In 2012, the Gates Foundation listed a solar-powered toilet, a toilet that produces biological minerals, charcoal, and clean water, and a toilet that sanitized the waste while recovering resources, as its top three winners for the challenge to reinvent the toilet.
Why Should Sanitation be treated sacredly?
The conventional system that is built on a linear and end-of-pipe format is more destructive in nature than had been initially considered. In leading and practically introducing waste into the water cycle, it was causing some concerns to both environment and individual hygienic situations. Secondly, they were not capable to reuse and recover the micro- and macro-nutrients that were present in the waste. They are usually destroyed in the treatment process or contribute to the eutrophication of water bodies.
The World Bank is aiming to have health coverage on a global level by 2030. Even if it seems unachievable, realistically speaking, though, it should be given top priority. About 14% of the world is still suffering from “open defecation” even when the WHO (according to The Economist) suggested that even a dollar spent on sanitation would be beneficial eventually. This is because by leading to lower health costs and therefore greater productivity, each country would have a return of at least $5.50.
What is ECOSAN?
An alternative to conventional sanitation, it is a type that recycles the nutrients and water within the domestic liquid waste into the environment. The system treats the wastewater that is discharged. The approach is increasingly being used in urban areas to improve the public health situation in countries that can afford to have them installed and operated.
Given that the initial design proposal failed to satisfy the universal needs of sanitation, there was a shift in aims to identify an affordable decentralized sanitation, implement appropriate technologies, and to keep the focus on health and hygiene education.
ECOSAN includes practices that would help work on human dignity, environmental security, and improve the overall quality of life. The point was to involve every stakeholder to participate in protecting and exploring the economic benefits of waste recovery. Waste would then be looked upon as a resource, its management kept on a holistic basis, and the problems kept to the minimum in whichever domain (city, district, community, household) they are being experienced.