Dry sanitation stand attracts enthusiasts at Zambia’s premier show

The Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show 2014 took place between 30th July and 4th August in the capital city, Lusaka. The show is the country’s premier annual event at which local and international manufacturers, farmers, entrepreneurs and artists converge to showcase their innovations. The theme for the 2014 event was “Breaking New Ground – and Celebrating Zambia’s 50 Years of Independence”.

GLM Zambia and Network for Environmental Concerns and Solutions (NECOS) shared a platform to showcase their dry sanitation projects and dry toilets, thanks to the support from the Global Dry Toilets Association of Finland which secured the exhibition space. On display were information materials on dry sanitation, dry toilet models and samples of organic manure from the dry toilet.

As word went round amongst curious show-goers looking for something new to feed their eyes and minds on, the number of visitors to the stand kept growing from a handful on the first day of the show to hundreds by the last day. GLM and NECOS staff as well as students attached to the two organisations were available throughout the six-day show to provide information and demonstrations on how the dry toilet works. Many of the visitors had never heard of dry sanitation before, and people from different walks of life, including research institutes, academia, agriculture, students and ordinary members of society, were evidently mesmerised by the concept.

“When I first heard of the dry toilets idea, I was not for it. Now with this information, explanation and demonstration, I have a totally different perception. I wish we had this innovation spread across the country”, said one female visitor to the stand. The demand for dry toilets was clearly unprecedented, much of the interest coming from ordinary community members. One of the male visitors noted: “We are so crowded in my compound, we can no longer find space for pit latrines. I see this as a permanent solution to our predicament.”

Some researchers and students who visited the stand also showed interest in adopting ecological sanitation for their academic works. For GLM and NECOS project staff, the show was just the right platform for effective and rewarding outreach work.

Green Living Movement dry sanitation

GLM Zambia and and NECOS stand at the 2014 Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show