Ecological sanitation - Implementation, opportunities and challenges in Chikwawa

Lungu, Kingsley and Morse, Tracy and Grimason, Anthony (2008) Ecological sanitation - Implementation, opportunities and challenges in Chikwawa. Environment & Health International, 10 (2). pp. 1-7. ISSN 1726-9210

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    Abstract

    Ecological sanitation (EcoSan) in not a new technology but rather a recognition that human excreta is a valuable natural resource (not a waste to be disposed of), containing plant nutrients which after containment and sanitization can be recycled in agriculture to enhance food production, with minimal risk of pollution of the environment and with minimal threat to human health. Various organizations are implementing EcoSan technologies in Malawi. Chikwawa is a rural district that is currently implementing EcoSan initiatives with resources from the Scotland Chikwawa Health Initiative and the US Ambassador’s Self Help Fund. The benefits from EcoSan are clear. For example, EcoSan systems help reduce the risk of spreading diseases by containing and treating human excreta before collecting it; minimising surface and groundwater contamination and recylcing the nutrients found in excreta and returning them to soil to enhance food production. However, EcoSan poses some challenges in its implementation such as a correct utilization, acceptability and sustainability of the concept.