Project overview

The DEFAST project aims to produce fertilizer and cooking briquettes through the safe treatment of human waste in refugee camps in Rwanda.


The problem

Refugee camps and their surroundings often lack safe disposal of untreated human waste, with serious risks to public health and environment.

Further, deforestation is a common problem in many areas close to refugee camps as refugees cut trees for firewood.

Assessors survey the site where the DEFAST facility will be installed. Photo: WFP/Fidele Nteziyaremye

The solution

DEFAST is a fecal sludge treatment plant that will transform human waste into safe fertilizer and cooking briquettes. 

This will result in the improvement of the wellbeing of refugees and neighboring population as well as an increase in food production for the surrounding population.

A section of the DEFAST plant which shows liquid waste under treatment at the plant in Gicumbi. Photo: WFP/Jean Pierre Bucyensenge

The way forward

The project will safely and adequately treat and dispose fecal sludge in Rwanda and test the viability of developing by-products such as briquettes or fertilizer from the waste. These products can help to further reduce the incidence of diarrhoea/malnutrition burden and improve agriculture and food security.

Photo: WFP/Fidele Nteziyaremye

Last updated: 14/07/2022