Finding solutions to the problems of food insecurity and inadequate sanitation

At the moment, the two development challenges of food insecurity and inadequate sanitation are often seen as disparate problems whose solutions are unrelated to each other. However, developing synergy between the two is not only possible, but necessary. By creating synergistic solutions to these pressing issues, an alternative regional value chain that creates a circular flow of commodities across the urban-rural nexus has the potential to improve the resilience and sustainability of regional food systems, thus improving livelihoods.

Nutrient recovery from waste streams

Numerous mainly urban waste streams (green, food, human) currently exist that are not being captured and recycled. The approach of RUNRES consists in capturing waste streams and retrieving nutrients therefrom by using the following approaches / technologies:

  • Technologies for recycling human urine and faeces to produce fertilizer
  • Black soldier fly (BSF) farming
  • Ecological sanitation solutions like Urine Diversion Dry Toilets (UDDT) or Ventilated Pit Latrines (VIP)
  • Nitrified Urine Fertilizer (NUF)
  • Struvite Precipitation
  • Biochar made from faecal material
  • Technologies for recyling organic waste
  • Composting
  • Livestock feed from green waste
  • Technology to improve the resilience of the food value chain
  • Installation of small scale processing units for farmers


The diagram below displays how these waste stream flows can be captured and recycled: