Is manure from ecological sanitation latrines safe for use to fertilize crops? A review of evidence from literature

Studies have shown that manure harvested in ecological sanitation (ecosan) latrines has more thermo tolerant bacteria and helminthic eggs than the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation. The review was aimed at assessing adequacy of available guidelines on use of ecosan to produce safe manure. Relevant literature was searched and critically reviewed. Literature on effect on pathogen die off was not consistent from one study to the next and in some situations conflicting results have been found. Guidelines on waiting period after pit is sealed differed from one country to the next and there is an agreement that six months waiting period is not enough to produce safe manure. There is need for further research in real latrine situation to investigate all potential factors that affect pathogen die off. These may assist to explain inconsistencies in literature on pathogen die off and assist to develop specific guidelines for different locations.