MSABI sanitation research

This week Naomi Ngendo (sanitation program manager) completed sampling from six MSABI ecological sanitation (eco-san) latrines in Namawala. This is an initial study to determine the condition and safety of the compost. In the laboratory we developed a protocol for testing the sludge and compost samples for thermotolerant faecal coliforms and percentage moisture. 
Faecal sludge sample collected from one of Eco-sans. The mainly vegetarian diet of the villagers gives the faeces a distinct green colour.
10 g of sample was blended with sterile water and then serially diluted for microbiological testing.
Fatuma Matwewe (laboratory technician) processing samples using membrane filtration method for thermotolerant faecal coliforms.

Filters are incubated at 44 oC for 18 h on membrane lauryl sulphate broth. Thermotolerant faecal coliforms are the distinct yellow colonies.
To determine the percentage moisture 50 g of sample was dried in an oven at 110 oC for 24 h.

Fatuma Matwewe (laboratory technician) mixing the samples to ensure consistent drying prior to weighing.

Dried samples reveal a large amount of organic matter which indicates that the household was using this latrine for green solid waste as well.
 MSABI plans to do more sanitation research looking at the safety of re-using compost material.