The EAR Technology

The EAR Technology developed by the Sainte Lizaigne company of the CLAIRE Group is one of the 5 technologies presented at the innovation workshop organized in July 2017 in Accra. This is an initiative of the Isle Utilities organization. This workshop took place as a side event of the sessions of the 77th Scientific and Technical Council of AfWA held from July 17 to 21, 2017 in the Ghanaian capital.

The Isle Utilities organization presented 5 technologies to the thirty or so representatives of water utilities, including the “Ear” active connection, an acoustic listening device developed by Sainte-Lizaigne. This is part of the process of setting up a technological innovation platform for the benefit of water utilities in sub-Saharan Africa. Funded by the International Finance Corporation and The Global Innovation Fund GIF, this technology platform project is implemented in partnership with the African Water Association.

Marc Cormery, Export Manager of the Sainte-Lizaigne company, presented the EAR solution at this workshop. Sainte-Lizaigne’s EAR solution (expertise in the field of drinking water connections), developed in partnership with SebaKMT (expertise in the field of leak detection), is a permanent monitoring system for leak detection on HDPE/PVC networks (mainly present in Africa), but also for pipes of any diameter and material.

This is an active connection that is an integral part of the network heritage and, in addition to its opening/closing function, ensures permanent monitoring of the network by listening. The connections can thus be used as network listening points and form a strategic network.

Installed as a fixed prelocator on the network, the EAR solution allows precise listening because the hydrophone sensor is positioned in the water column and acquires the sounds directly: the listening is of very good quality, whatever the nature of the pipe and its diameter, and the surrounding noise minimized. Data collection is carried out by two methods: patrol mode or network. The correlation will then specify the exact location of the leak. As a permanent monitoring device, the EAR connection detects a leak at an early stage, improves response time and optimizes operating costs (reduced on-call time).

The EAR solution has already proven its worth. For example, it has made it possible to reduce water losses by 193,000 m3 in one year in a community of more than 110,000 subscribers (daily water consumption of 50,000 m3, 1,500 km of pipes) and a potential yield gain of 12 points.

The EAR system consists of:

– An intake valve with an integrated hydrophone sensor;

– A radio transmitter (located under the key-operated mouth or transferred to the counting station in a bollard or manhole) to record data, diagnose the problem;

– connectivity and accessories for integration. It can be installed on new or existing networks.

Sainte-Lizaigne is the specialist in solutions for connection to the metering environment for drinking water networks and offers systems for network control. The company employs 115 people and had a turnover of more than 28M€ in 2016. It designs, manufactures and sells water systems in France and abroad for water network operations. Sainte-Lizaigne’s customers include the main water distribution groups (Veolia, SAUR, Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux, etc.), networks of distributors and wholesaler partners and local authorities. www.sainte-lizaigne.com

 

La Technologie EAR

La Technologie EAR développée par l’entreprise Sainte Lizaigne du Groupe CLAIRE fait partie des 5 technologie présentées à l’occasion de l’atelier d’innovation organisé en juillet 2017 à Accra. Il s’agit d’une initiative de l’organisation Isle Utilities. Cet atelier s’est déroulé en marges des Travaux du 77ème Conseil scientifique et Technique de l’AAE tenu du 17 au 21 juillet 2017 à dans la capitale ghanéenne.

La structure Isle Utilities a présenté 5 technologies à la trentaine de représentants des sociétés d’eau parmi lesquelles le branchement actif « Ear » un dispositif d’écoute acoustique développé par la société Sainte-Lizaigne. Ceci dans le cadre du processus de mise en place d’une plateforme d’innovation technologique au profit des sociétés d’eau d’Afrique Subsaharienne. Financé par la Société Financière Internationale et ‘’The Global Innovation Fund GIF’’, ce projet de plateforme technologique est mis en œuvre en partenariat avec l’Association Africaine de l’Eau.

C’est donc à l’occasion de cet atelier que Marc Cormery, Responsable Export de la structure ‘Sainte-Lizaigne’ a présenté la solution ‘’EAR’’.

