Sanergy is currently scaling up its low-cost latrines with USAID funding. They are building 700 toilets to be placed throughout Nairobi, including in schools. Photo credit: Nestlé
The key to protecting the health of billions may be…worms?
Indeed, USAID is supporting the field-testing of a latrine, dubbed the Tiger Toilet, which is powered by worms. The toilet looks like a typical latrine and provides a normal pour-flush experience for users. But inside its compact tank, Tiger Worms reduce the system’s excrement by more than 80 percent.
The Tiger Toilet pilot is one of a number of solutions that USAID is testing in efforts to improve access to adequate sanitation, arguably one of the greatest threats to public health worldwide. More than 2.5 billion people lack this access, and often practice open defecation as an alternative. This leads to the spread of diseases including cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea, which alone kills more than one child each minute.