Closing the Loop between Sanitation and Food Security for the ?Base of the Pyramid?
Friday, June 10, 2011
If consumers in the advanced Western economies have a hard time swallowing the idea of drinking water recycled from sewage, that may be nothing compared with what those in the Philippines have to go through when they consider eating foods raised from fertilizer recycled from human wastes.
But that´s exactly what a local foundation based in the boondocks of Mindanao has been advocating, and is now actively looking for “technology off-takers” who are willing to partner with them to literally ´close the loop´ by recycling human wastes as fertilizers for agricultural use in food production.
“There are more than 20 million Filipinos suffering the indignities and health hazards of not having access to proper sanitation,” said Dan Lapid, president/executive director of the Center for Advanced Philippine Studies.
Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development (WAND) Foundation, a local NGO that promotes social development via ecological sanitation (EcoSan), aims to close the gap in the country´s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly in the proportion of the population using an improved sanitation facility.
Dr. Elmer Sayre, in-house consultant, said WAND´s project aims to address the sanitation needs of the “base of the pyramid” (BoP): households too poor to buy their own toilets, those in remote areas not reached by government services, those with inadequate or no access to clean potable water, and those in conflict and/or disaster-hit areas.