La solution EAR de Sainte-Lizaigne (expertise dans le domaine du branchement d’eau potable), développée en partenariat avec SebaKMT (expertise dans le domaine de la recherche de fuite), est un système d’écoute permanent pour la détection de fuites sur les réseaux en PEHD/PVC (réseaux majoritairement présents en Afrique), mais aussi pour les conduites de tout diamètre et tout matériau. Il s’agit d’un branchement actif faisant partie intégrante du patrimoine réseau qui permet, en plus de sa fonction d’ouverture/fermeture, d’assurer une surveillance permanente du réseau par l’écoute. Les branchements peuvent ainsi être utilisés comme points d’écoute du réseau et former un maillage stratégique.

Installée en fixe en tant que prélocalisateur sur le réseau, la solution EAR permet une écoute précise car le capteur hydrophone est positionné dans la colonne d’eau et acquiert directement les bruits : l’écoute est de très bonne qualité, quels que soient la nature de la canalisation et son diamètre, et les bruits environnants minimisés. La collecte des données se réalise par deux méthodes : mode patrouille ou network. La corrélation précisera ensuite l’endroit exact de la fuite.

En tant que dispositif de surveillance permanente, le branchement EAR détecte de façon précoce une fuite, permet de gagner en réactivité d’intervention et d’optimiser les coûts d’exploitation (durée d’astreinte réduite).

La solution EAR a déjà fait ses preuves. Elle a permis par exemple une réduction de 193 000 m3 des pertes d’eau en 1 an dans une communauté d’agglomération de plus de 110 000 abonnés (consommation d’eau journalière de 50 000 m3, 1 500 km de canalisations) et un gain potentiel de rendement de 12 points.

Le système EAR se compose :

– d’un robinet de prise en charge intégrant un capteur hydrophone

– d’un émetteur radio (positionné sous la bouche à clé ou reporté au poste de comptage dans une borne ou un regard) permettant l’enregistrement des données, le diagnostic

– de la connectivité et des accessoires permettant l’intégration Il peut être installé sur les réseaux neufs ou existants.

Sainte-Lizaigne est le spécialiste des solutions du branchement à l’environnement de comptage pour les réseaux d’eau potable et propose des systèmes pour le pilotage de réseau. La société emploie 115 personnes et a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires de plus de 28M€ en 2016. Elle conçoit, fabrique en France et commercialise en France et à l’international pour les exploitations des réseaux d’eau. Sainte-Lizaigne compte parmi ses clients les principaux groupes de distribution d’eau (Veolia, SAUR, Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux…), des réseaux de distributeurs et grossistes partenaires et les collectivités locales. www.sainte-lizaigne.com

