LUSAKA ZAMBIA - CONFERENCE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ZERHO TOILET

AS REPRESENTED AND SUBMITTED BY S.E.E  – 11 JUNE 2019

1. What is the life span of the Zerho?

A:  The Zerho toilet is made from durable HDPE plastic and simple technology; and given the ownership aspect being present, the expected lifespan could exceed 40 years. 

 

2. How often do you empty it?

A:  I always say, “Don’t make it a chore. Empty the basket when it’s only half-full”.  This would imply that emptying it every two weeks, is a good idea.  

 

3. Are there separate compartments emptied at different times (urine & faeces)?

A: In some cases, the urine can be piped away to a mini-soakaway filter trench which waters a vegetable patch. Another owner-user may be part of a cooperative that collects the urine as well as the dry faeces.   The bi-monthly routine, however, is important.

  

Because both urine and dried faeces is/should be deemed a resource, and the viability for SME businesses, right from the collection phase, makes up part of the Implementation Plan.

 

4. Can it be manufactured locally in Zambia under license?

A: Yes.

 

5. Confirm timescale from order to delivery to installation and commissioning.

A:  A paid-for and confirmed order guarantees supply of Zerho units; 200 units per month is the capacity right now.  When the implementation is well project-managed by- and with the recipient community; and plastic top structures are being used, a trained team of two people could install at least two units per day.  As soon as the Zerho unit is stable and level, it is ready for use. 

 

6. Is the price of R9500 inclusive of the walling/enclosure? If not, what is the estimated cost of enclosure per type you have used in RSA?  

A: The price of R9500 does not include the enclosure.  The cost options of the different plastic structures vary between ZAR6-8000 per unit. Some owner-users opt to build their own structures, as any structure can be used; or the Zerho can be incorporated into an existing structure – following a few rules- like not putting pressure on the dome. 

 

7. Do you have written down instructions on its maintenance during usage?

A: Yes. 

 

8. Is it only coming in one size pan?

A: At this point, the Zerho comes in one size only.

9. How long does it take to completely install one Zerho toilet ready for use?

A:  For an owner-installer, it could take only a few hours. Depending on the top structure and other inclusions the owner wants.  

This particular ‘quick-install’ benefit makes the Zerho Toilet ideal for disaster relief situations.

10. How receptive have people in Africa been to harvesting and use of human waste (urine and faeces)?

A:  With the Zerho toilet, harvesting the dry human waste as a resource, is part of the plan.  Organic compost is the commodity offered by community SMEs; firstly to restore the soil for local food security; and secondly for ‘export’ beyond the community.

I’ve been working with groups of people in rural Limpopo Province, South Africa, who have really bought into the full-circle benefication that the implementation of the Zerho Toilet offers.  Once the commercial viability of humanure as a free resource is understood, I have found that the attitude around this dissipates. I have also found that the benefit of having a safe, sustainable sanitation system in a home, quickly outweighs previously-held beliefs.

 

11. How best to describe the Zerho

A:  Safe containment of faecal matter until dry.  

-Preventing faecal-related, waterborne- and other communal diseases. 

12. Installation procedure

A:  The Zerho installation (top structure) can vary according to the needs of the owner-user.  The specific requirements for installation focuses on the unit being installed level, ensuring there is no weight of the top structure pushing down onto the unit.  Any top structure, even traditional materials, can therefore be used.

13. Under what company name is the Zerho manufactured?

A:  The Zerho Toilet is manufactured under the name of Zerho Waste Management (Pty) Ltd.

14. How much does one Zerho unit weigh and approximate volume?

A:  The dimensions of the Zerho Toilet is 160Dx90Hcm; weighing 80kg.

15. How much space (area in square metre) does a full installation take up?

A:  Depending on the choice of top structure (which can be smaller), the space required is normally 3x3 metres for a good-sized structure.

16. How long does it take for one load of faeces to dry if one does not wait for the 2-week period?

A:  The Zerho is designed to dry the faeces in two rotations before a ‘load’ is diverted into the sump basket.  The system works with air flow and solar heat onto the bigger outside section. Also, should more than the recommended ten people use the system per day, the ‘loads’ may be diverted into the basket before it is completely dry.   Because the system works with solar heat, weather will have an impact on the time it takes to dry the contents properly. To address this, the sump basket is slotted for continued airflow.

17. Please confirm your company name as Zerho Waste Management (Pty) Ltd

A:  The official company name is Zerho Waste Management (Pty) Ltd, registered in South Africa since 2003.

 

CONCLUSION

From a social-, economical- health- and people perspective, the Zerho Toilet is the ideal impact-catalyst for other interventions to take place, and for change to happen.  

Saving Time. Saving Money. Putting People First.

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