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Urban agriculture and fertiliser trials


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Title: Urban agriculture and fertiliser trials

Course 3 Unit 2
Urban agriculture and fertiliser trials
Teacher Mariska Ronteltap m.ronteltap_at_unesco-ihe.o
Course 3 Unit 2Urban agriculture and fertiliser
trialsPart A How to apply ecosan products in
agriculturePart B Introduction to urban
agriculture Part C Examples for agricultural
reuse research trials
This unit deals with which part of the sanitation
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Course 3 Unit 2
  • Part A How to apply ecosan products in

Example in Sweden See video clip with employee
at Nacka Community Greenhouse for flowers and
plant production, where urine is used as a
fertiliser, recorded in 2004 as part of the movie
by WASTE (The Human Excreta Index) mms//mediase
eta11_256kbps.wmv (this video clip is also on
the course DVD)
Applying urine to the soil next to a young maize
plant (Morgan, 2007, p. 86)
Multiple-barrier concept to secure safety in reuse
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Awareness raising and education on hygiene and
    reuse aspects
  • Adequate treatment for sanitisation (e.g.
    storage, drying, composting)
  • Suitable handling (with security measures,
    gloves, boots, handwashing etc.)
  1. Limitation to specific vegetables and field
    crops, or to specific vegetation periods,
    depending on treatment

Spreading of urine before sowing in Sweden
See also Appendix (combination of health
protection measures)
Reminder Nutrient excretion by humans is
directly linked to diet
From Course 1 Unit 2
  • Rules of thumb for nutrient cycle
  • We excrete the same amount of nutrients that we
    take up in our diet (except for children who
    retain a small proportion for growth of bones)
  • The amount of excreted nutrients by one person is
    the same amount that is needed as fertiliser to
    grow the food for that person
  • ? Such a beautiful well-balanced loop!

Source Jönsson et at. (2004)
Excreta and food production
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Basically (same info as on previous slide, just
    in other words)

Amount of excreted plant nutrients per person
Amount of consumed plant nutrients per person
  • The amount of excreted plant nutrients can be
    calculated from the food intake
  • If all excreta, biowaste and animal manure are
    recycled, the fertility of the arable land can be
  • Rule of thumb Distribute the excreta of people
    on an area equal to that used for producing food
    for the people

Source Jönsson et al. (2004)
Source of this slide and the next two Heeb et
al. (2007)
Reminder fertiliser macronutrient production by
Nutrient Unit Urine Faeces Total Maize
Total nitrogen (TN) kg/cap/yr 4 0.55 4.55 5.6
Total phosphorus (TP) kg/cap/yr 0.37 0.18 0.55 0.7
Potassium (K) kg/cap/yr 1 0.4 1.4 1.2
Source Jönsson et al. (2004), see also lecture
on Characteristics of urine, faeces and
greywater (Course 1 Unit 2)
Amount of N, P and K needed (in kg/year) to
grow 250 kg of maize (this 250 kg maize is
roughly equal to the food intake of one person
per year, see also next slide)
Rules of thumb about food production
Course 3 Unit 2
  • If all urine is collected, it suffices to
    fertilise 300 400 m2 per person (for most crops
    the maximum application rate before risking toxic
    effects it at least four times this dosage)
  • This would be sufficient to grow about 230 kg of
    cereal crops per year
  • Recommended calorific food intake 2500
    kcal/cap/d (for males)
  • Carbohydrates energy density 4 kcal/g
  • One male needs 228 kg carbohydrates per year
  • But keep in mind
  • need to consider losses of nutrients during
    agricultural production
  • the balances dont work out so well for societies
    where the people eat a lot of (grain-fed) meat
    unless the animal manure is also returned to the

Guiding principle for fertilisation with ecosan
  • We are fertilising the soil, not the plant!
  • ? ecosan products not to be used on plants
    directly but on the soil in which the plants are