Renforcement des partenariats dans le domaine de l’eau en Afrique lusophone

Le Partenariat portugais pour l’eau (PWP) a promu la plate-forme internationale « Construire des ponts et des partenariats entre les pays lusophones » (P3LP est son abréviation en portugais). La portée de cette plateforme institutionnelle et commerciale lusophone couvre cinq pays africains de langue portugaise, à savoir l’Angola, le Cap-Vert, la Guinée-Bissau, le Mozambique et São Tomé e Principe. Cette plateforme P3LP se focalise sur le partage d’expériences et de connaissances sur les questions relatives à l’eau entre les sociétés publiques et privées, afin de promouvoir des partenariats entre les agences gouvernementales, les compagnies d’eau et les sociétés d’eau dans le cadre des objectifs du développement durable de l’ONU. Un exemple d’une initiative de base entreprise depuis le début du projet en 2016 a été l’organisation d’une série de visites techniques au Portugal par des délégations de décideurs clés et de gestionnaires du secteur de l’eau de ces cinq pays africains. D’une durée approximative d’une semaine, ces initiatives incluent des visites techniques dans différents endroits du Portugal et de multiples occasions de rencontrer et d’interagir directement avec des représentants du gouvernement portugais, du secteur privé et des institutions de recherche, stimulant ainsi de futurs partenariats institutionnels, commerciaux et techniques. Jusqu’ à présent, les réactions des missions de la Guinée-Bissau, de São Tomé e Príncipe, du Cap-Vert et de l’Angola ont été extrêmement positives, tant de la part des délégués invités que des participants portugais à de multiples initiatives telles que des séminaires publics, des ateliers thématiques, des tables rondes d’affaires, des visites techniques et des contacts institutionnels. Tout au long du projet, les multiples séminaires et sessions publiques qui ont été organisés ont mobilisé plusieurs centaines de participants, ce qui a permis une large diffusion des résultats du projet et le renforcement des liens de mise en réseau au sein de la communauté professionnelle lusophone du secteur de l’eau. Certaines des études spécialisées entreprises dans le cadre du projet incluent un examen détaillé des opportunités offertes par le Fonds européen de développement dans le secteur de l’eau en Afrique (EuropeAid), ainsi qu’un diagnostic détaillé des lacunes de capacité et des priorités d’investissement dans les différents services d’eau opérant dans ces pays. Selon Mme Alexandra Serra, Présidente du Partenariat Portugais de l’Eau, « P3LP est une initiative qui renforcera également l’intégration du secteur portugais de l’eau, en développant des mécanismes pour faciliter le jumelage entre des sociétés de ces pays et la communauté portugaise de professionnels de l’eau ». Faisant suite à la dernière mission technique effectuée au Portugal par une délégation angolaise en juin dernier, les prochaines étapes de la feuille de route de P3LP incluent le Symposium Lusophone sur les ressources en eau à Porto (septembre prochain) et une visite similaire d’une délégation mozambicaine en novembre.

Strengthening Water Partnerships across the Lusophone Africa

The Portuguese Water Partnership (PWP) has been promoting the international platform “Building Bridges and Partnerships across Portuguese-Speaking Countries” (P3LP is its acronym in Portuguese). The scope of this lusophone institutional and business platform covers five African Portuguese-speaking countries, i.e. Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé e Principe. This P3LP platform focuses on the sharing of experiences and knowledge on water issues between public and private entities, in order to promote partnerships between government agencies, water utilities and enterprises under the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. An example of a core initiative undertaken since the project started in 2016 has been the organization of a series of technical visits to Portugal by delegations of key decision makers and water sector managers from these five African countries. With the typical duration of one week, these initiatives comprise technical visits to different locations in Portugal, and multiple opportunities to meet and interact directly with representatives from the Portuguese government, private sector and research institutions, thereby stimulating future institutional, commercial and technical partnerships. So far, the feedback from missions from Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé e Príncipe, Cabo Verde and Angola has been overwhelmingly positive, both from the invited delegates and from the Portuguese participants in multiple initiatives such as public seminars, thematic workshops, business round tables, technical visits and institutional contacts. Throughout the project, the multiple seminars and public sessions that have been organized have engaged several hundred participants, resulting in a broad dissemination of project outputs and the reinforcement of the networking links within the Portuguese-speaking water sector professional community. Some of the specialized studies undertaken by the project comprise a detailed examination of the opportunities provided by the European Development Fund in the water sector in Africa (EuropeAid), and a detailed diagnosis of capacitation gaps and investment priorities in the several water utilities operating in these countries.  According to Ms. Alexandra Serra, President of the Portuguese Water Partnership, “P3LP is an initiative that will equally strengthen the internationalization of the Portuguese water sector, by developing mechanisms to facilitate the business matching between these countries and the Portuguese professional water community.” Following up on the latest technical mission to Portugal by a delegation from Angola, which took place this June, next steps on P3LP’s roadmap include the Lusophone Water Resource Symposium in Oporto (next September) and a similar visit by a Mozambican delegation in November.

Waste Water Box

Les ingénieurs de Cohin Environnement ont développé une station d’épuration compacte et mobile assemblée dans un container maritime, la Waste Water Box, destinée au traitement des eaux usées urbaines et industrielles.

