By Lee Davelaar
A new project, entitled ‘Fertilizer Pellet Fertilization Project’, by the Resource Recovery and Reuse team at the West Africa office of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is looking to harness human waste and turn it into safe, hygienic fertilizer pellets for use in agriculture.
Although the practice has been in place in Asia for centuries, its use in sub-Saharan Africa is relatively new, and while farmers are embracing the innovative strategy, it has been met with some resistance at the regulatory level.
IWMI has underscored the need to overcome these prejudices. Human waste is an abundant and inexpensive resource which not only has the potential to help farmers fight depleted nutrient levels in poor soils; but also promises to create jobs by establishing a new profitable business sector. This sector in turn could help alleviate some of the stresses which a growing population has placed on the already-stressed African sanitation systems.