Urine application at a research field at CREPA
headquarters in Ouagadougou, Burkina
Faso (Photos taken during Refresher Course on
ecosan in October 2006)
Urine is applied in a furrow about 10 cm away
from the plants
Linus Dagerskog, a junior professional of SEI
(Sweden), during his posting at CREPA
Role of faeces as an organic fertiliser
Course 3 Unit 2
  • High concentrations of P and K
  • Plant availability of nutrients in faecal matter
    is lower and slower than that of the urine
    nutrients (N and P stems from undigested matter)
  • Organic matter in faeces degrades and organic N
    and P become available
  • Organic matter is beneficial because
  • Improves soil structure
  • Increases the water-holding capacity and
    ion-buffering capacity of the soil
  • Supports soil microorganisms by serving as an
    energy source

Source Jönsson et al. (2004)
Benefits of compost for soil fertility (1/2)
  • Compost improves soil structure An ideal,
    friable garden soil consists of airy crumbs in
    which particles of sand, clay and silt are held
    together by humic acid. Compost helps these
    particles to form.
  • Compost increases the water-holding capacity of
  • While 50 kg of silt holds 12 kg of water and 50
    kg of clay holds 25 kg of water, 50 kg of compost
    holds 100 kg of water.
  • A soil rich in compost requires less watering,
    and plants growing in compost will better
    withstand drought.
  • Compost moderates soil temperatures Adding
    compost to soil tends to keep the soil from
    heating up or cooling down too rapidly. Soil
    darkened through the addition of compost absorbs
    the light and moderates its effect on the growing
    plant and beneficial soil microorganisms.
  • Compost breaks up organic matter into the basic
    elements that plants need Compost is teeming
    with microorganisms, which continually break down
    organic matter.

This includes compost made from faeces, faecal
sludge and/or organic solid waste (see also
Course 2 Unit 6 (Introduction to composting))
Benefits of compost for soil fertility (2/2)
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Compost returns to soil what agriculture takes
    out of it Compost is made up of decaying matter,
    and it includes nearly every chemical a plant
    needs, including boron, manganese, iron, copper,
    and zinc which are not present in commercial
  • Compost releases nutrients at the rate plants
    need them Compost acts as a storehouse for
    nutrients, and slowly releases the nutrients
    throughout the growing season as the organic
    material decomposes in the soil.
  • The compost layer prevents the surface from
    drying out, which increases uptake of nutrients
    and improves the growth of plants.
  • Compost can neutralise soil toxins and heavy
    metals Compost binds metals such as cadmium and
    lead, making it difficult for plants to absorb
  • Compost reduces pests and disease Compost
    improves plants' ability to withstand attacks by
    disease and insects by enhancing naturally
    occurring microbial agents. Furthermore, it
    reduces the effects of soil-borne pathogens and
    reduces the amount of plant parasites and
    nematodes in the soil.
  • Source Esrey et al. (2001), p. 47

Visual evidence for agricultural benefits of
ecosan products
compost improved soil
faeces urine
untreated soil
after one week without water
Maize (corn)
It is this sort of evidence that will convince
people (especially farmers) of the benefits of
Source GTZ presentations
without ecosan products
Course 3 Unit 2
with ecosan products
The dark green colour comes from more nitrogen
Source Morgan (2007), p. 84
Increased yield for maize (corn) with ecosan
Source Morgan (2007), p. 84
Effect of urine treatment on green leafy
vegetables (dilution 51 (2 L urine and 10 L
water) watering and urine application can be
done together)
Spinach yield increased by a factor of 3.4 after
treatment with urine twice a week (after 28
days) Source Peter Morgan on EcosanRes
Discussion Forum, 8 Feb 2006 (Zimbabwe), see also
Morgan (2007), p. 81 82
Rape yield increased by a factor of 5 after
treatment with urine twice a week (after 28
days) Diluted urine was applied during the growth
How to apply sanitised urine as a fertiliser (1/2)
  • Urine is a quick-acting nitrogen-rich complete
  • Urine is best utilised as a direct fertiliser
    for N-demanding crops and leafy vegetables (e.g.
    spinach, cauliflower, ornamental flowers and
  • Urine should be applied close to, on or
    incoporated into the soil
  • Urine may act as an insecticide/fungicide
  • E.g. killed banana weevils in Tanzania and Uganda
    (source Dave on Ecosanres Discussion Forum, 18
    August 2006 answers from others)

