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Global need: a re-invented toilet.
Although World Class is proud of the three latrines it has built (a KVIP composting latrine and 2 latrines with flush systems), the organization recognizes the problems inherent in each. Traditional composting latrines are plagued by odor and flies. Flush systems use too much water in an already water-challenged environment where, due to climate change, water availability will become worse.
The Gates Foundation has challenged the world's engineers to re-invent the toilet and has put a significant amount of its resources behind that effort. As a result, a number of good alternatives to traditional toilets and latrines have been developed. Among them is a microflush toilet system developed by Professor Stephen Mecca of Providence College in association with the Global Sustainable Aid Project. In the microflush system a valve closes the space between the toilet and the septic pit called the "digester." The valve separates excreta from space and thus eliminates odors and flies. A single flush uses just 150cc of water (about one cup). This is gray water which comes from hand-washing after each use. The digester is a living system reliant on worms and bacteria which break down waste and transform it to odorless compost.
A version of the microflush system, the Rural Poor Flush Toilet (RPFT) has been developed which uses low-cost locally available materials. The RPFT can be built as a community latrine or as indivdual units for households.
Through the networking and familial connections which so often play a major role in work in the developing world, Board member Susan Kraeger knows both Mr. Mecca and the young contractor, Sammie Gyabah, whose company, SamAlex Sanitation Solutions, is promoting the use of the RPFT. Sammie recently won Ghana's prestigious "Game Changer" Award (a national competition for ideas/endeavors which will advance Ghanaian society) for his advocacy of the system. World Class has a dual ambition in its Chintu project-- to provide sanitation for the community and to help kick-start this young entrepreneurial effort. There are no sure things in Ghana, but World Class is cautiously optimistic about the prospects for this new technology.
For more on the RPFT watch this YouTube video: