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Water 2019, 11(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020298

A Traditional Closed-Loop Sanitation System in a Chronic Emergency: A Qualitative Study from Afghanistan

1
Environmental Science Program, Asian University for Women, Chittagong 4000, Bangladesh
2
Action Contre la Faim International France, Paris 75017, France
3
Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 3R4, Canada
4
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, Sainte Anne de Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
5
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
6
Action Contre la Faim Afghanistan, Kabul 33381001, Afghanistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 9 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts)
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Abstract

The use of closed-loop sanitation systems (CLSS), or reuse-oriented sanitation systems, has increased in recent years, and such systems have been successfully implemented in many parts of the world. However, no research has explored Traditional CLSS (T-CLSS) for a long-term humanitarian situation. This study explores the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of T-CLSS in peri-urban and rural contexts in three different provinces in Afghanistan (the first study of its kind in Afghanistan). Participatory research tools, such as transect walks, focus group discussions, smart community gatherings and interactive workshops, were applied to assess the SWOT associated with T-CLSS. The results indicate that T-CLSS has been practiced historically in both peri-urban and rural areas using local and traditional knowledge, skills and technologies. The socio-cultural acceptance of the system in both rural and peri-urban areas is an important strength of this established system. However, due to chronic development challenges in the study regions, T-CLSS may possibly lead to exposure to microbial contaminants. It is recommended that the feasibility of an improved CLSS be assessed and implemented in light of the issues that are inherent in the use of T-CLSS in Afghanistan. View Full-Text
Keywords: closed-loop sanitation; rural; peri-urban; SWOT; chronic-emergency; participatory research; Afghanistan closed-loop sanitation; rural; peri-urban; SWOT; chronic-emergency; participatory research; Afghanistan
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Uddin, S.M.N.; Lapegue, J.; Gutberlet, J.; Adamowski, J.F.; Dorea, C.C.; Sorezo, F. A Traditional Closed-Loop Sanitation System in a Chronic Emergency: A Qualitative Study from Afghanistan. Water 2019, 11, 298.

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