How to apply sanitised urine as a fertiliser (2/2)
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Apply nutrients once or twice per growing season
    (this means urine storage is needed)
  • Apply prior to or at the time of sowing/planting
  • Fertilisation should only take place up to 2/3 or
    ¾ of the time between sowing and harvest
  • Waiting period of 1 month between fertilisation
    and harvest is recommended for all crops eaten
  • Whether urine is best applied diluted with water
    or undiluted is still being debated at present

Source Jönsson et al. (2004)
For further information on this topic see also
Morgan (2007), Section 11
How to apply sanitised faecal matter as a
  • Avoid faeces as fertiliser for growing vegetables
    which are eaten raw
  • Must be applied at a depth where the soil stays
    moist (dissolve P to make available to plants)
  • Faecal matter is rich in P, K and organic matter
  • Organic matter and ash, which are often added to
    the faeces, increase the buffering capacity and
    pH of the soil
  • Should be applied and mixed into the soil before
    cultivation starts
  • Application rate can be based on rates for
    P-based fertilisers

For further information on this topic see also
Morgan (2007), Section 10
Dried faeces are thrown into the seed hole.
(dried faeces from UDD toilet)
Source of this slide and next NGO training,
Visayas, Philippines (see powerpoint file under
Assigned Reading). Provided by Glenda Sol.
Some people prefer to use a shovel for moving
dried faeces.
Note It may be recommended to wear gloves and
boots when performing this type of work
(multiple-barrier approach)
Summary for using ecosan products (sanitised
urine and faeces) in agriculture
Aspect Sanitised urine Sanitised faeces
Main agricultural benefit of it Addition of nitrogen (and some PK) Rich in organic matter (and some PK)
Basis for its application rate (as rule of thumb) Nitrogen load/uptake which crops require Phosphorus load or none (over-fertilisation hardly possible)
Where to apply Close to, on or incorporated into the soil Mix into soil at depth where soil is still moist
When to apply it Prior to sowing or at time of sowing not during last month before harvest Before cultivation starts
How to apply it Pure or diluted with water Watering can or via drip irrigation manure spreading equipment Manually (with shovel) is most common
Reuse of sanitised greywater in agriculture
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Treated greywater can be used to irrigate crops
  • Greywater contains some P (from detergents) but
    little N
  • See literature on treated wastewater reuse (but
    greywater of ecosan approach would have lower
    volume and much lower pathogen content than
    domestic wastewater)
  • See also literature on irrigation
  • For large-scale irrigated agriculture the
    quanitty of greywater available may be
    insufficient (depending on the number of
    households contributing)
  • Remember irrigation in agriculture is a major
    consumer of water

Note keep in mind possible impact of salinity
and sodicity (sodium content) contained in
greywater on soil structure (see also MSc
research project by George Munggai in Kenya in
Extra Materials)
Example for greywater reuse in low-income areas
of Lima (Peru) to grow plants to feed rabbits,
which are then eaten by the families
See video clip on this topic, recorded in 2004 as
part of the movie by WASTE (The Human Excreta
Index) mms//mediaserver.ihe.nl/course/video_gen
eral/ecosan/human_excreta6_256kbps.wmv (this
video clip is also on the course DVD)
Hormones and pharmaceutical residues in ecosan
products (mainly urine) can be considered a less
urgent problem for reuse because
  • Vegetation and soil microbes can degrade
    hormones and pharmaceuticals
  • It is far better to recycle urine and faeces
    (with their hormones and pharmaceuticals) to
    arable land than to flush them into recipient
  • Retention time of wastewater in conventional
    WWTPs is too short to degrade these substances
  • Pharmaceutical substances have been detected for
    decades in groundwater of Berlin which is
    Berlins source of drinking water
  • Aquatic systems have never before been exposed to
    mammal hormones in large quantities

