Ensuring that the selected sanitation technology is accepted by the communities is vital for the successful implementation of any sanitation project. Many factors should be considered including the disposal of the sludge, sludge flow properties, methods of emptying, the pit, the composition of the pit, the cost of the sanitation options and others.
During the 2011 financial year, the Department of Water Affairs funded sanitation infrastructure for the villages of Cork, Ronaldsey, Croquet lawn, Somerset, Lillydale, Tshuvulani, Belfast and Thulani in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga province.
The benefiting areas are rural and farm arears situated approximately 150km from Nelspruit. Unemployment is very high and most people depend on subsistence farming, while government grants and child support grants are other sources of income. Electricity is largely used for lightening while wood is used for cooking and access to water is a daily challenge.
Transparency and accountability
The values of transparency and accountability are built into all aspects of the work done by The Mvula Trust including the planning, design and implementation phases or projects.
Community meetings are therefore held in order to introduce the project to communities, steering committees are set up in order to ensure wide participation and representation of various groups within the community and relevant training is conducted with all project committees.
A vital part of a successful sanitation project is the decision on the sanitation technology options that will be selected for a particular community.
Technology Options for Bushbuckridge households
The Mvula Trust presented different technologies to the municipality, including its application in terms of the geological characteristics of the area.
The long term financial implications, operational and institutional requirements as well as previous user experience by other communities were discussed.
The Mvula Trust presented different technologies to the municipality, including its application in terms of the geological characteristics of the area. The long term financial implications, operational and institutional requirements as well as previous user experience by other communities were discussed.
Technology Option 1: Ventilated Improved Pit toilets
Human waste drops into the pit where it decomposed and the liquids penetrate into the surrounding soil. It is however important to ensure access for mechanical pit-emptying and the availability of sludge treatment and sludge disposal where required. This option is the most successful in water-scarce environments and failure usually only due to inadequate user education and/or poor design and construction.
Technology Option 2: ventilated Improved Double Pit toilets
This technology works the same as with the Ventilated Improved Pit toilets. The added pit extends the lifetime of the toilets and also allows for a longer time before the pits needs emptying.
Technology Option 3: Urine diversion toilets
With this option, the user needs to ensure that solid and liquid waste is diverted to the different sections in the toilet bowl of the top structure. Urine is thereafter soaked away through an outlet pipe while the solid human waste is contained in the pit. The pit needs regular emptying and the dry waste can be used as fertiliser. Dry organic material such as ash, leaves or wood is however needed to assist with decomposing the human waste and reducing the smell. Significant user education is needed for proper operation and a successful composting process.
Technology Option 4: Enviroloo
The Enviro Loo sanitation technology does not require the user to assist the process of separation and waste is separated in the pit or the bottom structure of the toilet. The human waste is treated through the natural processes of dehydration and evaporation. This also reduces the volume of human waste significantly.
Taking into account the access to water, the water table area, financial capability, operations and maintenance factors and many others, the community in conjunction with the Bushbuckridge local municipality decided on the Movable Pre-cast VIP toilet technology. A total of 940 units were completed by The Mvula Trust who in turn contracted five (5) local suppliers from Bushbuckridge.