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Emergency Sanitation in waterlogged areas in Uganda

Please can you share solutions and designs that have worked well in the past to improved emergency sanitation in waterlogged and flooded areas.

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The only response to this sort of conditions that I have seen is to build the pit above ground in the form of a big concrete box with a latrine sitting on top of it. This is easier where composting toilets or pumping out to tankers is practiced than the situation where people simply use a hole in the ground and then move on when it is filled. The costs of a latrine of this sort are likely to be higher than the costs of a house/hut In a similar way, the old cemeteries in New Orleans are like stone filing cabinets built above ground as it was impossible to dig holes and bury people safely in the marshy ground.


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I suggest you contact UNICEF in Sri Lanka as they have been dealing with similar problems. Quite recently they released an approved design for a dual latrine for separating urine and composting solids.


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Thanks for the responses. They are pretty much reinforcing our approach which is focused on hygiene education and ‘building up’ where possible. We are working with Govt and UNICEF as well as other NGOs to promote appropriate solutions on the ground. Our approach is simple as outlined below (plse also post it to the web). UNICEF is also providing pre-cast plastic composting toilets, which enables quicker construction; but the volume of waste in a ‘camp’ environment is always tricky for composting…

Recommended sanitation solutions (alongside hygiene education) for flooded areas:

 Use a step by step approach as appropriate (e.g.: defecate downstream and away from water sources/ living areas, cover faeces if possible, use earth mounds/ shallow pits, ecosan) so as to isolate faecal contamination as much as possible as soon as possible.

 Where pit latrines are not overflowing and are structurally sound, keep using them!

 Where the above is not possible, small mounds of compacted earth can be built and shallow pit latrines constructed above the water table

 Longer term, composting toilets (such as Ecosan) on the mounds is recommended

Can you let me know how to access the website as well. Many thanks.



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Try putting the following in your web address

and go to eco sanitation from there also:

and go the online library to find sanitation in emergencies - a very useful book

If that doesn’t work then I can send them to you from my office tomorrow - email me

I can also send you "Emergency Sanitation ch 6 - sanitation in difficult areas attached as a pdf but it is 2.1 MB - would this be possible or is it too much for your server?



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2014-01-20 10:38:44 -0500
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Last updated:
Jan 27 '14