The Stockholm Environment Institute and EcoSanRes Programme published this special edition of the “Sanitation NOW” magazine for the UN International Year of Sanitation 2008 on the global sanitation crisis:
“Climate change will transform the way we look at sanitation. It’s not just a poverty issue. In a world of more frequent floods, even wealthy nations have to revise their sanitary solutions.” Gunhild Arby, Editor
This interesting publication with lots of facts, case studies and experienced experts talking about the global sanitation crisis is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) from the EcoSanRes website in a low– (1.34 mb) and high-resolution (2.37 mb).
Have you ever used a toilet and got paid afterwards?
A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in India has just claimed to be doing this. From January 15th 2008 onwards, users of a local toilet system based on ecological sanitation (ecosan) principles will be paid the sum of 10 paise* for each visit.
By doing this, the Society for Community Organization and Peoples Education (SCOPE) wants to create an awareness for the value of human waste: “urine and faeces are so rich in nutrients for farm production that they are worth buying”.
The first Ecosan Community Compost Toilet in the country in Saliyar Street is functioning for the past 18 months. Every fortnight on an average 250 liters of urine is collected, the same is used for farming purposes. Already the Tamilnadu Agricultural University is studying the use of urine as liquid fertilizer for the past one year, under an MoU signed by SCOPE with the University. WASTE of Netherlands has funded, Rs. 4 lakhs for the two-year research project. (src)
Apparently, this really is the first time anywhere in the world that toilet users are being paid. What a smart approach!
* 100 paise = 1 Indian rupee = 0,01774 EUR
…to let you know of the ABOUT and HELP pages which I’ve modified to inform you on:
1. what a blog is…
2. how to post entries on this blog!
in his speech for the launch of the UN International Year of Sanitation 2008 the UNSGAB-chair Prince Willem-Alexander from the Netherlands pointed out the importance of reaching the water supply and sanitation MDGs in a sustainable way. Reuse of excreta and wastewater is promoted and the agricultural and energetical value of excreta and wastewater is stressed.
From the educational point of view he named the community-led total sanitation campaign in India as a good approach (well, there are pros and cons about that one – would be interesting to hear your opinion on the total sanitation campaign). From a technological point of view, Urine-Diversion toilets are named as a new innovation (considering that more than a million are installed in China it is not really something novel but good that it was mentioned). Other appropriate systems to reach the MDGs are given with “small-bore sewerage systems, pit emptying facilities, low-cost septic tank sludge treatment methods and the development and marketing of biogas technologies” – addressing bigger problems of low-cost decentralized conventional treatment systems… thinking of climate change, it would make more sense for me to invest into upgrading septic tanks to anaerobic digesters and pit latrines into Urine Diversion Dehydration toilets – then we also fight Methane-emissions… but just some thoughts…
The whole speach can be found at: http://esa.un.org/iys/iys_launch.shtml
Did you know that globally some 2.6 billion people are without access to any kind of improved sanitation?
Did you know that more than 2.2 million people, mostly in developing countries, die each year from diseases associated with poor water and sanitation conditions?
Did you know that the most affected group is the one of children under the age of 5?
Did you know that sanitation rarely receives the required attention and priority by politicians and civil society alike despite its key importance on many other sectors and for achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?
People often do not want to talk about sanitation, and when asked about their wishes, you’ll often hear answers like “a new tv set, a vcr, a car..” etc. instead. So how come sanitation – as a basic human need – has become such a neglected request?
And please beware: just because the above mentioned facts mainly cover developing countries, it doesn’t imply that industrialized nations are having much better sanitation systems! Just think of the public toilet system in your town and ask yourself: would you want to use these toilets (if any) for your next nature’s call?
With this small blog on the internet, we’ll try to display various approaches to an improved sanitation, cover some good and bad technologies and hopefully help to put sanitation on your agenda.
Because change will only happen if people really want it.