A very simple autonomous complete wastewater treatment system (the Safe Water Garden or SWG) that is extremely easy to build, that is maintenance-free, and where the house owners can take complete ownership.The system doubles up as a crop-garden (notably for chilli, together with rice the key food ingredient for Indonesians), and this crop garden has proven to be a catalyst for villagers extending their garden and hence their food self-sufficiency.
Health benefits: the system eliminates chronic diarrhoea and thus alleviates stunting. Also, because the house no longer features greywater puddles, the mosquito population decreases which, in turn, reduces insect-borne diseases.
Poverty alleviation: Because parents do not have to bring children to the hospital on account of sanitation-related illnesses, they don’t lose the workdays, the transport bills and the hospital costs. Contrary to the traditional sanitation systems which last 10 years, the SWG lasts forever. Combining this with the savings from not having to buy chilli means a nett savings of around 10% of household income for village families.
Improved livelihood: the houses no longer smell bad, so self-esteem shoots up. The system is maintenance-free, so people never have to think about human waste anymore.