Advancing Sanitation and Energy Capacity in Haiti Through Waste to Energy Technologies

Sunday, 15 February 2015: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL21F (San Jose Convention Center)
Stephanie A. Lansing,University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Haiti has acute sanitation, energy, and food security challenges. Approximately 70% of the population practices open defecation due to lack of sanitary facilities. Wood and charcoal represent 70% of the energy use within the country, requiring 25-50% of daily income ($1/day). Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is being promoted in Haiti as an affordable way to treat waste, produce energy, and provide fertilizer for agricultural production. Anaerobic digestion is the treatment of waste by microorganisms with the production of methane-enriched biogas as a renewable energy source. Findings from the Haiti Biogas Technology Training Program, Haiti Sanitation Working Group, and creation of Haitian-specific business models will be reviewed, along with results from the modular AD technology installed in Haiti using three different contexts/design scales: a 200+ AD hospital system at the PIH-Cange complex, a 20+ residential system at Haiti Communitere, and a combined swine manure and sanitation system at CFFL in Corporant. The anaerobic digestion process resulted in 99.8% reductions in fecal coliforms, with 65% - 75% methane in the produced biogas, but variable quantity of biogas: 0 - 1 hour of cooking/day (averaging 140 L/d) due to low organic input from the limited number of toilet users. Biogas Test Kits were developed and distributed, laboratory technicians were trained, and in-country laboratories were upgraded to test the digestion systems. Sanitation surveys (> 500) revealed that the majority were willing to pay 10-17 Gourdes/day ($0.22 - $0.37) for toilet use, with 39% of those surveyed having no access to sanitation, and 56% having access to latrines. The largest limitations to using improved sanitation were access/location near home and finances to build systems. Based on the cost analysis of the three installed digestion systems, a three to five year payback period was estimated (other sanitation options do not have payback in real terms), with additional benefits in terms of health, time-saving for other entrepreneur activities, and environmental benefits from reduced deforestation, GHG emissions, and improved water quality. The path for moving forward to widespread improved sanitation efforts in Haiti will be discussed.