Kyrgyzstan: Safe and Sustainable – New Sanitation System

An international conference on Ecological Safety, held [in November 2008] in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, called attention to a dangerous sanitation issue by offering an inspiring and feasible solution.

The problem: international donors are still promoting pit latrines, says Dr. Claudia Wendland of Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), but most families can’t afford to pay for safe emptying of the pits. In humid climates like those found in Central Asia, Caucasus and Eastern Europe, the latrines can become dangerous as a result, [and] often [pollute] groundwater.

[…] According to Sascha Gabizon, executive director of WCEF, dry or low-flush urine diverting toilets, combined with natural filtration ponds to purify grey water from sinks and showers, is a much safer sanitation system that can be implemented at a cost similar to that of the latrines.

The 200 participants of the conference were invited to visit 3 demonstration projects showing how wastewater from kitchens and bathrooms was efficiently cleaned using a “soil filter,” a sealed pond in which sand and plants clean the wastewater to achieve the quality of bathing water, The participants also visited 2 different types of dry urine diverting toilets. The cost of the toilets vary between 200 and 450 Euro, including a wash facility and light, this is much cheaper than having to build a flush-toilet and connecting to a sewage system […]. The cost of the soil filter for 5 people amounts to about 950 euro, also less expensive than connecting to a sewage system.

Gabizon says the WCEF strategy is to first demonstrate the new sustainable sanitation systems “in a variety of small and large scale applications, from households to schools to entire villages.”

See also the WECF project profile of “Kyrgyzstan – Decentralised and sustainable wastewater management”

Source: Julia Levitt, Worldchanging, 21 Nov 2008

2 responses to “Kyrgyzstan: Safe and Sustainable – New Sanitation System

  1. It is good to know that waterless sanitation is receiving serious consideration around the world. Here in South Africa, a dry urine diversion system has been developed by Enviro Options (www.eloo.co.za) but South Africans are quite slow to adopt it. In addition to international donors, I think ‘privileged’ people should be adopting and promoting waterless sanitation. The sooner the world can move away from waterborne sewage in general, the better.

  2. I need to give a solution for a IDP camp with 68,000 inmates. within two days. This should be low cost and almost zero O & M
    Your response will be greatly appreciated

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