This paper describes the potential of ecological sanitation (ecosan), and in particular of urine-diversion dehydrating (UDD) toilets, to provide sustainable excreta disposal in emergency situations in low-income countries. Three case studies of emergency sanitation were analysed: El Salvador (hurricane), Afghanistan (civil war) and Pakistan (earthquake). The analysis of these case studies has shown that the systems implemented in the long-term phase of the emergency were sometimes more sustainable than what was in place before the emergency occurred.
The Potential of Ecosan to Provide Sustainable Sanitation in Emergency Situations and to achieve “quick wins” in MDGs
After emergency situations, aid agencies tend to implement sanitation systems that exhibit good principles for managing human excreta, but can result in groundwater pollution, inconvenience for women and children, or problems with not having sufficient space available to build or rebuild when full. Ecosan is an alternative approach to conventional sanitation systems that promotes ecological and economical wastewater and waste management. Ecosan is based on the principles of containment, sanitation, and reuse.