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Composting of latrine products in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2000 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In developing countries, the lack of suitable sanitary solutions often creates health problems and causes environmental damage. One step towards solving these problems is to introduce sanitary solutions that prevent the spreading of diseases and recycle nutrients locally, which can be accomplished by using urine as fertiliser and treated faeces as soil conditioner for cultivation. To make a hygienically safe soil conditioner out of faeces, the faeces have to be degraded and the pathogens destroyed, which can be achieved in a compost. The aim of this study was to investigate small-scale methods to compost latrine products from urine separating latrines called ECOSAN latrines in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During the field study, four different composts were built in the gardens of four ECOSAN latrine owners. Three different composts parameters were investigated: turning of the compost, addition of organic household residuals, and free access to oxygen. The degradation process in these composts and in the fresh latrine products in one ECOSAN latrine was monitored for eight weeks using continual temperature measurements, and the outdoor temperature was also measured continually. As a complement to the temperature measurements, samples were collected from the compost material and the latrine products used for the composts, and laboratory analyses were then performed to determine moisture content, pH, organic carbon content, and ignition residue. At the end of the composting period, the four families who had the composts were interviewed about their attitudes towards the use of urine and composted latrine products for cultivation. The investigation led to the following conclusions: • The temperature results showed that there was no composting process in the ECOSAN latrine, but that a slow degradation took place. • The temperature results also showed that efficient composting was not achieved in any of the experimental composts, but that a slow degradation took place. • The most important reason for the inefficient composting process in the experimental composts was that there was not enough carbon available to the microorganisms. This conclusion was drawn from laboratory analyses which showed that the organic content of the compost material was very low. The low organic content was probably caused by two factors: the addition of ash and soil to the latrines and the degradation that took place in the latrines. • Turning hardly influenced the composting process in this study, but this may be due to the low organic content in the material used for the composts. • The addition of organic household residuals at the construction of the composts did not seem to improve the composting process. Nevertheless, keeping the low organic content of the original latrine products in mind, it is possible that the composts could have benefited from the continual addition of more organic household residuals. • Good access to oxygen is important. The compost that was placed in a pit had the lowest temperatures but immediately became 10°C warmer when it was reconstructed into a pile. It is, therefore, not recommended to place at compost in a shallow pit. • The interviews indicated that people's attitudes towards biointensive gardening were greatly influenced by information on this subject. The family who had received the most information was very positive, while the family that had not received any information clearly was the most sceptical.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000.
Keyword [en]
Technology, composting, small-scale, latrines, urine separating latrines, faeces, excreta, sanitation, ecological sanitation, temperature, on-site sanitation, Ethiopia
Keyword [sv]
Teknik
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-51087ISRN: LTU-EX--00/032--SELocal ID: 84da1818-bdd3-431e-9722-aab49e39588bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-51087DiVA: diva2:1024450
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Civil Engineering programmes 1997-2000, master's level
Examiners
Note
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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