Enhancing waterborne toilets to reduce water usage in schools: experience from Kampala, Uganda
Over 620 million children worldwide lacked a basic sanitation service at their school and 12% of schools have facilities that are not usable. In Kampala’s public primary school, the pupil to stance area stands at 57:1 as compared to the required 40:1 by the public health regulation of 2000. A number of waterborne toilets have been constructed in schools to change the pupil to stance ratio from 118:1 to 57:1 in the period 2012- 2018. However, the administrators of schools have denied 07% of the toilets in schools to be accessed by pupils in an effort to control water bills. Administrators prefer pupils to use pit latrines to waterborne toilets because they use less water. This acerbates the inadequacy of access to sanitation in schools in Kampala. The objective of this work was to develop a waterborne sanitation facility that meets the school administrators’ preferences features of VIP latrine with water usage of less than 10 liters of water to flush the toilet. Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has constructed water based toilets referred to as ‘channel flush’ toilets in public schools to reduce water usage. The channel flush toilet uses a channel as a receiving chamber for faecal matter which is flushed intermittently to the septic tank or bio-digester. Each toilet block is flushed four times a day with each flushing time using 60 liters of water. With the channel flush toilet, schools use about 4 liters per child per day on flushing toilets leading to a 90% water usage reduction. Emptying has been reduced from 30 cubic meters to 5 cubic meters per year. The toilet is recommended to be used in schools and public places such as markets and taxi parks.
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