Cookie tracking notice
Are we allowed to crumble with cookies and anonymous tracking?

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site (so called session cookies), while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). We use the application Matomo and the external service etracker to analyze your behavior on our website anonymously. Because we value your privacy, we are here with asking your permission to use the following technologies. You can change your settings any time via this link or the menu item in footer menu. For more information visit our Data Policy

Ecological sanitation for the base of the pyramid - Various documents on results from research grant

Sayre, E. (2013)

Published in: 2013

Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development Foundation, Incorporated, Philippines

Sayre, E.

Uploaded by:
SuSanA secretariat

Partner profile:
Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development Foundation, Inc.


 Location of library entry

Content - Summary

This library entry contains background documents for a grant that Elmer Sayre is leading and which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Further information and a discussion is available on the SuSanA discussion Forum, see link below.

Goals of the project:
- To address the sanitation needs of the “base of the pyramid” (this means adopt the design, the double-vault ecosan toilets are too expensive in the Philippines),
- Provide not only access to sanitation; prevent the spread of diseases, and contamination, but also to make available much-needed fertiliser especially for small-scale farmers.

Activities and results:
1) Dry toilet design and installation: The basic design was single-vault with a urine diversion bowl, which was custom-designed to be appropriate in most conditions. Today, four EcoSan models are now available:
- Coastal area, marshy areas, river settlements and flooding: raised posts and “hanging” ecosan
- Uplands: lightweight, mobile arborloo toilets for mountain areas
- Usage by persons with disabilities, toddlers, elderly people:
- Urban slums, emergencies and conflicts: single-vault ecosan toilets
- Urinals: EcoPees

2) High-grade human waste-mixed organic fertiliser production: Mixing lactic acid bacteria, indigenous microorganisms, charcoal, sawdust, rice hull, banana peel, faeces and urine and other organic materials in cement boxes and leave to mature 3 months. All the materials used for fertilizer production come from local sources such as farmer’s field. Also the needed microorganisms are derived from indigenous microorganisms found in the field. Moreover a rapid composting technique (3-4 weeks) using Trichoderma harziamum (a cellulose decomposer available at the Department of Agriculture) was tested. Also a anaerobic process was piloted using home-produced indigenous micro-organisms

3) Crop response to human-waste mixed fertiliser: Urine and urine faeces-mixed organic fertiliser were tested for rice, bananas, coconuts and mahogany. Urine fertilisation showed increasing harvest for eggplant, pechay, water spinach, and green mustard compared to a control and only slightly less then compared to the vegetables produced with synthetic fertiliser. Compared to a control, either urine or faeces-mixed alone enhanced the harvest for rice. When both together were applied, a similar growth then with commercial fertiliser was achieved. Banana showed an increased harvest with either urine and feces-mixed (the combination was not tested). Coconut did not show a significant difference to control. Mahogany growth was increased with urine, but not with faeces-mixed alone.

4) Secondary treatment of faeces to remove pathogens: The treatment of faeces with vermi-composting using African night crawlers (Eudrilus Eugenia) was tested. After 5 month, Ascaris ova were still present but after 6 months completely gone. Main challenges include: sources for earthworms; maintaining humidity; to feed regularly with organic matter and the problem of alkalinity due to the usage of ashes in the toilets.

5) Odour minimization: a homemade concoction of lactic acid bacteria and indigenous microorganism mixed to sawdust and charcoal was used as faeces cover. Chopped twigs or wood can be used instead of sawdust if not available.

6) Marketing the toilets: 3 micro-financing institutions were tested (WAND-Microfinance, Asset-based Community Development with Equity Foundation, Tuburan Para Libertad Foundation). It worked best when integrated into the loan component of clients but with separate more socialized agreements (i.e. longer paying period and less interest levied. Moreover, the “no toilet, no loan” policy does work. A promising marketing avenue is portable dry toilets during emergency which we tested during Typhoon Sendong. Aside from micro-financing, we successfully marketed our toilets via social networking and word-by-mouth.

Further authors:
Sayre, J. C. Z., Gensch, R., Miso, A., Itchon, G., Sayre, E.

