Stretching into pre-history, and before the development and production of artificial fertilizers, the use of animal and human feces, often referred to as “nightsoil”, were widely used to fertilize agricultural fields. Today, the practice of using nightsoil as fertilizer varies by country and by region, throughout the world. Some countries deal with it as “waste” while others value it as “something that enriches the soil.” Most industrialized countries ceased to use nightsoil due to economic and technological development, finding it more convenient to use artificial chemical fertilizers. However, one of the worries today is the longevity of the availability of the natural resources that are used to make artificial fertilizers and it is now recognized that using nightsoil maintains the recycling rate of essential nutrient elements in the soil better. This paper reviews the worldwide historical use of nightsoil in agriculture. Particular focus is on the traditional use of nightsoil in China and Japan as examples of areas where the use of nightsoil is well accepted and utilized. Histories of nightsoil use in some European and non-European countries are also assessed. After a review of the worldwide historical use of nightsoil, the paper discusses nightsoil treatments and the advantages and disadvantages of its use.
Inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and knowledge on menstruation deprive women and girls of an ability to practice menstrual hygiene management. This study sought to address these issues by targeting women and girls (ten pairs of mothers and daughters, three schoolteachers) living in an urban slum of Indonesia through extensive literature review in local languages and semi-structured interview surveys. Our findings suggest that poor WASH facilities hinder schoolgirls’ ability to change their napkins, which in turn may lead to poor health. Literature review showed that lack of opportunities of learning how to treat menstruation (school curriculums), that is, educative intervention targeting this population may also affect the ability of managing menstrual hygiene. This study adds to extant research on menstrual hygiene management in underprivileged regions by showing that inadequate WASH facilities and scarce information provided to the population may limit their ability to be physical and mentally sound.
Many developing countries like India are facing a sanitation challenge stemming from lack of toilets, or the willingness to use them despite the availability of access. Almost over a billion people reside in the country, and more than half of them practice Open Defecation (OD). Majority of the practices of OD stem from patriarchal families who object to construction of toilets owing to age-old sanitary practices driven by social norms. While for some it is more of a compulsion that makes them venture into open spaces and address sanitary needs. According to UN Women, men and women, and girls and boys have different sanitation requirements for biological and social reasons. Using a case from Odisha, this research paper attempts to analyse the wider implications of sanitation insecurity and its impact on women, through analysis of existing literature. In comparison to other states, Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) coverage for Odisha is yet to achieve a 90% level. While most of the Indian states have achieved the 100% Open Defecation free (ODF) target, Odisha ranks second-last—indicating it has one of the lowest ODF coverages in India. Using the Social Norms Theory, this paper aims to understand the relations between inadequate sanitation, health, education and psychosocial stress. Inadequate sanitation and poor quality of toilets also give rise to a variety of health risks such as pneumonia and diarrhoea. The paper tries to analyse what makes sanitary interventions successful and then draws a conclusion by providing policy recommendations and methods to improve the existing intervention programs in sanitation and innovative methods, to encourage more participation at the community-level, keeping in mind that it is imperative to provide women dignity and one of their most basic human rights.