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African delegation visit city sanitation projects
​African delegation visit city sanitation projects

​AN African Water Association (AFWA) delegation conducted site visits of various water and sanitation projects in eThekwini during a two-day learning exchange programme aimed at reinforcing African sanitation operator’s partnership and sharing best practices of waste water and sanitation management.

During the two-day learning exchange which began with a seminar at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on 30 October and was followed by a tour of four water and sanitation projects in both urban and rural areas of the Municipality on 31 October.

Hosted by the Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE) in partnership with eThekwini Water and Sanitation Unit (EWS), the learning exchanged also serve as a benchmarking visit to share best practices in the water and sanitation sector.

Delegates visited rural KwaNgcolosi where the emptying of a Urine Diversion toilet was demonstrated.  This was followed by a visit at the Black Soldier Fly Plant in Isiphingo – a facility that utilises flies and lava to breakdown sludge and organic waste, Newlands KwaMashu Research Site – a facility that provides conditions which scientific research and experiments in wastewater and sanitation are performed - and ended with an inspection of community ablution blocks in Parkington informal settlement in Greenwood Park.

Explaining the emptying of the Urine Diversion toilet, EWS Senior Chemical Engineer Lungi Zuma said the Municipality offers the service to communities once every two years. “There are two ways to deal with the faecal sludge, it is either buried on site and a tree is planted where it has been buried so that it acts as compost or it is transported to Black Soldier Fly Plant,” she said.

Zuma added that the Municipality also offers emptying services to communities that use the Ventilated Improved Pit Laterines. “Our Municipality is made up of 60 percent rural areas and this means that we must consider affordability for our customers but at the same time, we ensure that they enjoy the same quality of water and sanitation of those living in urban areas,” she explained.

AFWA is a Pan-African association with a membership comprised of sector utilities and governmental agencies from all the African countries and is the primary facilitator of utility twinning in Africa through its water operators’ partnership programme for Africa.

The association’s vision is to be an acknowledged leader in strengthening water utility management practices to the support the goals of African Water Vision 2025.

During the learning exchange programme, the delegation pledged to fast-track the delivery of these provisions to meet the Sustainable Development Goal Six of managing the water and sanitation challenge.

Highly impressed after the site visits, AFWA co-ordinator, Professor Ives Magloire Kengne Noumsi said they will replicate some of the projects in their respective cities. “We are impressed with the private-public partnerships that the Municipality has formed and it has assisted in fast-tracking service delivery.  We are also impressed with the type of ablution facilities implemented in rural areas. 

The delegates want to see the business model and replicate in in their countries.  Our cities will also invest in research facilities for improved water and sanitation,” he said.Silindile.maluleka@durban.gov.za

WEATHER

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