Alternative Toilet Options

When standard pit latrines are not feasible in emergency response due to ground conditions, preference or land dispute, sanitation becomes complicated. Raised latrines with containers that are transported to a faecal sludge treatment and disposal facility are one option. However, safe disposal in an acute emergency is an unexplored area of emergency equipment development.


  • Keep abreast with the new alternative options for excreta disposal.
  • Development of technical resources for alternative toilet options such as box latrines, urine diversion, terra petra, chemical reduction of solids and tiger worms in related to excreta disposal/management.

Activities Undertaken

Dolo Ado

Report on Dollo Ado UDDT latrines

In Dollo Ado, Ethiopia, where there is rocky ground and an excavator is needed to dig ‘normal’ pit latrines, Urine Diversion Dry Toilet (UDDT) latrines are being used. A report on this has been written to disseminate lessons learnt, plus CDC have funding via R2HC to examine the performance of the UDDT vaults by examining the temperature, and die off of Ascaris eggs in the vaults – which is ongoing.

Field visit to tiger worms latrines

Field visits to Dire Dawa in Ethiopia and Monrovia in Liberia to see the progress of the tiger worm latrines has communicated some positive conclusions ranging from positive acceptance by the community, and the worms are effective in digesting the faecal waste at an optimum level – little fresh faeces seen inside the pits.
Liberia Flies
Liberia tiger worm toilets – seeding of worms 

Field visit to Sanergy, Peepoo, Sanivation and Umandi trust in Kenya

Visits were undertaken to see what other organisations in Kenya are doing that could be useful in humanitarian situations. Activities these groups are undertaking include anaerobic digestion, faeces briquetting, mobile toilets, composting, Peepoo bags, and black soldier fly larvae.

Sanergy facility

Attendance at IWA Conference

Attended the International Water Association Development Conference to find new ideas and research relating to sanitation.

Gates Foundation ‘Reinvent the Toilet for Emergencies’

All three partners from ESP attended the Reinvent The Toilet Fair in Delhi in March, 2014 to find toilet designs that could be applicable to emergencies. Many of the designs are years away from becoming robust enough to be used in emergencies but others, such as improved squatting plates, and Aerosan – desiccation of faecal waste , could be useful far sooner.

SanCoP Emergency Sanitation Event

Oxfam hosted t a UK Sanitation Community of Practice event in February 2015 to discuss the latest sanitation ideas that may be applicable in emergencies and to disseminate the results so far from the ESP.

Tell us your idea
If you have any products, ideas or would like to become involved in black soldier flies or tiger worms, please get in touch with:

Jenny Lamb, Emergency Sanitation at Oxfam

If you have any products, ideas or would like to become involved in on-site drying or chemical treatment, please get in touch with:
Jan Spit, Adviser Sanitation
WASTE advisers on urban environment and development
tel: + 31 70 205 10 25
mob: +31 6 57 99 78 74