Source Jönsson et al. (2004)
Four aspects to consider regarding pharmaceutical
residues (PhaR) release via urine fertilisation
  • Its composition depends of people urine is coming
    from. Urine of hospitals is not recommended to be
    used in agriculture. But still source separated
    collection of urine in hospitals could be an
    advantage to eliminate PhaR from wastewater more
    effectively. More and more details regarding
    appropriate techniques become available
    (Tettenborn et al. (2006)). In contrary, urine
    collected in small households and used within
    them is not considered to impose any risks.
  • 2. It is important to store urine over some time.
    Due to time and pH changes via storage PhaR are
    destroyed up to a certain degree (Strompen, S. et
    al. (2003)). Additionally, certain PhaR are
    sensitive regarding sunlight and destroyed via
    photodegradation (Buser, H. et al. (1998)).
  • 3. Soil ecoystems can take more than aquatic
    ecosystems. They are much more stable and degrade
    PhaR to a certain extend in soil as was shown in
    investigations dealing with veterinary
    pharmaceuticals in animal manure (Grote, M. et
    al. (2004)).
  • 4. Additionally, timing and type of crops
    fertilized with urine is important.

Continued from last slide
  • Regarding the risk of PhaR release via urine
    fertilization the following aspects should be
    Still many aspects are not discussed finally and
    further investigations are needed to clarify
    remaining questions. But source separation
    systems are a promising option to avoid the
    release of PhaR into the environment.
    Additionally, a lot of fruitful effects should be
    possible by combining source separation and
    conventional wastewater treatment systems. E.g.
    by separating urine a more effective treatment of
    pharmaceuticals in this separated stream becomes
    possible and wastewater treatment plant is
    disburdened by loads of nitrogen and other
    nutrients which are hold back at the same time.
    The ideal situation has to be designed according
    to local conditions.--------------- Source
    Hammer, M. Otterpohl, R. (2006) Pharmaceutical
    residues in the environment advantages and
    disadvantages of conventional wastewater
    treatment and ecological sanitation systems. In
    Proceedings of 4th International Water Forum
    "AQUA Ukraine - 2006"and International Forum
    "Ecological Technologies - 2006", September 19th
    - 21st, 2006. Kiev, Ukraine, pp. 474-477.
     Website from where you can get the full paper
    many more http//www.tu-harburg.de/aww/publikat
  • (See also discussion on EcosanRes discussion
    forum 17 Oct 2007)

Another point on the question of pharmaceutical
residues and hormones in urine
  • We currently apply ample animal manure to the
    land (e.g. the Netherlands, Europe)
  • This animal manure also contains hormones and
    pharmaceutical residues because of our intensive
    animal husbandry practices
  • For some reason, nobody seems to question the
    risks involved in that (??)

See also the paper from Hammer and Clemens (2007)
on this topic, under Extra Materials
What if people are still really worried about
eating food fertilised with human excreta?
  • You can use human excreta also on other types of
    crops, which are not eaten by humans, e.g.
  • Flowers
  • Potted plants
  • Fibre-producing plants (e.g. hemp)
  • Fodder crops
  • Oil-producing plants, e.g. olive trees
  • Trees

Course 3 Unit 2
  • Course 3 Unit 2
  • Part B Introduction to urban agriculture

What is the definition of urban?
  • The definition of urban is not straight forward
    and varies from country to country
  • Some countries use a minimum number of population
    (e.g. Zambia gt 5000 Senegal gt 10,000) or a
    minimum number of dwellings (Peru gt 100)
  • UNStats definition 75 of economic activities
    are non-agricultural
  • European countries the area based on urban-type
    land use, not allowing any gaps

Source MSc thesis de Silva (2007), p. 8
provided in Extra Materials
Urban agriculture
  • Definition production of crops and/or livestock
    on land, which is administratively and legally
    zoned for urban uses
  • can be illegal cultivation of public land
  • there may be a reluctant tolerance of urban
    agriculture (recognition of increased pressures
    on the urban poor)

Yemen crops in old Sana'a town
  • Sometimes residents can apply for permission to
    use designated land for the cultivation of crops

Source Gumbo (2005), p. 11 135 See Chapter 1
and Chapter 3 under Extra Reading
Should urban areas have agriculture?
  • One MSc student once said to me If agriculture
    is practised in an urban area, this area should
    no longer be called urban!? Is there a
    contradiction between the terms urban and
  • What do you think?

