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16 October 2007 | Printer friendly

Ecological Sanitation in rural Armenia

Organisation: Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE)


School creates model toilets

With hundreds of children suffering from water-borne diseases each year in Armenia, addressing the problem of dirty toilets and open drains is crucial. Health centre staff in the rural areas regularly report cases of intestinal parasitic infections and outbreaks of diarrhoea among children, especially in summer.

The Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) has helped a 350-pupil school in the village of Hayanist to replace smelly and dirty outdoor latrines with a new indoor facility containing three waterless urinals, seven urine-diverting toilets and six wash-hand basins. The urine is piped away to an underground reservoir and the faeces are composted into dry soil underground.

AWHHE believes the project has already made an impact. The pupils using the toilets are washing their hands with soap, and children infected with parasites are being treated. Thanks to workshops and posters, the pupils, teachers and parents appreciate the appropriateness of ecological sanitation, known as “ecosan”, especially for areas where there is no central water supply and no adequate sanitation system. Other schools, and some households, are set to follow the example by building their own toilets based on the ecosan system.

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