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Popularization of ecological latrine technology by the CRB

ByWebmaster

Jan 17, 2024

CIBITOKE January 16th (ABP) – In its General Directorate of Development (DGD) program and its 2022-2026 action plan, under the theme “Strengthening the resilience of communities in the face of health risks”, the Burundi Red Cross  (CRB), is in the process of popularizing a new ecological latrine technology (AKASUGA), in Cibitoke province.

According to the field coordinator of that project, Frédéric Bigirimana, three communes out of six are beneficiaries of the said program, including Rugombo, Buganda and Murwi, on all 56 villages that make up the three communes. That ABP official said they targeted ten households per village, which makes 560 households, that is to say 560 AKASUGA ecological latrines, under construction.

To achieve the objective and good results, 56 volunteer facilitators were also trained on the PHAST (Hygiene and Sanitation) approach, the proper use and the role of those latrines, with the aim of raising awareness among the 560 beneficiary households, which in turn must raise awareness among neighboring households.

Thus, the use of ecological latrines, apart from its promotion of household hygiene and sanitation, makes it possible to have organic manure and increase agricultural production. In fact, ecological latrines are designed with a direct collection system with double separate pits to collect faeces. One is in use when the other is closed, he said. When a pit in use is full, it is closed for a period of three to eight months, depending on the temperature of the environment, in order to recover the charred feces. As for urine, it is directly collected in a tank designed to collect it, and there must be collection containers and storage bins. After recovery, it must be stored in a closed container for two to three weeks, to reduce the nitrogen content. That operation avoids the use of water, according to informed sources.

After each use, ash must be added to reduce the pathogen content, he said, adding that the urine is subsequently used as chemical fertilizer usable for soil fertilization. It thus replaces organo-mineral fertilizers which are expensive compared to the purchasing power of the community, he insisted.