Urban agriculture activities
  • In cities such as Lusaka and Dar es Salaam as
    much as 50 of the food is produced within the
  • Land types used, e.g. in Harare, Zimbabwe
    railway reserve, moderate slope, steep slope,
    roadside, seasonally waterlogged drainage ways

Source Gumbo (2005), p. 12 136 See Chapter 1
and Chapter 3 under Extra Materials
On-plot and off-plot urban agriculture Example
Harare, Zimbabwe
Course 3 Unit 2
Parameter On-plot urban agriculture Off-plot urban agriculture
Type of water used Piped municipal supply Rainwater only
Main fertiliser used Organic fertiliser Mineral fertiliser
Main crop grown Leafy vegetables Maize
Source Gumbo (2005), p. 136 See Chapter 3 under
Extra Materials
Example cities in developing countries where
urban agriculture is well documented
  • Accra (Ghana)
  • Lima (Peru)
  • Kampala (Uganda)
  • Further information on these and other cities
  • See also the EU project SWITCH (led by
    UNESCO-IHE), where one work package is entitled
    Use of urban water (fresh and wastewater) for
    urban agriculture and other livelihood
  • http//www.switchurbanwater.eu/
  • SWITCH Sustainable Water Management Improves
    Tomorrow's Cities' Health
  • Also see the literature review of the MSc thesis
    of de Silva (2006), p. 43 63 (for Accra and

Urban agriculture or allotment garden in Ede, The
Netherlands (note proximity to railway line),
January 2007
Resource Centre for Urban Agriculture in the
  • The Periurban Vegetable Project (PUVeP) is a
    research and outreach unit of Xavier University
    College of Agriculture, Cagayan de Oro City,
    which started its operation in October 1997.
  • PUVeP provides research, training and education
    related to urban natural resources management and
    food production in the city
  • The following 23 slides were kindly provided by
    Robert Holmer, director of the PUVeP, from his
    presentation at the GTZ Ecosan Symposium 26-27
    October 2006 in Eschborn, Germany

Allotment Gardens
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Community gardens are defined as gardens where
    people share the basic resources of land, water,
    and sunlight. This definition includes both
    allotment and common gardens.
  • Allotment gardens the parcels are cultivated
  • Common gardens the overall area is tended
    collectively by a group of people
  • (in German Schreber-Garten, from a Dr.
    Schreber in the 19th century!)

Allotment Garden in UK, Germany and Switzerland
Course 3 Unit 2
Reichstag, Berlin (around 1900 shortly after it
was built)
Reichstag, Berlin (April 1945) end of World War
Reichstag, Berlin (spring 1946) Urban
agriculture in the centre of Berlin (people were
Course 3 Unit 2
Reichstag, Berlin (spring 1946)
Course 3 Unit 2
Reichstag building, Berlin (2006) no more urban
agriculture in this particular area of Berlin
(but allotment gardens are still popular in
Case Study Allotment gardens in Cagayan de Oro,
  • Seven areas in the city made legally available to
    99 urban poor families for production of crops
  • Two of them are located within the premises of
    public elementary schools
  • Integrates aspects of solid waste management,
    ecological sanitation, participatory land use
    planning and community organizing

Methodology for pilot allotment gardens
  • Minimum of 8 individual allotment units with 288
    m2 each (gross 3000 m2)
  • Area is fenced, with entrance, bodega and water
  • Surrounding areas can be planted with border
  • Contains a compost heap for biodegradable
    household wastes and urine-diverting dry (UDD)
    ecosan toilet

