Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2020 – Over the past four years, BORDA Tanzania and Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) have implemented a project called “DEWATS for Dar”, which was funded by UKAID through the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The goal of this project was to improve access to sanitation in those areas of Dar es Salaam without connection to the sewerage networks, and with limited access to basic sanitation services and roads. In such contexts, innovative, alternative and appropriate sanitation solutions are required, such as decentralised wastewater treatment systems (DEWATS) and faecal sludge management (FSM).
As part of this project, two decentralised faecal sludge treatment plants (FSTPs) were constructed: one in Mburahati, Ubungo and one in Miburani, Temeke. Additionally, a team of professional FSM service providers was established, to empty pits and transport sludge to nearby treatment facilities in both communities. This team of operators also provided services to a third project area surrounding an existing FSTP in the community of Makongo-Mlalakuwa (Kinondoni). The FSTP in Mlalakuwa was implemented in 2016, within the framework of the Mlalakuwa River Restoration Project, with construction financed by the German International Development Agency (GIZ) through the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP) and BORDA Tanzania (financed by BMZ).
To support the FSM service provision in all three areas, we provided capacity development relating to on-site sanitation, and the new services were marketed through a large-scale public awareness campaign with logo and slogan: “CHOO RAFIKI (Friendly Toilet) – NYONYA KISTAARABU (Empty [your pit] in a smart way”. This marketing initiative included radio campaigns, posters installed at key visibility locations, door-to-door awareness with brochures, sanitation exhibitions in each community, and a two-day sanitation “bonanza”.
The capacity of the three treatment plants can serve a combined total of up to 85,000 people in the project implementation areas. The availability of trained operators now enables the provision of safe, affordable and improved methods of pit-emptying, using small-scale, innovative emptying equipment and vehicles (e.g. motorised tricycle), which can provide services even in highly congested, inaccessible and unplanned areas. The result is that previous unsanitary practices (such as emptying contaminated wastewater into the streets) will be reduced, along with instances of waterborne diseases – and overall community and environmental health will improve.
Realising innovative, alternative and appropriate sanitation solutions to improve access to sanitation in non-sewered areas of Dar es Salaam – decentralised wastewater treatment systems and faecal sludge management
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