5.5.1 Arborloo

A simple form of ecological sanitation is the Arborloo (Figure 5.10). Arborloos are mostly used in rural areas in Ethiopia because of their space requirements. An Arborloo is a single, unlined shallow pit with a portable ring beam (circular support), slab and superstructure. It is used like a normal latrine, but with the regular addition of soil, wood ash and leaves. When it is full, it is covered with leaves and soil and a small tree is planted on top to grow in the compost. (The tree gives the system its name; ‘arbor’ is Latin for ‘tree’.) Another pit is dug nearby and the whole structure is relocated over the new pit. No handling of the waste is required. If a fruit tree or other useful variety is grown, there is the added benefit of food or income.

Figure 5.10  Arborloo – a simple ecological latrine that helps people to see human excreta as a resource, rather than as waste.

5.5  Ecological sanitation

5.5.2 Urine-diverting latrine