Methodology Ecosan Toilet Establishment
Course 3 Unit 2
Construction of Ecosan Toilets in 2005
Methodology Ecosan Toilet Establishment
Course 3 Unit 2
Inauguration of Ecosan Toilets in presence of
city officials and representatives of the German
Technical Cooperation
Reuse of Ecosan Products
Urine application through drip irrigation system
Application of urine through furrowing
Transportation of urine container
Reuse of Ecosan Products
Sweetcorn fertilised with urine
Yield increases up to 30 Larger cobs (3-4
cobs/kg compared to 5-6 cobs/kg)
Results Allocation of Vegetables produced in
Allotment Gardens
Allocation of Vegetables
Sold 68
Own consumption 25
Given away to friends/relatives 6
Place where vegetables are sold
At the garden 94
In the neighborhood 9
In the market 0
Course 3 Unit 2
Results Vegetable Consumption Levels
Consumption level of vegetables after Allotment Garden has been established
Increased 94
Same level 6
Percentage of increase in consumption level
50 13
75 6
100 75
No comment 6
How would be your vegetable consumption level if the AGP will stop its operation?
Will consume the same amount 19
Will consume less 81
Results Perception towards reuse of Ecosan
products (prior to implementation)
Willingness to eat vegetables fertilized with urine Gardeners () Non-gardeners ()
Yes 92 56
No 8 44
Willingness to eat vegetables fertilized with faeces
Yes 92 62
No 8 38
Factors to decide suitability for allotment
  • Water resources availability (the closer the
  • Soil organic matter content (the higher the
  • Proximity to main road (the further away the
  • Proximity to houses/buildings

These factors are further illustrated on the next
four slides
Identification of AG sites using GISWater
resources for irrigation
AG allotment garden
Identification of AG sites using GISWater
resources for irrigation
Course 3 Unit 2
Identification of AG sites using GISWater
resources for irrigation
Identification of AG sites using GISWater
resources for irrigation
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Course 3 Unit 2
  • Part C Examples for agricultural reuse research
  • Example 1 Zimbabwe
  • Example 2 Valley View
  • University, Accra, Ghana

Example 1 Work of Mvuramanzi Trust in Harare,
GUZHA Third ecological sanitation conference
23-26 May 2005DURBAN South Africa
Example from Zimbabwe
Available from http//conference2005.ecosan.org/p
apers/guzha.pdf Also placed under Extra Materials
Background of the study
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Global nutrient depletion
  • Over used soils in Southern Africa
  • Deteriorating cereal production in Southern
  • Increased cost of commercial fertilisers
  • Nutrient inflow into surface and ground water
    bodies as sewage

Example from Zimbabwe
  • Assesses effect of using Humanure and Ecofert on
    crop production
  • Investigate the effect of human excreta on water
  • Humanure dried sanitised faeces
  • Ecofert urine

Example from Zimbabwe
Humanure in Toilet Vault
Example from Zimbabwe
People use old newspapers for anal cleansing
Study design
  • Two factor randomized 10 x 10 block design
    looking at nutrient and water
  • Nutrient being assessed on four levels
  • Treatment 1 the control (no fertilizer)
  • Treatment 2 commercial fertilizer
  • Treatment 3 ecofert
  • Treatment 4 humanure and ecofert
  • Ecofert and water being assessed on two levels
  • Rain fed and
  • Supplementary irrigation

Example from Zimbabwe
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Land preparation was done using ox drawn plough
  • Four plots
  • Plot 1 Control plot, no addition of nutrients
  • Plot 2 Artificial fertiliser treatment Compound
    D (NPK 7187) as basal fertiliser and ammonium
    nitrate as top dressing 6 g per crop
  • Plot 3 Urine (ecofert) added at 100 mL per crop
    as basal treatment, and 100 mL as the top
    dressing after 4 weeks when crop was at knee
  • Plot 4 Faecal matter (humanure) applied as basal
    fertiliser at 80 g per planting station, urine
    applied at 100 mL per plant
  • Growth monitoring done at 4 weeks interval

Example from Zimbabwe
Findings Crop growth parameters
Leaf length
Leaf width
Leaf width (mm)
Example from Zimbabwe
Crop height
  • Legend
  • 1 no fertilizer
  • 2 artificial fertilizer
  • 3 urine
  • 4 humanure and urine

Crop height (mm)
Findings continued
Maize yield
Gross margins
Example from Zimbabwe
  • Legend
  • 1 no fertilizer
  • 2 commercial fertilizer
  • 3 urine
  • 4 humanure and urine

