The construction of flush biodigester toilets by the Water and Sanitation Association of Zambia (WASAZA) has kicked off in eight community schools in Lusaka’s Mandevu township with expectations of improved sanitation as well as class attendance. About 8,000 pupils from Garden Open, Chipata Community, Chipo, Luminary Foundation, Needs Care, Ngombe Open, Ngombe PTA and Flying Angels will benefit from this project. The project, which is being implemented by WASAZA in partnership the Millennium Challenge Account Zambia, will cost US$360,055.
“Poor sanitation and lack of access to adequate water has a negative impact on pupil school attendance, especially for the girl child (absenteeism),” site engineer, Muinda Mulenga said in Lusaka. He added that flush toilets, which are connected to the bio-digester, are better than pit latrines because the former can process effluent on-site, without contaminating underground water. The end product from the bio-digester can be used as fertiliser whereas the methane gas produced from this process can be used for lighting purposes and in gas stoves. The concept of connecting flush toilets to a bio-digester is new one in community schools in Zambia because previously, it was the pit latrines that connected to biodigesters.
Bio-digesters have been found convenient to promote on-site sanitation and hygienic conditions in schools that are not serviced by the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company. A bio-digester converts organic waste into non-bio hazardous sludge while producing methane gas through the process of anaerobic digestion. For this reason, the WASAZA project will promote hygiene in schools in an environmentally sustainable fashion and encourage menstrual hygiene for girls. The benefiting communities are excited about the project because problems of poor sanitation and water scarcity at the schools will be a thing of the past. The residents are particularly happy that the toilets are safe for use and they will no longer have to worry when their children go to school.
Source: The Daily Mail