Ecosan: An unsuccessful sanitation scheme at a rural school - Lessons learned from the project failure

Austin, A. (2003)

Published in: 2003

Author:
Austin, A.

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SuSanA secretariat


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Content - Summary

Emzamweni High School is a rural educational institution in South Africa that serves a number of low-income communities. Sanitation was a badly neglected aspect, with the facilities consisting of old, unimproved pit latrines, which were in a filthy and unhygienic condition due to a lack of proper care and maintenance. The Municipality decided to construct a new toilet block, using the opportunity to demonstrate ecological sanitation technology. The challenge was to introduce ecosan at an institutional facility, rather than in a home. The concept was therefore thoroughly workshopped with the principal and teachers, who would be ultimately responsible for transferring the required knowledge of operation and maintenance procedures to the pupils, in order to ensure proper use of the toilets. Information booklets and posters were also prepared and given to the school for use as teaching aids.

Despite the careful preparation and intensive training, however, the teachers were not committed to ensuring that the pupils used the facilities properly, and the project was therefore a failure. Nevertheless, some valuable lessons were learned for future implementation of urine diversion sanitation projects at South African schools.

Bibliographic information

Austin, A. (2003). Ecosan: An unsuccessful sanitation scheme at a rural school - Lessons learned from the project failure.

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English Schools Sub-Saharan Africa

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