Le procédé 100% biologique, breveté par Cohin Environnement, s’effectue dans un seul et même bassin de façon cyclique ce qui réduit considérablement l’emprise au sol de la station d’épuration. La Waste Water Box nécessite 80% de béton en moins qu’une solution classique et permet de réduire fortement les réseaux enterrés.

Le rejet de l’eau traitée se fait quant à lui par intermittence par le biais du siphon breveté. Sa capacité de traitement est comprise entre 100 et 2000 EH et plus sur demande.

Cohin Environnement souhaite développer la Waste Water Box dans le but d’assurer une réelle voie d’industrialisation qui peut s’intégrer favorablement dans une croissance économique et sociale en y associant la protection de l’environnement.

Notre projet améliorera sur le plan sociétal la qualité de la Vie en permettant notamment un confort sanitaire accru dans le milieu rural ainsi que les zones isolées.

Nous garantissons les performances suivantes en sortie de traitement : DBO5 < 25 mg/L DCO < 90 mg/L MES < 30 mg/L AZOTE < 30 mg/L   De plus les avantages du système de la Waste Water Box sont :

Peut être fabriqué, monté et géré localement avec des délais courts – Apporte un confort sanitaire à des zones isolées – Possède un suivi de maintenance à distance pour une gestion globale ; – Aucun réactif chimique n’est nécéssaire pour le traitement des eaux usées – Réduit l’empreinte environnementale face aux solutions béton – Permet la réduction de l’impact sur le milieu naturel (eutrophisation,…) – Permet la réduction des émissions de GES par la standardisation du transport.

Cohin Environnement’s engineers have developed a compact and mobile wastewater treatment plant assembled in a maritime container, the Waste Water Box, for urban and industrial wastewater treatment.

This 100% biological process, patented by Cohin Environnement, is carried out in a single and same basin in a cyclic way, which considerably reduces the footprint of the treatment plant. The Waste Water Box requires 80% less concrete than a conventional solution and greatly reduces underground networks.

The treated water is discharged intermittently through the patented siphon. Its processing capacity is between 100 and 2000 EH and more on request.

Cohin Environnement wishes to develop the Waste Water Box with a view to ensuring a real industrialization path that can be successfully integrated into economic and social growth by associating environmental protection.

Our project will improve the societal quality of life by providing improved sanitary comfort in rural and remote areas. We guarantee the following post-processing performance: DBO5 < 25 mg/L DCO < 90 mg/L MES < 30 mg/L AZOTE < 30 mg/L The Additional advantages of the Waste Water Box system are as follows:

Can be manufactured, assembled and locally managed in a very short time; – Provides sanitary comfort in isolated areas; – Has remote maintenance monitoring capability for global management; – No chemical reagents are required for wastewater treatment; – Reduces the environmental footprint of concrete solutions; – Allows the reduction of the impact on the natural environment (eutrophication, …); -Allows the reduction of GHG emissions by standardizing transport.

La protection des sources d’eau améliore la qualité et la quantité de l’eau dans les zones rurales du Kenya

Environ 95 pour cent des habitants du village de Silula, dans l’ouest du Kenya, tirent leur eau potable des sources et des rivières, mais la majorité de ces sources ne sont pas protégées contre la pollution. L’eau s’écoule généralement de l’œil de la source et est recueillie à des mètres de distance, ce qui l’expose à la contamination fécale, aux activités domestiques comme le lavage des vêtements et des ustensiles et au ruissellement agricole.

En novembre 2016, les membres de la communauté ont pris part à une initiative soutenue par l’USAID pour promouvoir la conservation des principales sources d’eau dans le comté de Siaya en protégeant et en renforçant les associations d’usagers des ressources en eau (WRUAs). Les WRUAS sont des associations bénévoles composées d’usagers de l’eau et de propriétaires riverains intéressés par la bonne gestion de leurs ressources en eau.

