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Cycle 8 (2019 Deadline)

Increasing access to sanitation services integrated with resource recovery in rural Burkina Faso

PI: Ynoussa Maiga (, University of Ouaga I Pr Joseph Ki-Zerbo
U.S. Partner: James Mihelcic, University of South Florida
Project Dates: October 2020 - October 2022

Project Overview:
The development of efficient sanitation technologies and practices can enhance the resilience of local populations from adverse consequences related to the lack of appropriate sanitation. Many imported water and sanitation technologies have failed because they were not adapted to local conditions or did not correspond to the needs of end users. This project will develop, under real conditions, sanitation technologies and resource recovery technologies in a participatory way in order to increase their robustness and acceptability by local beneficiaries. The PI and his team will develop a greywater treatment unit to collect and treat household wastewater for reuse in gardening. A Slanted Soil Treatment System (SSTS) has been previously designed and tested for greywater treatment at the household level, but the quality of the treated greywater was not sufficient to allow its safe reuse in gardening. The current project will test modifications made to the treatment system, including the configuration of the SSTS, the characteristics of the filter bed, and addition of plants to enhance its efficiency, making possible the safe reuse of the treated water for food crop irrigation. In addition, a composting toilet with urine diversion has been developed for rural households. However, concerns related to the biodegradability of the organic matter, hygiene, and maturation of the compost have emerged. The PI and researchers in this project will test new strategies by mixing urine and feces in the dry toilet. In addition, they will design a composting pit and use it in an additional step for the maturation and sanitization of the compost collected from the composting toilet, including through mixture with agricultural waste. The most efficient operating conditions allowing for the production of hygienic and nutrient-rich compost will be determined by testing several mixtures. Tentative thermal inactivation pathogens using sunlight will tested with the aim of making the compost more hygienic. These modifications should enhance the safety of the compost and increase its acceptability.

Ten households from two rural settlements will be involved in this study to develop and assess at the household level a greywater treatment unit and a composting toilet, as well as the possibility of reuse of sanitation by-products (treated greywater and compost) for safe vegetable production. The project will therefore achieve impacts along several lines, including encouraging sustainable adoption of adequate hygiene and sanitation practices in rural areas, enhancement of quality of life and improvement of rural residents’ diets through the increased production of vegetables, reduction of sanitation-related diseases (malaria, diarrhea), and strengthening of the capacities of the rural population in terms of hygiene, sanitation, and valorization of sanitation by-products.

Summary of Recent Events

In this reporting period, several activities were conducted with different stakeholders. The project team met the authorities in charge of water and sanitation issues in Burkina Faso to present the project and its objectives. The General Director noted that this project is part of the policy of the ministry and indicated his full availability to support its implementation. A repository of sanitation technologies will be developed at the minisry and the conclusions of the project could be listed there if successful. The GDS suggested to meet the regional management office in charge of sanitation of the “central region” (DREA-CEN) who is the administrative representative of the project site. He also insisted on communication (during and after the project) and suggested the organization of technical meetings with the general direction of sanitation (GDiS), the DREA-CEN and the National office of water and sanitation (ONEA) to discuss its implementation.

The project team also met with the administrative authorities of the town hall of “Koubri. The main discussions focused on the specificity of shower rooms in rural areas, which are often archaic. After this meeting, 8 households were selected in Boussouma and 7 in Noungou by the rural representatives based on the fixed criteria.

The PI organized a mission in the two villages with the objective of visiting the preselected households, discussing with them and visiting their houses in order to choose 4 final beneficiaries per village that best correspond to the criteria. All preselected households were visited and some information collected: name and contact of the head of the household; main activity and type of vegetables grown; number of people living in the household; and the presence/absence of a sanitation facility in the household (shower, toilet). The characteristics collected were used to select 4 households per village (8 households) with all the project members in Ouagadougou.

They then held meetings with the selected households in each village, to discuss the sanitation infrastructure that will be constructed, and request their support during the implementation of the project. All 8 heads of households agreed to participate in the implementation of the project activities.

The official launch of the project took place on March 23, 2021 in the village of Boussouma in the presence of local and communal authorities, the Regional Direction of Water and Sanitation of the Central region, the beneficiary households, and the population of the two villages. The deputy mayor of Koubri explained the importance of this project for their region and requested the support of the local population for the implementation of the project. After that, the PI presented the objectives, the activities that will be conducted, the facilities that will be constructed in the households and the expected results.

For more visibility of the project, a report was made and broadcasted on a private TV station on the evening news on April 25, 2021.

To develop the greywater treatment unit, preliminary results obtained in the lab were used. A pilot unit was developed and constructed in the campus of University Joseph Ki ZERBO. Two local plants are under use to have preliminary results that will be used for the construction of the pilots in the beneficiary households. For composting toilet, the main activity consisted of the design and construction of a sample bioreactor and the compost toilet cubicle. The pilots were developed based on preliminary survey results from past activities and local material. The sample unit has been developed and the remaining 7 units are ordered and will be constructed in the households.

In the next 3-6 months, the PI plans to install the eight toilets and greywater treatment units in the 8 households in the villages. Training modules on the use of toilet and the greywater treatment unit that will be installed in the beneficiary households will be developed. Lastly, the households will be trained on how to use and maintain the toilet and the greywater treatment unit. Two people per beneficiary households (with field demonstration campaigns) will be trained on how to use the facilities.
Reagents and consumption necessary for the assessment of the quality of the treated greywater and compost will be purchased. The researchers will start monitoring the performance of the sanitation facilities installed in the households.

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