Zu Besuch beim Netzwerk für nachhaltige Sanitärsysteme

Dear readers: The following blog post is only available in German, so you may want to translate it into your language. This being a bilingual blog, I still wanted to write about it in my own language, because it’s just so great to have a local network of like-minded people who care about the same cause and contribute their time and knowledge to something that helps us humans in closing nutrient cycles. So, I hope that something similar is also available in your region/country and that we may connect in future on the following topic.

Am Welttoilettentag 2022 war ich zu Besuch beim halbjährlichen Mitgliedertreffen des Netzwerkes für nachhaltige Sanitärsysteme e.V. (NetSan), dessen guter Arbeit ich jetzt schon seit einiger Zeit folge und das jetzt sein fünftes Treffen und vierjähriges Bestehen feiert.

Nährstoff- und Sanitärwende, Quelle: https://www.naehrstoffwende.org/ (Illustration “Kreislauf-Vision”, IGZ e.V., by Aaron Joao Markos, CC-BY-SA-4.0).

Es ist ein Netzwerk aus verschiedenen Akteuren, die nachhaltige Sanitärsysteme anbieten und sich in diesem Netzwerk nicht nur fachlich sehr gut austauschen, sondern sich auch gemeinsam für eine verbesserte Akzeptanz dieser Systeme einsetzen. Es geht also nicht nur um die Schnittstelle “Toilette”, wie sie die meisten Nutzer*innen wahrnehmen (weil sie nur damit in Kontakt kommen), sondern auch um das Schließen kompletter Stoffströme. Man spricht von der Nährstoff- und Sanitärwende, von einem Ansatz also, den damals auch die aus Nordeuropa stammende ecosan-Bewegung (ecological sanitation) im Sanitärbereich als Motivation verstanden hat. Und das ist gar nicht so einfach, aber aus meiner Sicht dringend notwendig. Continue reading “Zu Besuch beim Netzwerk für nachhaltige Sanitärsysteme”

Urine diversion dehydration toilets after Typhoon Sendong in the Philippines

Elmer Sayre of WAND Foundation today sent us the following update from Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan Cities, Philippines where a small team of volunteers quickly set up urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs) as emergency response after a recent typhoon.

As Elmer reports:

“Typhoon Sendong was so severe and fierce, hitting at 2 a.m. when most people were asleep, erasing in the map entire communities, scattering the living in various evacuation centers and  open spaces. When the water system of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro cities was damaged and most flush toilets in the affected areas were wiped-out, the ecosan* solution is left as one of the most viable options. I asked support from friends and classmates and social network acquaintances and built and deployed portable ecosan toilets focusing mainly on the evacuation centers housing 7,000-12,000 people.”

The blue area is the river running through Cagayan de Oro. The green areas are the totally devastated communities, with water up to the 2nd floor of houses at 2 am while most are sleeping. The city could not account for all the dead and missing especially that most of those living in or near the river banks are informal settlers. Isla de Oro as shown here is full of these shanty houses. Now it is tragically devoid of anything.

“When we started on the 21st December, 3 days after the typhoon, the stench of human feces in the evacuation centers were too much and fecal matter is everywhere. Now we have contained it and we are racing against time to build some more units especially for people living scattered around open spaces without sanitation facilities. Our team do constant monitoring and collection of human waste and store it in our facilities in Libertad to be processed later on as fertilizer for coconut trees.”

Constructing urine diversion dehydration toilets on the run-down to New Year at Tent City, Iligan, Philippines
Constructing urine diversion dehydration toilets on the run-down to New Year at Tent City, Iligan, Philippines

“We are doing well and in fact, today, a Swiss humanitarian aid agency asked us to supply them with 35 portable ecosan toilets for evacuation centers in Iligan city.”

For more information on Elmer’s work, please see these two documentations “Philippines Flashflood Documentation” (PDF; 0.9 MB) and “Briefer Ecosan Wand” (PDF; 0.4 MB) or feel free to directly contact WAND Foundation on their website.

*ecosan => here:  Urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs)

This is a cross-post which initially appeared on the SuSanA working group 8 blog on “Sustainable Sanitation in Emergency and Reconstruction“.

Seminar/Training on Sustainable Sanitation for German NGOs

An increasing number of German NGOs are showing interest in implementing sustainable sanitation within their projects. In order to support these efforts the German Toilet Organization (GTO) in cooperation with gtz-ecosan will be offering a two day seminar on the 23rd and 24th of October 2010 at the GTZ headquarters in Eschborn, Germany. A further seminar – supported by LEZ Berlin – will be offered in Berlin on 27th and 28th of November 2010.
(c) Sustainable Sanitation Alliance
(c) Sustainable Sanitation Alliance

The aim of the training sessions is to discuss how specific technological solutions and sociological approaches can be applied, as well as giving an insight into the particular problems that may serve to hinder successful project implementation. Focus will be on sanitation systems and hygiene awareness raising for schools and public facilities in developing countries.

For more information (in German) or to register, please visit the GTO homepage: www.germantoilet.org and see the following PDF (in German, 0.1 MB).

Updates concerning the seminar will be posted here (in German):

new GTZ ecosan newsletter published

gtz-ecosan-nl31As admin and co-editor of the GTZ ecosan newsletter – a quarterly newsletter on ecological and sustainable sanitation – I am pleased to announce the publication of the latest edition no. 31 from April 2009.

The German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) recently introduced a new newsletter mailing tool which enables the ecosan program within GTZ to refocus on the actual content of each newsletter and at the same time highlight some sustainable sanitation projects that are partly funded by the German government and other donors.

The newsletter is available for download as a PDF file (0,4 MB) and may be subscribed to on this page (which also offers other interesting GTZ newsletters). An archive of previous editions is also available on the (relaunched) website of the GTZ ecosan program.

new toilet facilities at Muyogoro Primary School, Rwanda

Alexandra from Rwanda Village Concept Project (Rwanda VCP) wrote in the other day to inform us of an ecosan toilet that Rwanda VCP built at Muyogoro primary school in Rwanda earlier this year:

“From our work on malaria education in the village of Mpungwe and Muyogoro Primary School, we have noted that the current level of hygiene constitutes a significant danger to public health. We are providing adequate sanitation facilities for children through ecosan toilet construction at their primary schools after seeing that the existing ones can be a danger to the children health and the environment. (…) On Monday, December 17 2007, the construction started at Muyogoro primary school, located in Huye District, Nyakagezi subsector. This construction has been realised in partnership between RVCP, 2 International Participants and BVDA.”

click here
to view the complete gallery

The Rwanda Village Concept Project is an international student-run project in Central Africa. This multidisciplinary development project was initiated in 1998 whereas the fieldwork started in 2002. Its aims are to improve the living standards in a Rwandan community by using simple and low cost methods and to develop the capabilties of students in participatory development work.

Dominik of pong.li was invited to cover the construction process with his camera and created these wonderful videos (full playlist on YouTube):


“People in this area just came together to build that public infrastructure…”