Edward Guzha with maize grown with ecosan products
Example from Zimbabwe
Conclusions 1/3
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Humanure and ecofert improves soil fertility
  • Water holding capacity is improved by about 4
  • It can help to improve crop resilience to mid
    season dry spells
  • Humanure Ecofert improves maize crop production
    with yields ranging 3500 kg/ha compared to 1500
    kg/ha for a crop without a nutrient amendment
  • (ecofert urine)

Example from Zimbabwe
Conclusions 2 / 3
  • In dollar terms a farmer earns more money per
    volume of water to produce a unit of grain by
    adopting the use of humanure and ecofert as
    alternative crop nutrient.
  • A farmer who uses humanure ecofert gets about
    US 96 cents/ha compared to anything down to zero
    for a farmer who does not use any nutrient

Example from Zimbabwe
Conclusions 3 / 3
  • Humanure ecofert improve water productivity by
    above 10 in rain-fed maize production ensuring
    more crop per drop of water.
  • Water consumption for a crop where humanure
    ecofert is used, is around 1300 m3/ton compared
    to a situation where nothing was used which is
    about 2300 m3/ton.
  • ? More crop per drop! (more ton maize per m3
    water used)

Example from Zimbabwe
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Example 2
  • Valley View University (VVU) in Accra Ghana
  • I have copied two slides here from the
    presentation by Germer and Sauerborn (2006)
  • The full presentation is available under Assigned
  • See also their website www.uni-hohenheim.de/respt

Agricultural production units at VVU
Tree plantations
  • Urine

Fecal compost
Sanitary grey water
Rain fed farming
Kitchen grey water
Fruit orchards
Vegetable gardens
Recycling Nutrients to Enhance Agricultural
Productivity Valley View University in Accra,
Ghana / Germer, J. Sauerborn, J.
Nutrient efficiency urine versus mineral
fertilisers and manure (2004)
  • Maize
  • Very low precipitation
  • Distinct difference of vegetative growth between
  • Severe draught stress
  • Plant height development

Recycling Nutrients to Enhance Agricultural
Productivity Valley View University in Accra,
Ghana / Germer, J. Sauerborn, J.
References used in this presentation (1)
  • Esrey, S., Andersson, I., Hillers, A., Sawyer, R.
    (2001) Closing the loop ecological sanitation
    for food security, Swedish International
    Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Available
  • Gumbo, B. (2005) Short-cutting the phosphorus
    cycle in urban ecosystems. PhD Thesis, UNESCO-IHE
    Institute for Water Education, Delft, The
  • Heeb, J., Jenssen, P., Gnanakan, K. K. Conradin
    (2007) ecosan curriculum 2.0. In cooperation
    with Norwegian University of Life Sciences, ACTS
    Bangalore, Swiss Agency for Development and
    Cooperation, German Agency for Technical
    Cooperation and the International Ecological
    Engineering Society. Partially available from
    www.seecon.ch and http//www2.gtz.de/dokumente/oe4
  • Jönsson, H., Richert Stintzing, A., Vinneras, B.,
    and Salomon, E. (2004) Guidelines on use of urine
    and faeces in crop production. Report 2004-2,
    Ecosanres, Stockholm, www.ecosanres.org

Also under Assigned Reading for this course unit
Also under Extra Materials for this course unit
References used in this presentation (2)
  • Hammer, M. and Clemens, J. (2007) A tool to
    evaluate the fertiliser value and the
    environmental impact of substrates from
    wastewater treatment. Advanced Sanitation
    Conference, Aachen, March 2007
  • Morgan, P. (2007) Toilets That Make Compost -
    Low-cost, sanitary toilets that produce valuable
    compost for crops in an African context,
    Stockholm Environment Institute, Ecosanres
    Programme, Stockholm, Sweden. Available
  • WHO (2006) Guidelines for the safe use of
    wastewater, excreta and greywater Volume 4,
    Excreta and greywater use in agriculture. World
    Health Organisation, Geneva, available
  • Website of the Periurban Vegetable Project in the
  • http//puvep.xu.edu.ph/index.php

Also under Assigned Reading for this course unit
Also under Extra Materials for this course unit
Also under Extra Materials for one of the
other course units Course 4 Unit 2
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Appendix
  • Reminder WHO Guidelines from 2006

