisted by Ana Nurhasanah in 2009. This learning
note was co-authored by Martin Albrecht, Isabel Blackett, and Ikabul Arianto and peer reviewed by
Eduardo Perez and Jeremy Colin.

Document type Pdf  with search-able  / selectable text. 4 pages  Includes images and graphs

Urine diversion toilet components – A Technology Review

Sat, 09Jan2010 1 comment

This was first noted/posted  by SuSanA( EN FR ES ) and worthy of    “post duplicating”

GTZ Has published a set of technology reviews the last Quarter of 2009 dealing with “some
technologies commonly used as toilets or as treatment systems in ecosan systems.”

GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit translated- German Agency for Technical Cooperation) is federally owned and “…supports the German Government in achieving its development-policy objectives.” according to its about us web page Thier focus is sustainable development.  Their is site is available in English and Deutsche de

The following comes  from  http://www.gtz.de/en/themen/umwelt-infrastruktur/wasser/9397.htm and the actual documents.

Technology Review 1: Urine diversion components

Technology Review 2: Urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs)

  • Content includes:
    • colored posters in one of the common languages of the  country produced in, viewable on a stands size copy paper.

Technology Review 3: Composting toilets

Technology Review 4: Biogas sanitation

Technologie Review 5: Constructed wetlands

NOTES:

They, GTZ,  suggests the site  http://www.susana.org/lang-en/working-groups for in depth information.  SuSanA (Sustainable Sanitation Alliance) has formed working groups for a range topics centered on sanitation. Their admirable and hopefully achievable goal is to “…provide deliverables  that underline the problems and opportunities …” for these topics.  The working groups break  out as follows:

Ecosan /”ecological sanitation” posters published on slideshare

Wed, 30Dec2009 Comments off

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