On-Site Household Sanitation Guidelines for Fiji

The WASH Koro project Mobilising community-led water supply, sanitation and hygiene improvements in Fijian villages is a collaborative participatory project that aims to provide self-help tools to mobilise communities to recognise and address their water supply, sanitation and health/hygiene needs.

The project team brings together expertise from NIWA, ecoEng Ltd (engineering) and Creative Questions (social and health sciences) alongside the in-country skills of JecoEng, and the University of the South Pacific. It builds on the learning and capacity developed in its predecessor Wai Votua Project (which involved the implementation of WASH in a coastal village of 300 people) but instead works at a smaller house by house–scale.

Working in close consultation with 2 partner villages along the Coral Coast of Fiji, a range of practical low-cost solutions for village wastewater management have been developed and tested. Assessment of village water supplies and soil characteristics helped determine appropriate wastewater treatment approaches. Working with village labour and (at one village) an NGO Rustic Pathways, five septic tank and land application systems (LAS) for the treatment and disposal of household wastewater were constructed to test and demonstrate their practical implementation and performance. Based on gravity-dosed sand-filter trenches, the LASs were adapted to the local soil and climatic conditions, and available resources. An improved ventilated twin-pit latrine (EcoVIP2) was also developed and tested in the villages as a lower-cost, waterless sanitation option. Monitoring has been undertaken to verify the effectiveness of the systems in real-world conditions.

A series of practical KoroSan guidelines have been developed as part of this project to support the uptake of improved sanitation services in Fijian villages and settlements. Seven of the guidelines provide technical information for water-flushed and dry toilet options. An eighth guideline deals with participatory approaches to engage villages to build knowledge and capacity to mobilise and support water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) improvements in their villages and settlements. The final document listed below is an assessment of the operational treatment performance of ecoVIP2 waterless toilets, blackwater septic tanks and land application systems described in the KoroSan guidelines and the village-scale constructed wetland developed previously in the WaiVotua project. The KoroSan guidelines were produced in consultation with the Fiji Department of Water and Sewage and the Ministry of Health. The project was supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme through the Partnerships for International Development Fund of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. These guidelines may be freely disseminated provided the source is acknowledged.

NIWA Contacts

Principal Scientist - Aquatic Pollution
Page last updated: 
7 May 2021