In order to better package the guidelines for
appropriate audiences, the third edition of the
Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater,
excreta and greywater is presented in four
separate volumes Volume 1, Policy and regulatory
aspects Volume 2, Wastewater use in agriculture
Volume 3, Wastewater and excreta use in
aquaculture Volume 4, Excreta and greywater use
in agriculture All volumes could be of
relevance in the ecosan context. I have first
read volume 4, and then also had a look at volume
2. In the following slides I have copied some key
bits of information for you.
WHO Guidelines for reuse overview
  • Download from this website http//www.who.int/wat
  • WHO Guidelines have to be converted into national
  • Guidelines to stipulate processes known to
    achieve adequate sanitisation
  • Best practise guidance in risk assessment and
  • Describe possible risk management interventions
    for the various phases from generation of
    waste(water) to consumption of products

Explanation about DALY 1/3
Source WHO (2006) Volume 2, p. 11
See also the powerpoint presentation by Nick
Ashbolt, Australia, which explains DALY in more
detail (see Extra Materials)
Explanation about DALY 2/3
The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) is a
measure of overall disease burden. Originally
developed by the World Health Organization, it is
becoming increasingly common in the field of
public health and health impact assessment (HIA).
It "extends the concept of potential years of
life lost due to premature death...to include
equivalent years of healthy life lost by virtue
of being in states of poor health or
disability."2 In so doing, mortality and
morbidity are combined into a single, common
metric. Traditionally, health liabilities were
expressed using one measure (expected or average
number of) Years of Life Lost (YLL). This measure
does not take the impact of disability into
account, which can be expressed by Years Lived
with Disability (YLD). DALYs are calculated by
taking the sum of these two components. In a
formula DALY YLL YLD.3 The DALY relies on
an acceptance that the most appropriate measure
of the effects of chronic illness is time, both
time lost due to premature death and time spent
disabled by disease. One DALY, therefore, is
equal to one year of healthy life lost. Japanese
life expectancy statistics are used as the
standard for measuring premature death, as the
Japanese have the longest life expectancies.4 Lo
oking at the burden of disease via DALYs can
reveal surprising things about a population's
health. For example, the 1990 WHO report
indicated that 5 of the 10 leading causes of
disability were psychiatric conditions.
Psychiatric and neurologic conditions account for
28 of all years lived with disability, but only
1.4 of all deaths and 1.1 of years of life
lost. Thus, psychiatric disorders, while
traditionally not regarded as a major
epidemiological problem, are shown by
consideration of disability years to have a huge
impact on populations.
Explanation on DALYs in other words 3/3
  • The Disability Adjusted Life Year or DALY is a
    health gap measure that extends the concept of
    potential years of life lost due to premature
    death (PYLL) to include equivalent years of
    healthy life lost by virtue of being in states
    of poor health or disability. The DALY combines
    in one measure the time lived with disability and
    the time lost due to premature mortality.
  • One DALY can be thought of as one lost year of
    healthy life and the burden of disease as a
    measurement of the gap between current health
    status and an ideal situation where everyone
    lives into old age free of disease and

Combinations of health protection measures
(scenarios A to H)
Source WHO (2006) Volume 2, p. 65
Examples of hazard barriers for wastewater use in
agriculture (same principle as multi-barrier
Source WHO (2006) Volume 2, p. 17
In conventional sanitation systems, biosolids are
also often applied to land
Course 3 Unit 2
  • Common elements with ecosan approach
  • Biosolids also originate from human excreta (a
    side product of conventional WWTPs biosolids are
    also called sewage sludge)
  • The fertiliser qualities of biosolids have
    generally been recognised
  • Differences to ecosan approach
  • Land application is more seen as a disposal
  • Biosolids may contain high concentrations of
    toxic organic substances and heavy metals (from
    industrial wastewater)
  • Many countries have detailed legislation (e.g. in
    the USA, Class A and Class B biosolids refers to
    quality differences with respect to pathogen

Dried biosolids from centralised wastewater
treatment plant in Brisbane, Australia (2001)
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