THE Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland has pumped K300 million in Lusaka’s Madimba area in Matero to build over 60 dry toilets. The project is aimed at improving the poor sanitation in the area and increase the use of toilet waste as fertiliser.It also targets to educate the people on hygiene issues.
Solid waste/ sanitary specialist Danny Choba said the principle of dry toilets is to conserve water and promote the use of ground water. A dry toilet does not need water to function. They are simple pit latrines or ventilated improved pit latrines that can be covered when full or emptied for re-use after a period of stabilisation.
Ecological dry toilets are a special type of dry toilets that separate urine and human waste. Mr Choba said the association’s objective is to protect the world’s waters and promote the implementation of natural nutritional cycle.
The association’s vision is to make dry toilets an essential part of sustainable development, thus securing clean waters and a healthy environment for future generations.
He said a study was conducted in 2008 by UNICEF that revealed that Lusaka’s ground water is highly polluted as a result of pit latrines.
The study recommended that ecological sanitation technologies such as dry toilet are an option to prevent ground water pollution. “Only 30 percent of Lusaka’s population is connected to conventional central line sewerage systems while 70 percent use pit latrines or soaker ways. This has resulted in ground water being contaminated with people being affected by water borne diseases,” he said.
Mr Choba said with increased population and development in Lusaka, the city is faced with the challenge of clean water. “Why should we continue to transport human waste using clean water, the use of dry toilet is one solution that can address our problem? The dry toilets can serve towards hygienic toilet culture, also increase the use of toilet waste as fertiliser and improve farming conditions,” he said.
He said the dry toilet technology was also introduced in Siavonga, in a village called Mavulele by Harvest Help Zambia with the support from Water Aid to improve on sanitation.
He said apart from improved sanitation, the project has also increased the use of toilet waste as fertiliser to improve farming conditions in the area. Mr Choba cited Sweden and Finland where the project of dry toilet has been used effectively to address challenges of clean water.
[Zambia Daily Mail]