Sunday, 8 January 2012

Eco-toilets help save hippos and birds in Kenya

It may appear unintuitive that special toilets could benefit hippos and other wetland species, but the Center for Rural Empowerment and the Environment (CREE) has proven the unique benefits of new toilets in the Dunga Wetlands on Lake Victoria's Kenyan side. By building ecologically-sanitary (eco-san) toilets, CREE has managed to alleviate some of the conflict that has cropped up between hippos and humans for space.

With extreme population and land pressures in the region, people have moved into the Dunga Wetlands to exploit its rich, though quickly exhaustible, soils for agriculture. However the resulting habitat loss has hurt many native species, besides the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), which is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, the wetlands are also home to the sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii) and the spotted-necked otter (Lutra maculicollis). In addition the Dunga Wetlands are listed as an International Bird Area (IBA), including sporting populations of the papyrus gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri), listed as Near Threatened, and the papyrus yellow warbler (Chloropeta gracilirostris), listed as Vulnerable, and a number of other key African wetland birds. Eco-san toilets are being used to stem the destruction of further habitat.

Read more:http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0104-hance_ecosan_cree.html#ixzz1isaeHp3e

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