Ecological sanitation - Implementation, opportunities and challenges in Chikwawa

Kingsley Lungu, Tracy Morse, Anthony Grimason

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Ecological sanitation (EcoSan) in not a new technology
but rather a recognition that human excreta is a valuable natural resource (not a waste to be disposed of),
containing plant nutrients which after containment and
sanitization can be recycled in agriculture to enhance
food production, with minimal risk of pollution of the
environment and with minimal threat to human health.
Various organizations are implementing EcoSan
technologies in Malawi. Chikwawa is a rural district that
is currently implementing EcoSan initiatives with
resources from the Scotland Chikwawa Health Initiative
and the US Ambassador’s Self Help Fund. The benefits
from EcoSan are clear. For example, EcoSan systems
help reduce the risk of spreading diseases by containing
and treating human excreta before collecting it;
minimising surface and groundwater contamination and
recylcing the nutrients found in excreta and returning
them to soil to enhance food production. However,
EcoSan poses some challenges in its implementation
such as a correct utilization, acceptability and
sustainability of the concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironment & Health International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • ecological sanitation
  • implementation
  • opportunities
  • Chikwawa


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