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BORDA Africa Enabling Environment workshop & Innovating Environmental Sanitation workshop

BORDA Africa Enabling Environment workshop

On 15, 17 and 18 May 2018, the BORDA South Africa team hosted a regional workshop in Durban that focused on developing and supporting an enabling environment within our organisation. Fourteen colleagues from Germany, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia came together to exchange knowledge between the different offices in the region.

The workshop covered technical, social, and organisational topics. The major aim was to share expertise from the different countries and to improve upon the development of documents, materials, and tools that will help us plan and move forward in an effective, sustainable manner. Participants worked in groups to update organisational policies and development strategies, including capacity development and fundraising. On the technical side, we made improvements to the regional Operation & Maintenance Manual for DEWATS and to the Quality Management System for wastewater DEWATS and faecal sludge management (FSM). The newly developed DEWATS Design Tool and Behaviour Change Tool was shared with colleagues, and we discussed the ongoing development of guidelines for decentralised wastewater treatment and FSM.

Innovating Environmental Sanitation workshop

In conjunction with the regional workshop, on 16 May 2018 the BORDA South Africa team invited stakeholders to a day of “Innovating Environmental Sanitation” in Durban. The goals of the workshop were to share knowledge of innovative sanitation technologies and to exchange on what is working and what is not working in the environmental sanitation sector. More than 60 attendees from South African municipalities, engineering consulting firms, universities, NGOs, and water service authorities joined the BORDA Africa representatives for a day of learning, sharing, and networking to improve sanitation.

The day began with a tour of the Newlands Mashu Demonstration and Research DEWATS site, guided by Carley Truyens (BORDA South Africa) and Lungi Zuma (eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS)). Attendees learned about DEWATS and observed ongoing research trials related to constructed wetlands and irrigation of crops with treated wastewater effluent. Following Newlands Mashu, the group travelled to Banana City, an informal settlement that will undergo an in situ upgrade to formalised housing this year, with two DEWATS planned to treat wastewater from the site. The group toured the Community Ablution Block (CAB) that was installed by EWS to address the water, sanitation, and hygiene needs of the informal settlement. Lungi Zuma described the Municipality’s CAB programme and gave a tour of the containerized, gender-separated ablution facility.

Following the tours, the group returned to the University of KwaZulu-Natal for lunch and guided group discussions facilitated by Neil Macleod, former head of EWS. In small groups, the attendees shared their successes, challenges, and failures in the field environmental sanitation, before presenting to the larger group the common themes and ways to move forward.

We received an overwhelmingly positive response from participants, who strengthened existing partnerships, established new connections, and gained new ideas on how to address the challenges and innovate solutions within the sanitation sector.

In May 2018, the BORDA South Africa team hosted a regional workshop in Durban that focused on developing and supporting an enabling environment within our organisation.