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Prototype Microflush- Biofil Toilet Facilities

Mumtaz Arthur and colleagues of Biofilcom Ltd. in Ghana will develop and field test a prototype toilet facility that incorporates an aerobic digester to decompose waste along with a low-cost microflush valve that uses minimal amounts of wastewater from the washbasins to improve sanitation and user experience. The field tests will help assess and refine cultural, sanitation, and financial aspects of these community facilities. In Phase I, Stephen Mecca of Ghana Sustainable Aid Project in the U.S., along with partners in Ghana, installed and evaluated the performance of three prototypes in Ghana: a 9-stall public toilet, a 3- to 5-stall school toilet, and a 1- to 2-stall family toilet. They demonstrated that the toilet system was effective at removing odors, and isolating and digesting waste, with low associated costs. They also conducted a field survey to evaluate sanitation habits, health and impacts on potential users, and researched ways to improve some of the associated subsystems such as harvesting rainwater for use in the washbasins. In Phase II, Mumtaz Arthur of Biofilcom Ltd. in Ghana will scale up field-testing to an entire village by installing 400 stalls, further research the digestion process, and work to produce a next generation low-cost prototype for local manufacturing, supply, and easy assembly.

More information about Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies (Round 6)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.