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SASTEP Safe Initiative: Handover Of New Sanitation Facilities In Bakerville Primary School

A handover ceremony was held on Tuesday, 25 October 2022, to officially hand over the new Arumloo and Dewdrop treatment system sanitation facilities to Bakerville Primary School. The ceremony was attended by the school learners, local councillor, Traditional Authority, officials from DBE, SASTEP, DSI (SASTEP funders), commercial partner – Arumloo and the contractor and the construction team, SGB, and parents. The school is located 19km from Mount Frere CBD and is easily accessible from the N2 highway.

Barkerville Primary School has 167 learners. The Arumloo and Dewdrop treatment system were matched with the school through a needs analysis and decision tree. Arumloo is a new low-flush toilet that uses less than two litres of water to flush, as opposed to 6 to 12 litres for conventional toilets. The facility has a butterfly-shaped roof that harvests rainwater, collecting roughly 10 mm of rain each day, which is utilized for handwashing and as a backup for flushing.

The flushed water undergoes a natural treatment process that includes a baffled reactor to promote the sedimentation and the removal of solids, an artificial wetland to break down further organic matter, filtration trees, and a recycling tank filled with activated carbon. After these steps, the water is sufficiently clean to flush again odourless. The electricity used for the dewdrop treatment is 0.5 kWh per day or R1. This new and innovative sanitation solution offers an opportunity to meet school sanitation challenges and alleviate the dire state of sanitation service delivery in schools.