Project Lead(s): Rachel Pringle
Access to basic and improved sanitation is limited for 80% of Cambodia’s population who live in poor, rural households.
Waste is often disposed of unsafely, negating the health benefits that a toilet offers. The result is the continued spread of diarrheal diseases, which kill over 2,000 Cambodian children annually.
Finding an effective and scalable solution for fecal sludge management is a major challenge in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector.
Implemented in Cambodia, the objective of the project was to enable rural households to convert their waste into a soil additive to solve the problem of safe disposal of waste.
Treatment with hydrated lime was identified as a potential solution.
The team investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of household-level application protocols of lime, and conducted a field trial examining the effects of lime-treated sludge as a soil additive on corn yield.
This project focused on research and development for using lime to treat waste, and to subsequently use it as a soil additive.
While not successful, the project led to a greater understanding of the barriers to the technical feasibility of lime in treating waste, of limed sludge in improving crop yield, and of the commercial viability of lime to be sold as a household product.
Since a technique for lime application that would consistently treat waste at the household level was not developed, the project did not sell a product.
Nevertheless, 99% of the 191 test households reported a positive experience with lime, with the main perceived benefit being the reduction of odors and a secondary benefit of perceiving lime to have reduced pathogens.
Moreover, 33 research assistants were trained to understand, implement and train others on using lime effectively in latrines and/or in agricultural fields.