Next Article in Journal
Analysis of Drought Progression Physiognomies in South Africa
Next Article in Special Issue
Experimental Determination of Moisture Sorption Isotherm of Fecal Sludge
Previous Article in Journal
Saving Water while Doing Business: Corporate Agenda-Setting and Water Sustainability
Previous Article in Special Issue
Assessment of Recommendation for the Containment and Disinfection of Human Excreta in Cholera Treatment Centers
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

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

Environmental Science Program, Asian University for Women, Chittagong 4000, Bangladesh
Action Contre la Faim International France, Paris 75017, France
Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 3R4, Canada
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, Sainte Anne de Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
Action Contre la Faim Afghanistan, Kabul 33381001, Afghanistan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(2), 298;
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)
PDF [1175 KB, uploaded 22 February 2019]


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

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top