Characterisation of pit contents and developing innovative techniques for pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in low income urban areas.
The SRFA Project was established through a USD 2.5 Million grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The project aims to stimulate local competency and capacity in the sanitation sector in the Eastern and Southern African Regions, and to provide solutions based on good scientific evidence related to up-scaling dry sanitation technologies. Ten research contracts will be issued, on a competitive basis, to research institutes or organisations in the targeted areas. The projects will be executed using the WRC model of research and innovation generation and dissemination.
Two key research areas have been identified for the project. They are:
• Characterisation of pit contents and developing a scientific understanding of processes occurring in onsite dry pit latrines systems in low income urban areas
• Developing innovative techniques for pit desludging and subsequent sludge management in low income urban settlements
Four institutions/organisations have been selected for developing innovative techniques for pit desludging and subsequent management:
ATL-HYDRO (South Africa - Dr. Wade Edwards)
Water for People (Uganda - Mz Cate Nimanya)
Mzuzu University (Malawi - Dr. Rochelle Holm)
Chinhoyi University of Technology (Zimbabwe - Dr. Courage Bangira).
Different technologies will be used by each of these groups. ATL-Hydro intends on testing a mobile pyrolysis and biochar unit. Water for People intends using various technologies (modified gulpers, etc.) to remove the sludge and treat it accordingly. Mzuzu plans on testing a pressure washer and pump system. Chinhoyi University of Technology plans on using an anaerobic digester to treat faecal sludge. The specifics of each of these projects and technologies will be available at a later stage.
Six applicants were offered contracts to analyse various physico-chemical properties of pit sludge:
University of Botswana (Botswana - Dr. P. Odirile)
Jimma University & the Ministry of Water and Energy (Ethiopia - Mikiyas Wolde)
Egerton University (Kenya - Edward Muchiri)
University of Malawi (Dr. Bernard Thole)
Makerere University (Uganda -Ahamada Zziwa)
University of Zambia (Zambia - Professor I. Nyambe)
The pit sludge characteristics in these different countries will be characterised for a number of parameters (chemical, physical and biological).
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Botswana Emptying and transport (non sewered) Ethiopia Faecal sludge treatment processes Fundamental research and engineering Kenya Malawi Operation, maintenance and sustainable services Peri-urban Practitioners Product design and engineering Public awareness, advocacy and civil society engagement (WG9) Rural South Africa Specific to one or several countries Sub-Saharan Africa Technology comparisons Treatment of faecal sludge Uganda University, education or research institution Urban informal settlements (slums) Zambia Zimbabwe
WRC (Water Research Commission)
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