Documents available for download below:
1 - Low-cost sustainable sanitation solutions for Mindanao and the Philippines: A practical construction field guide (2010)
2 - With Our Own Hands – Experiences in Promoting Ecological Sanitation and Food Security in Mindanao (2010)
3 - Sanitation Solutions for Flooded Zones, The WAND Foundation Experience (2011)
4 - Sustainable farmer uses humanure, Article in Business Mirror (Aug. 2012)
5 - Ecosan-Based Tree Planting Guide: The WAND Foundation Experience (June 2013)

Bibliographic information

Sayre, E. (2013). Ecological sanitation for the base of the pyramid - Various documents on results from research grant. Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development Foundation, Incorporated, Philippines

Filter tags

Composting, vermicomposting (solid waste), composting toilets East Asia & Pacific English Faeces or faecal sludge Fundamental research and engineering Rural Urine Urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs)

Further readings


1 - Low-cost sustainable sanitation solutions for Mindanao and the Philippines: A practical construction field guide (2010)

Format: pdf file
Size: 7.64 MB

2 - With Our Own Hands – Experiences in Promoting Ecological Sanitation and Food Security in Mindanao (2010)

Format: pdf file
Size: 5.78 MB

3 - Sanitation solutions for flooded zones, the WAND Foundation experience (2011)

Format: pdf file
Size: 2.58 MB

4 - Sustainable farmer uses humanure, Article in Business Mirror (Aug. 2012)

Format: pdf file
Size: 2.33 MB

5 - Ecosan-Based Tree Planting Guide: The WAND Foundation Experience (June 2013)

Format: pdf file
Size: 2.26 MB

Share this page on    

Networks Circle


Latest tweets mentioning SuSanA

Tweets mentioning SuSanA »

SuSanA newsletter

Stay informed about the activities of SuSanA and its partners. The SuSanA newsletter is sent out around four times per year. It contains information about news, events, new partners, projects, discussions and publications of the SuSanA network.

Subscribe to newsletter »




Resources and publications

Our library has more than 3,000 publications, factsheets, presentations, drawings etc. from many different organisations. It continues to grow thanks to the contributions from our partners.

Add item to library »

The three links below take you to special groups of items in the library for more convenient access:


The project database contains nearly 400 sanitation projects of many different organizations dealing with research, implementation, advocacy, capacity development etc. Advanced filtering functions and a global map are also available. Information on how and why this database was created is here.

People working for SuSanA partners can add their own projects through their partner profile page. You might need your SuSanA login upgraded for this purpose. Please contact us if you would like to add a project.

Trainings, conference and events materials

Missed important conferences or courses? Catch up by using their materials for self study. These materials have been kindly provided by SuSanA partners.

Shit flow diagrams, excreta flow diagrams (282 SFDs worldwide)

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs) help to visualize excreta management in urban settings. Access SFDs and more through the SFD Portal.

Emersan eCompendium

Humanitarian Sanitation Hub

Sanitation Workers Knowledge and Learning Hub




Discussion forum

Share knowledge, exchange experiences, discuss challenges, make announcements, ask questions and more. Hint: Your discussion forum login is the same as your SuSanA login. More about the forum's philosophy »

Integrated content

We are hosting content from some other communities of practice and information-sharing portals. This section also provides a link to SuSanA's Sanitation Wikipedia initiative.

Suggest content to add »

SuSanA partners

Not yet a SuSanA partner? Show your organisation's support to SuSanA's vision and engage in  knowledge sharing by becoming partners.

Apply to become a partner »

Individual membership

Register as an individual member of SuSanA free of charge. As a member you can interact with thousands of sanitation enthusiasts on the discussion forum.  You can also get engaged in one of our 13 working groups and our regional chapters. Our FAQs explain the benefits further.

By getting a SuSanA login you can fully participate in the SuSanA community!

Register as a member


Forgot your password?
Forgot your username?




Regional chapters

Use the map or the search tool to access the most relevant information and knowledge products for your region or country. This includes relevant resources, events, partners or projects.