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Global MDG Challenge

2.5 billion with no sanitation
1.75 billion to be served by 2015

450 million new installations by 2015

15,000 installations per hour to 2015



An Ecological Approach to Sanitation in Africa: A Compilation of Experiences
by Dr. Peter Morgan, Aquamor, Harare, Zimbabwe

This mammoth work by Peter Morgan is meant to pass on the knowledge he has gained during a period of researching the topic known as ecological sanitation - a method which involves recycling human excreta. It is an attempt to make "eco-san" simple and cost-effective for use by low income communities in Africa. The ultimate aim is to form much stronger links between sanitation, agriculture and food production that actually work in practice, and can benefit the users beyond the requirement of providing a toilet alone. It also aims to demonstrate that effective toilets for use in Africa can be built by a family with very little support from outside. The work places shallow pit composting eco-toilets under the umbrella of ecological sanitation, as the pit latrine is the most commonly used toilet in Africa, and is likely to remain so for some time. It makes sense therefore to form stronger links between eco-san and existing well established systems like the pit toilet. The work also describes simple urine diversion systems, which are more familiar in programmes promoting eco-san. No attempt has been made here to describe the full range of eco-sanitary options or programmes, which are described in detail elsewhere. This work describes personal experiences only. It has become clear that this story of eco-san is exciting and may have far reaching implications in the future. It adds new dimensions to the rather drab story of conventional sanitation and offers ways to overcome several existing problems.

Preamble (PDF 37 Kb)
1. An introduction - Understanding the concept of ecological sanitation (PDF 84 Kb)
2. The answer lies in the soil (PDF 235 Kb)
3. Modifications of the pit toilet (PDF 81 Kb)
4. How to build and manage the Arborloo (PDF 3168Kb)
5. How to build and manage the Fossa alterna (PDF 4646 Kb)
6. A question of health (PDF 31 kB)
7. The eco-toilet and agriculture (PDF 516 Kb)
8. The Arborloo and growing trees (PDF 1817 Kb)
9. The Fossa alterna & the vegetable garden (PDF 1015 Kb)
10. The Usefullness of urine (PDF 1758 Kb)
11. Urine diversion - how to build and manage a single vault composting toilet (PDF 2318 Kb)
12. Gardening techniques that assist eco-san supported vegetable production (PDF 2355 Kb)
13. Some special constructional techniques (PDF 3055 Kb)
14. Summing up (PDF 123 Kb)

Bibliography (PDF 29 Kb)
Appendix 1 The Arboloo Book (PDF 1817 Kb)
Appendix 2 The Compost Toilet Starter Kit (PDF 1947 Kb)


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© 2009 EcoSanRes, Stockholm Environment Institute (sei-international.org)
Last modified: 14-jul-2011