Tanzania: Sanitation Project Set to Boost Community Health

RESIDENTS from three municipalities in Dar es Salaam have benefited from a sanitation project aimed at addressing hygiene challenges by providing emptying services and treatment facilities for faecal sludge.

The areas are Barafu, Mlalakuwa and Wailes sub-wards in Mburahati (Ubungo), Makongo (Kinondoni) and Miburani (Temeke) respectively.

The project titled Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) for Dar es Salaam was implemented by the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA) Tanzania in collaboration with Ifakara Health Institute (IHI).

The three - year project has been successfully implemented with funding from UKAID through the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The Association handed over decentralised Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTPs) facilities and Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) operation equipment and vehicles to be used for providing effluent treatment and emptying services in the respective project areas.

Speaking recently at the handover of the sanitation facilities and equipment to Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA) BORDA Tanzania Country Director Ms Laura Bright-Davies said that the projects targeted urban poor with limited access to sanitation services.

She said 70 to 90 per cent of the population in Dar es Salaam live in unplanned areas with limited access to basic sanitation services and roads, where less than 5 per cent of the population are connected to sewerage networks.

"As part of this project, two decentralised faecal sludge treatment plants (FSTPs) were constructed (in Mburahati-Ubungo and Miburani-Temeke), and a team of professional service providers were established, to empty and transport the contents of pit-latrines and septic tanks nearby treatment facility," she said.

Ms Davies said within the project, local government authorities of Ubungo, Temeke and Kinondoni received capacity development training related to FSM, and the new services were marketed to the nearby communities through large-scale public awareness campaign with logo and slogan "Friendly Toilet and Empty your pit in a smart way".

She said the solution tested in the project showed that unsanitary practices such as emptying contaminated wastewater into the streets will cease, and instances of waterborne diseases will also be reduced while overall community and environmental health will improve.

"An additional benefit of these treatment systems is that biogas is generated and can be used for cooking, providing an environmentally sustainable alternative to charcoal and wood, and reducing deforestation," Ms Davies noted.

She said the capacity of the treatment plants can serve up to 70,000 of the people in the project implementation areas and the availability of trained operators introduce safe and improved methods of pit-emptying through the application of small-scale, innovative emptying equipment and vehicles (i.e. motorised tricycle), which can provide services in the highly congested and unplanned areas.

"These service providers are also affordable to low-income households, with an emptying fee of 15,000/- per 1m3.

BORDA is an international non-governmental and non-profit organisation that has been operating in Tanzania since 2009.

BORDA Tanzania's overall mission is to improve the living conditions of disadvantaged communities and to keep the environment intact through the expansion of sanitation services in the areas of decentralised sanitation, wastewater and solid waste disposal.

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