Green Toilets on the map: Uganda
Way before modern telecommunications and globalized world, our company has been active in promoting the Green Toilet to the world and making export projects to various countries. Consequently, today there are Green Toilets practically in every continent of the world, only exception being the poles. Thus, we wish to share our wide experience of the Green Toilet how it is used in different countries, how it fits different toilet cultures and environments, but also appoint how you can have your own Green Toilet.
In this post, we will concentrate on East-Africa and in particular Uganda, where we began our collaboration with our local dealer in 2019. I will share:
- Briefly how we got into Uganda, what have we accomplished there, and our plans for the future
- Special features of the Green Toilet in Uganda
- How you can have your own Green Toilet in East-Africa
How we got into Uganda, what we’ve accomplished and future plans
In September 2019, I was lucky to meet Dr. Jane Wanyama from Kampala, Uganda in a business conference in Helsinki, Finland. We got it a little chat about sanitation in East-Africa and the Green Toilet. Almost immediately, we both were convinced that the Green Toilet should be taken and tested soon in Kampala to see if it could deliver the results it had given in the other parts of the world.
Before the end of the year, we began building our first pilot Green Toilet in Kampala.
The pilot toilet had many of its parts shipped all the way from Finland, to make sure we could reliably compare its operation to the thousands of other Green Toilets made since 1993. The launch of the pilot toilet was a real media event in the local news papers and many people expressed their interest in having their own Green Toilet.
Thus, we had a busy spring 2020 in establishing a new company, Nurture Model Initiatives, in Uganda and delivering the first major batch of Green Toilets to Kampala. Unfortunately, we were also hit by COVID-19 which caused a serious long delay for the shipment to arrive. Consequently, the first customer orders were not fulfilled until August 2020 – about a year since our collaboration with Jane and Fred began.
Since last autumn, Nurture Model Initiatives has delivered a number of Green Toilets to happy customers. To keep up with the growing interest and demand, we are right now in process of finding local partners to begin Green Toilet production locally in Uganda. In case you are interested in doing business with us, feel free to contact either us or Dr. Jane Wanyama – CEO of Nurture Model Initiatives.
Special features of the Green Toilet in Uganda
Uganda is a country of warm climate. The annual average temperature is about 26° Celsius degrees (78° Fahrenheit). Regularly, there are two rain seasons the first being from March until May and the second from October to November. From the perspective of composting, the climate is perfect. It is no wonder many people travel Uganda to see the beautiful nature with fast growing plants and trees. When we visited Kampala, Uganda, we were almost mesmerized by the greenness of the country. It was perfect for the Green Toilet.
But how does the climate relate to composting toilets and the Green Toilet? Well, as you probably know, human waste contains a lot of pathogens and parasites that are hazardous. However, composting is a natural process during which these dangerous organisms die slowly. How slow, depends on one key factor – the temperature.
Feachem et al. (1980) have studied appropriate technologies for sanitation and according to them:
“The effectiveness of excreta treatment methods depends very much on their time-temperature characteristics. The effective processes are those that either make the excreta warm (55°C/131°F), hold it for a long time (one year), or feature some effective combination of time and temperature.”
The effective [excreta treatment] processes feature some effective combination of time and temperature.
With Green Toilets in Kampala, we have estimated that it takes about 6-9 months for the compost to be perfectly safe to be used for example as a fertilizer for plants and trees. Thanks to the warm climate, the process is faster than in northern countries where winter usually slows down the composting.
Because of the rain seasons in Uganda, floods pose a risk for pit latrines to spread human waste to the groundwater and lakes like the Victoria Lake. The Green Toilet can mitigate these risks because it is movable, on-ground system. For more information about pit latrines and the Green Toilet, be sure to check out previous article “Lifting the pit latrine on ground” by clicking here.
When it comes to toilet culture in Uganda, it is worth noting that majority of people prefer to squat rather than sit. Fortunately, the Green Toilet has been designed such that it can be used with all possible “user interfaces” including the squat slab (more information found here). For our first pilot Green Toilet in Kampala, we imported special squat platforms from a company in the UK. Since then, we have made squat platforms of our own in Kampala to make the product local and tailorable.
How can you have your own Green Toilet?
In East-Africa, Green Toilets are sold by Nurture Model Initiates. If you are in Uganda or some other neighboring country, be sure to visit their website in
.. contact the Wanayamas to tell:
- For what purpose you would need a toilet(s)
- How many users would the toilet(s) have
Alternatively, you may also contact us if you have any questions or you are from elsewhere. We are more than happy to help you with any questions you might have about the Green Toilet or dry toilets in general. Our contact details are:
email: [email protected]
Whatsapp: +358 50 442 4775
Feachem et al. (1980). Appropriate Technology for Water Supply and Sanitation. The World Bank, Director of Information and Public Affairs: Washington, DC.