Mobile Microwave based reactor unit for on-site faecal sludge treatment for the humanitarian and development WASH sector”

  • Partners: Nederlands Red Cross, Lebanese Red Cross, Lebanese University Beirut, Tehnobiro Slovenia
  • Donor: Stichting IHE
  • Donor Programme: DGIS - UNESCO-IHE Programmatic Cooperation
Middle East and North Africa
Middle East and North Africa

Heavy usage of onsite sanitation facilities as is the case in refugee camps or cities with a high influx of refugees, results in rapid accumulation of large amounts of fresh faecal sludge (FS) in pit latrines which should be frequently and safely disposed. Furthermore, FS contains large amounts of pathogens, which should be reduced to safe levels in order to minimize the public health risk. At U-IHE we are working on a microwave (MW) based reactor unit for FS treatment. It is a very efficient way of pathogen kill off due to its unique nature in rapid heating, and promising for FS drying as well. In situations were a lot of FS is produced, it can be applied as a compact and easily portable as well as fast and effective FS treatment package unit with reduced footprints. Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) is working on a reliable and durable mobile desludging unit which is specially developed for emptying and cleaning pit latrines. The low weight of the unit makes it well suited for placement on light vehicles or trailers. The final idea is to combine the desludging unit with the MW based system, which can also be put on a trailer. We will develop further together with the partner in Slovenia a pilot MW reactor unit. The unit will be applied in Lebanon, with involvement of NLRC, Lebanese Red Cross (LRCS) and Lebanese University. In parallel we will provide training with the partners and UNICEF, UNHCR, on emergency WASH. The outcome is a tested MW system for Lebanon, and increased local WASH capacity. The MW system will remain for further use with the partners in Lebanon.