Much to the relief of our learners, construction is now almost complete on the school’s three compost toilets, built to replace pit style toilets destroyed in flooding earlier in the year. They even have names – Harry, Giovanna and Raphael at the request of our generous donor from the UK!
The toilets are hygienic, odour free and benefit the environment by saving water and producing compost for the school’s permaculture garden. In fact as the learners eat crops from the garden as part of the school’s feeding programme, the toilets complete a virtuous circle by returning some of the nutrients to the soil!
How do compost toilets work?
- Each of the toilets is split into two compartments, each consisting of a conventional toilet seat above a pit built to contain the compost.
- After using the toilet, a scoop each of wood ash and of leaves is added to the pit below the toilet. the ash helps to break down the waste and prevents odours developing. This continues until the pit fills up after some months.
- Once a pit is full, this side of the toilet is closed off and the compost is left for some months to break down further
- In the meantime the other side of the toilet is openedand the process starts again.
- The composting process fully breaks down the waste and makes the compost safe to use on the garden.