UniWASH aims at realizing and protecting children’s rights to adequate sanitation and hygiene in rural Ugandan schools and their communities.



UniWASH is a three-year-multi-stakeholder-project that was launched in 2014.


During the project’s first half a multidisciplinary student team had identified that particularly the condition of the visited primary schools’ latrines presents a threat to the realization of these rights. The few existing latrines fill up quickly, but are not regularly emptied, causing health risks. The schools, that are responsible for organizing the latrine emptying, often fail to fulfill their duty due to several challenges, such as limited financial resources.


In order to tackle this issue last year’s team came up with a first concept idea in which the latrines’ sludge is turned into a fertilizer, that can be either used in the school garden or sold to local farmers. Ideally, this added value would incentivize the schools to empty their latrines more often and in this way create a range of benefits for the schools and communities. Since last September, this year’s team has been building on top of the previous work and developing concrete concepts that outline how the idea could be put into work and taken towards implementation by UNICEF.

Concept Development
Together with students from Aalto’s Sustainable Global Technologies program the IDBM students were responsible for the overall concept development. This process revolved around an adapted “Sanitation Value Chain Framework“:

  • Capturing

  • Emptying

  • Transport

  • Composting

  • Transport

  • Re-use

For each of the steps the team evaluated different options regarding potential involved actors as well as required equipment and processes. Thereby information from other team members such as Ugandan civil engineering students, who took responsibility of the composting aspects, were constantly integrated. The resulting concepts are outlined in detail in a final report.

  • Engaged over 150 people

  • in 9 workshops,

  • 18 group interviews,

  • 46 in-depth interviews &

  • >15 chats + observations


Detailed final report about the adapted Sanitation Value Chain Framework.


Hiroko Narasaki (Science), Marius Messerschmied (Business), Ronja Mahosenaho (Design), Yulin Chen (Business)