Body Shop Foundation boosts disaster research

Professor Huw Taylor and his research team have developed a unique low-cost solution
Professor Huw Taylor and his research team have developed a unique low-cost solution

The Body Shop Foundation and US government are providing £100,000 to researchers.

The Body Shop Foundation and the United States government are providing £100,000 to University of Brighton researchers to improve the management of sanitation in disaster zones.

USAID - the lead US Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty - is providing £80,000 for researchers to finalise laboratory validation of their unique low-cost sanitation method, trialled successfully in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

And The Body Shop Foundation is providing £20,000 to create and launch a multi-lingual emergency sanitation manual for use by NGOs around the world.

Water and sanitation problems are the second biggest killer of children under five, worldwide. They are worse in times of crisis - such as the outbreak of Ebola and the recent earthquake in Nepal - and can lead to countless deaths from human waste-borne diseases.

TBSF_logoProfessor Huw Taylor and his research team have developed a unique low-cost solution to address these sanitation emergencies that involves using a natural coagulant (slaked lime) to stabilise and sanitise excreta on-site. Pathogens are destroyed and the resulting product may be used as a soil conditioner.

Prof Taylor, the university’s professor of Microbial Ecology, said: “The funding we have received from USAID and The Body Shop Foundation will allow our research to offer an innovative and effective sanitation safety planning protocol to be used in the face of limited local knowledge. When this project is completed we hope that sanitation issues within disaster zones will be greatly changed for the better.”

The Body Shop Foundation funding will not only enable Prof Taylor to complete the manual, but also to disseminate the knowledge to NGOs through a high-profile training workshop.

The emergency sanitation manual will introduce Prof Taylor’s new system as an option. Rather than simply championing this single approach, however, the manual will offer a choice of laboratory-tested alternative systems to support work in disaster settings.

The project is due to be completed by the summer of 2016.