The Peepoople people have invented the Peepoo bag to solve sanitary problems. Good for disasters like Haiti, Maurice argues it could solve emergency sanitary problems in Gaza.
Finding solutions to sanitation problems in the developing world may get a big boost with the advent of a the Peepoo, a special biodegradable toilet bag plugged by the New York Times. Invented by a Swedish entrepreneur, this bag costs pennies to make, is designed to break down solid and liquid human wastes and turn them into fertilizer after killing the dangerous disease causing bacteria found in human feces. It could work to help cut down sanitation-related deaths around the world, where more babies die from diarrhoea than anything else. In the Middle East, it could work in Gaza where sewage treatment facilities are badly needed. The invention is a biodegradable bag, that when you “pee” or “poop” in it, works to break down the nasty bacteria that can lead to infection. It’s great for camping too.
Many people, especially those who have gone camping, may have used something similar which involved a plastic bag attached to a folding toilet seat. The main difference between a folding camp toilet and the Peepoo bag is the bag itself, with the camp toilet polyethylene bag merely holding the decaying doo-doo for months of even years.
Anders Wilhelmson, the Swedish guy who invented the bag, believes that the Peepoo bag will solve a lot of sanitation problems in places where there simply is none. While African countries have received a lot of attention for introducing this item, many Middle Eastern countries are good candidates as well; especially those where people live in very crowded conditions, such as those living in the Gaza Strip.
Video on how the Peepoo works.
This 41 km (25 mile) long strip of land is home to more than 1.5 million Palestinians, who live in some of the most crowded and unsanitary conditions in the world. The sewage problem is becoming so bad in Gaza that, as noted on an article published in July, 2009 , are overflowing. Burst sewage lagoons have even contributed directly to many deaths, not to mention making thousands of people sick from various diseases caused by the filthy, stinking water. A great deal of this misery might be eliminated by people using these Peepoo bags, with the “converted” waste inside being used afterwards as fertilizer.
Simple to pee and poop into
How is the Peepoo bag used; and how does it make compost fertilizer out of human feces? It’s really very simple: the bags, which have a special green lining inside with a coating of urea, are opened and placed inside a small plastic bucket-like container, and a person squats above the opening and “pee-poops” inside.
The contents are then sealed by tying the bag’s end into a knot, and the bag is then buried in the ground where the urea inside kills the harmful bacteria found in human feces. Over a period of time, the feces and urea mixture turns into compost and goes naturally into the soil like fertilizer would.
The bags cost only a few cents each, making them affordable with poorer people, such as those living in Gaza, which has an unemployment rate around 40% and where most of the population must receive aid from organizations like UNICEF and UNRWA.
Egypt, where many people live in rural villages along the Nile, suffer greatly from all kinds of pollution to fertilize crops grown along the Nile River.
Just a small plastic bag; yet so promising in regards to making people healthier by improving the sanitation of areas in which they live. The question is making sure there is enough space to bury the Peepoo, something which may be considered immodest in traditional Muslim societies.
More on Middle Eastern sanitation issues:
Saudi Arabia’s Desire to “Go Green” Spoiled by Sewage Scandal”