ELSaN Project

Associate Prof. Hitoshi Shinjo
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies(GSGES)

Malawi in southern Africa is one of the poorest countries in the world. Poor in agricultural productivity, Malawi’s critical dependence on corn (maize) cultivation makes escape from poverty difficult. In an effort to solve this problem, the Environment, Livelihood and Sanitation Nexus (ELSaN) project is working on solutions that tie environmental, quality-of-life and hygiene problems together.

This project devoted its attention to an unused resource: human waste. By enabling human-waste treatment that separates urine from feces, the project aims not only to improve hygiene but also to enable farmers to create fertilizer from their own excreta, thereby providing a replacement for expensive chemical fertilizer and boosting agricultural productivity. Even better, farmers are able to progress from subsistence farming to cultivation of cash crops, creating opportunities to sell their crops for money and so improve their standard of living. In partnership with Malawian NPOs and the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture, this project is advancing as a JICA Grassroots Technical Cooperation Project (Grassroots-Partner-type) under the title “Improvement of Income in Agricultural Production by Using Underutilized Resources for Smallholders in Mzimba District of Malawi.”

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