Ecological Sanitation for Rural Areas - School sanitation story from Kyrgyzstan

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Pupils washing hands in Navruz

Country: Kyrgyzstan

Sustainable School Sanitation (UDDT) in Ivanovka, Kyrgyzstan

Basic data:

The UDD school toilets were built in the school No. 2, station Ivanovka, Chui region of Kyrgyzstan. The school has 550 pupils and 50 teachers. The toilets consist of 10 cabins: 6 cabins for girls and 4 cabins and 3 urinals for boys. The toilet design was developed by CEF UNISON together with the NGO "Alga". UNISON managed the construction works, while Alga organized trainings and information dissemination for the teachers, cleaning staff and pupils.


In the school No 2. in Ivanovka, as in many other rural schools in Kyrgyzstan, conventional toilets are simple pit latrines. They smell badly and are very unpleasant for the users. A big drawback of such toilets is the risk for human health as a consequence of poor sanitation and environmental pollution. A new, alternative, sustainable toilet solution was proposed to the school: the Urine Diverting Dry (UDD) toilet. Ivanovka is suitable for such an innovative solution, as it is located close to Bishkek. The vicinity to the capital makes the new school toilet an easily accessible demonstration site for officials and other stakeholders. Here everyone can convince him- or herself that the used UDDT technology is an excellent alternative to both conventional pit latrines and costly flush toilets requiring costly sewerage and sewage treatment plants. For the construction of these public toilets, a number of permits are required: from the Sanitary and Epidemiological Station, the State Regulatory Architectural Agency and the Local Department of Architecture. In this way, the first step was made to introduce the UDD technology into the current environmental and architectural legislation of Kyrgyzstan.

Toilet Design and Environmental Technology:

Ablution facilities in the education center

The toilets are placed adjacent to the school building in such a way that a comfortable access from inside the school building is possible. There were installed six hand-washing sinks and a soil filter for greywater treatment. After separation, the faces are covered by adsorbing organic material, and stored in a special container placed below the cabins. Urine is stored in two 5 m3 underground tanks behind the cabins. The toilet rooms have both active and passive ventilation.

Development of Local Initiatives:

The NGO "Alga" conducted a series of trainings and seminars for pupils and teachers at the school that cover different environmental issues, from environmental protection to sanitation and hygiene, from food security to community development initiatives. An Ecological Club was formed among the activists of the school. Children themselves conducted seminars and workshops on sanitation and hygiene for their peers. With the support of the Alga, they held a drawing and photography contest devoted to environmental issues. During spring the members of the Ecological Club planted lilacs in the schoolyard and in summer they organized actions under the slogan "For our clean village!"

Local financial support:

Aiyl okmotu (local authority) of Ivanovka donated a load of sand and gravel for construction of the school toilets. The regular cleaning of the UDD toilets is paid by the local budget ensuring the sustainability of the action.

Key lesson of the project:

For a long-run sustainability it was important to implement a technology, that was affordable for a school and take into account the local water supply. For the success, the cooperation with the local authority is needed.

Contribution to the SuSanA's sustainability criteria:

Environment and natural resources: Greywater treatment was also solved within the project.

Technology and operation: The UDDT is a sustainable and an appropriate technology in areas without reliable water supply.

Financial and economic issues: Affordable solution for the school.

Socio-cultural and institutional aspects: Trainings for the students about several sustainability aspects and practical activities in group.

Project details:

Financial support: The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Embassy in Bishkek

Program: Empowerment and Local Action

Project management and design: CEF UNISON, NGO ALGA

Project partners: UNISON, ALGA, WECF

NGO ALGA was founded as a voluntary public organization. Its mission: to improve rural women's status and standard of living via stimulation of women's awareness of their realities, develop their capacity for personal development, strengthen their participation in development activities, and advocate for their rights.

WECF (Women in Europe for a Common Future) is a non-governmental organization established in 1994 following the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, to give women a stronger voice in the field of sustainable development and environment.

Start of activities: 2009




Kyrgyzstan, Chui oblast, Issyk-Ata rayon


Kyrgyzstan, Chui oblast, Issyk-Ata rayont

Zherkazar, Aydarbekova 35

WECF Germany/Netherlands/France

Dr. Claudia Wendland

Please contact WECF for information about other sanitation projects in the EECCA region.