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Prejudices and attitudes toward reuse of nutrients from urine diversion toilets in South Africa

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:09 authored by Louiza C. Duncker, Gertrude Matsebe
More than 60 000 urine diversion toilets have been built in South Africa in the last decade, but the use of human excreta for food production is not generally being promoted. This paper discusses the study conducted by The Council For Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), investigating users’ perceptions and attitudes towards urine diversion sanitation (UDS) in South Africa for the past seven years. The research method focused on semi-structured household interviews while validating and cross-checking the responses with physical observation and small focus group discussions. The main findings of this research were that people were aware of the fertiliser value of human faeces but not of human urine and that only some users were willing to use only human faeces in their gardens. In South Africa, many communities rely on subsistence agriculture, often in poor soils. Therefore, it is important to change people’s views and attitudes (how they think about and act) towards human excreta in order to achieve ecological sanitation solutions for food production.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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DUNCKER, L.C. and MATSEBE, G., 2008. Prejudices and attitudes toward reuse of nutrients from urine diversion toilets in South Africa. IN: Jones, H. (ed). Access to sanitation and safe water - Global partnerships and local actions: Proceedings of the 33rd WEDC International Conference, Accra, Ghana, 7-11 April 2008, pp. 108-113.


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