Ecological Sanitation : Attitudes Towards Urine Diverting Toilets and Reuse of Nutrients in Peri Urban Areas of Kampala, Uganda. A Case of Kamworkya II Parish
Abstract: ABSTRACT Billions of people are living without access to safe hygienic means of personal sanitation. The sanitation gap is wide in developing countries where more people are increasingly becoming urbanised. Sanitation related diseases are some of the leading cause of mortality and morbidity among the population in developing countries especially children under age of 5 years. The responsible institutions are faced with challenge to provide suitable and affordable services to this increasing population. In Uganda, the urban poor are residing in the peri urban areas with inadequate sanitation facilities. The provision of conventional sanitation facilities are seen not be sustainable options due to contamination of both surface and underground water sources, congested housing structure and at the same time makes recycling and reuse of nutrients difficult. This study investigated attitudes towards urine diverting toilets in one of the peri urban areas in Kampala, with the aim of finding out strategies to improve on awareness of ecological sanitation as well as popularise their use as alternative sanitation. Respondents’ views were collected through face to face interviews with 40 household respondents using a semi structured questionnaire and field observations of the household’s toilet in use as well as solid waste disposal. Four focus group discussions and 6 key informant interviews were also performed. The respondents’ acceptance of the urine diverting toilets was relatively positive. Most of the respondents reported that the ecosan toilets are a viable option due to congested housing pattern, desire to own a toilet (for those who never had a toilet before), improved privacy, and convenience among other factors. Respondents who have no urine diverting toilets also preferred urine diverting toilets and expressed their willingness to replicate them. It was also found that residents in Kamwokya II parish prefer a double vault design to one which uses bucket. The findings also reveal that reuse of sanitized urine and faecal matter within the community is not possible since there is no space for urban agriculture. However, the respondents acknowledged a willingness to eat or buy food from a garden fertilized with sanitized urine and faecal matter. It was also found that there are no cultural and religious beliefs against reuse of sanitized urine and faecal matter. Some challenges that affected implementation of the pilot project were people’s reluctance to adopt at the beginning, delayed completion of some facilities and part time employees. Currently there is limited replication of toilets because of low cash income among the residents, delayed completion of some facilities and sceptical views by some residents. Among the difficulties faced in use of toilet include forgetfulness by some people to spray ash after defecating, misplaced water entering the toilet vault during cleaning, children playing with the urine container etc. The provision for anal cleansing for Muslims, squat hole covers, closed urine chamber among others were suggested for system improvements. The study recommends more awareness campaigns through social marketing of toilet and reuse of nutrients, modification of design, government’s commitment and household change of behaviours are fundamental for encouraging more adoption and replication of the toilets.
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