Finding a sustainable solution to the overflowing pit problem: The role of SRF in the beneficiation of VIP sludge (WEDC 2009 paper)

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Finding a sustainable solution to the overflowing pit problem: The role of SRF in the beneficiation of VIP sludge (WEDC 2009 paper)

Dry, on-site sanitation systems (mainly improved pit latrines) have been implemented widely across
Southern Africa. Until recently these systems were considered an appropriate lower cost option best
suited to a region of increasingly limited water resources. However, two important factors were not taken
into account: how should these on-site systems be managed on reaching the end of their design life (8 –
10 years) and what will be the impact of remedial measures on water resources. An innovative strategy to
utilise sludge removed from pit latrines as a nutrient source for short rotation forestry (SRF)
programmes is currently being tested in South Africa. An interdisciplinary study that seeks to identify and
overcome some of the technical, cultural and political factors that may limit the usefulness of this
approach is under way. This paper provides background to the study and describes progress made to
date.

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