2nd Annual SanTech Hackathon

Wednesday, 28 July, 2021 – 11:00-12:00 CEST

Hosted by FINISH Mondial Management Team member, Mr. Martin Muchangi, Amref Health Africa

Our second SanTech Hackathon was very succesful again with applications from 12 countries

On Wednesday, 28 July, 2021, FINISH Mondial organised a live webinar to announce the winners of the 2nd annual Sanitation Technology Hackathon. The host, Mr. Martin Muchangi, FINISH Mondial Management Team representative from Amref Health Africa, opened the event by welcoming the participants and introducing the Hackathon. The event focused on identifying and recognising innovative sanitation solutions which are suitable for flood-prone and high-water table areas. Sanitation solutions that are (re)usable after floods and are cost-effective and therefore affordable for the communities and financial institutions. Lastly, sanitation solutions that are not complicated and easy to be built.

The objective of the SanTech Hackathon is to learn from others as there are many more experiences and knowledge outside the FINISH Mondial Technical Working Group. The 2nd event focused on the specific flood and highwater table problems. The idea is based on our experiences and the  costs of this high water table area usually are high because of emptying and maintenance. Through this challenge, the Technical WG is looking for innovations that addresses this challenge (high water table and flood-prone areas) and provides solutions. New ideas and  existing ideas were taken into account, the most important is the ‘functionality’ such as the collection part.

The 2nd SanTech Hackathon received 22 applications from 12 countries. For the past two years, we have had 80 innovators from 20 different countries.

1. Sumit, the founder of Tanjun (Containerised full treatment system from prefabricated Ferrocement)

  • Believe that the substructure is important for real innovation and therefore they broke it into two parts: Bio-septic tank and effluent filter. The entire toilet, including the substructure, can be installed above 900 mm above ground in high water table areas.
  • Maintenance-free because the water cycle is a permanent water cycle where you pour water into the toilet, it goes into the bio-septic tank and overflows into the effluent filter, which goes into the groundwater. → Continuous cycle = cleaning is never required.

2. Moh Fachry Ade A (Raised toilet with locally available filtration medium)

  • Innovation in a form of a bubble channel septic tank: Incoming waste will be deposited with the bubble channel method.
  • Fiber materials are chosen as it’s easy to get at an affordable price.
  • Wood and concrete are used to design the toilet.
  • It is designed like a house and built above the water surface.

3. Pawan Kumaj Jha (Raised Plinth toilet with low-cost & easily available growth medium for human waste treatment)

  • Leach pit toilets are mostly used in India & other developing countries.
  • Leach pit toilets cause groundwater pollution in high water table areas.
  • The superstructure of his innovation is always permanent and the plinth level is raised to 70 cm above the ground.
  • This effluent can be directly dissolved into any drain to ensure the system is available.
  • *There is at least [small] or no chance of groundwater pollution in this case because there is sufficient filtration, sufficient treatment before it goes to groundwater.

4. Anik Dutta (Comprehensive Filtration system for a cluster toilet)

  • The aim: Providing a safe sanitation solution which is a very low-cost treatment system that gives minimal energy consumption.
  • A proposed system: covering the entire sanitation value chain, starting from the generation, the source, collection, treatment, and reuse.
  • It uses low-cost filter materials & easily available materials such as line or dot extracts, which saves on the entire cost of the treatment system.

5. EAHR & AKYAS Sanitation (SuperAdobe wall with separate urine and faeces treatment units)

  • The AKYAS sanitation solution: radical simplification of a non-sewered sanitation value chain, integrating all the steps in the value chain into just a bag reducing the costs addressed involved in the flood-proof context.
  • It is a container-based, bag-based solution that is housed in a slightly elevated superstructure.
  • EAHR designed a shelter using SuperAdobe, which is a low-tech construction technique consisting of propylene bags, locally sourced and sold.
  • The local building technique draws reference from a deeper modular architecture, being environmentally sustainable and providing thermal comfort thanks to the walls’ thickness that absorb heat during the day.
  • The use of local low-cost construction materials.

2020 contest winner – Edwin Marita (Vetiver latrine, Opero services)

  1. The Vetiver Latrine: The vetiver grass is a special type of grass that is used to polish effluent and it treats polluted water by absorbing nutrients and heavy metals.
  2. Learning: Cost reduction, improved usability, reduced effects of smell/insects, sludge accumulation rates, and improved quality of leachate being discharged to the ground.

Winner’s announcements

  1. Finalist 1: Containerised full treatment system from prefabricated Ferrocement. (Tanjun Associates LLP, India)
  2. Finalist 2: Raised toilet with locally available filtration medium (Moh Fachry Ade A, Indonesia)
  3. Finalist 3: Raised plinth toilet with low-cost, easily available growth medium for human waste treatment (Dr. Pawan Kumar Jha, India)

Concluding remarks by Sumit, 1st place winner:

Tanjun should improve their technology, reduce the costs of the toilet, and make it more resistant to water. The structure can be very eco-friendly and low cost by using bamboo superstructures. They have done it before and it works perfectly fine. Tanjun could have a cycle-driven pump to take the water overhead so that there is a regular supply of water and the treated water can be recycled.

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