Des membres enthousiastes de la communauté ont fourni des poteaux de clôture, des briques et du béton pour aménager l’admission de sources d’eau et de la main-d’œuvre non qualifiée pour nettoyer et améliorer le chemin d’accès aux sources d’eau. Les bienfaits de la protection et de la conservation des sources ont été immédiatement ressentis. La qualité bactériologique de l’eau a été améliorée par les barrières physiques du bassin versant de la source construite, qui dirigent l’eau directement depuis l’œil de la source. La qualité physique, y compris la turbidité, est également contrôlée de la même façon vu qu’aucun sédiment ne peut traverser le tuyau de sortie. Le débit a été augmenté en raison de l’accroissement de la pression d’eau derrière le mur du bassin versant. « Les longues files d’attente à la source d’eau sont inouïes. Mes jerrycans de 20 litres se remplissent en seulement deux minutes! De plus, ma famille de quatre personnes utilise maintenant cinq jerrycans par jour alors que nous faisions la queue depuis si longtemps pour faire le plein », dit Naima Mohammed, 23 ans. Beaucoup de choses ont changé depuis ses premiers voyages de plus de 90 minutes tous les deux jours pour aller chercher de l’eau, même si la source n’était qu’à 300 mètres de chez elle. En plus de l’amélioration de la qualité et de la quantité de l’eau disponible pour plus de 700 membres de la communauté, la protection de la source Silula a encouragé les membres de la communauté à s’inscrire comme membres volontaires du WRUA, en s’engageant à mener un large éventail d’activités qui contribuent à une meilleure gestion des bassins versants, notamment éviter les activités sur les zones riveraines délimitées, mener des activités de conservation des sols et de l’eau, planter des arbres et contrôler la pollution de l’eau.

Le projet 2015-2020 de l’USAID Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) travaille avec les communautés locales, les bureaux de l’eau des comtés et les décideurs pour améliorer la représentation des communautés dans les WRUAs dans les sous-bassins versants afin d’accroître la sensibilisation sur la conservation intégrée des bassins versants et la gestion des ressources en eau. Le projet vise également à renforcer la capacité des gouvernements et des institutions des comtés à accroître la protection des sources d’approvisionnement en eau et à améliorer l’accès à l’eau.

Approximately 95 percent of residents in Silula Village, in western Kenya obtain their drinking water from springs and rivers, yet the majority of these sources are unprotected from pollution. Water typically flowed from the spring eye to be collected meters away, exposing it to fecal contamination, domestic activities such as washing of clothes and utensils, and agricultural runoff.

In November 2016, community members took part in a USAID-supported initiative to promote conservation of key water sources in Siaya County by protecting and strengthening of Water Resources User Associations (WRUAs). WRUAs are voluntary membership associations made up of water users and riparian owners interested in proper management of their water resources.

Enthusiastic community members contributed fencing posts, bricks and hardcore to secure the spring intake and unskilled labor to clear and improve the access path to the spring. The benefits of protecting and conserving the spring were experienced immediately. The bacteriological quality of water was improved by the physical barriers of the constructed spring catchment, which target water directly to the spring eye. The physical quality, including turbidity, is also controlled in the same way because no sediments can make their way through the outlet pipe. The flow rate was increased due to a build-up in water pressure behind the spring catchment wall. “Long queues at the spring are unheard of now. My 20 liter jerry cans fill up within just two minutes! Moreover, my family of four now uses five jerry cans per day up from the two we used to queue for so long to fill up,” Naima Mohammed, 23, says. Much has changed since her original trips of over 90 minutes every other day to collect water even though the spring was only 300 meters from her home. In addition to improving the quality and quantity of water available to over 700 community members, the protection of the Silula Spring encouraged community members to register as voluntary members of the WRUA, making commitments to carry out a wide range of activities that contribute towards better watershed management such as avoiding activities on demarcated riparian areas, carrying out soil and water conservation activities, planting trees, and controlling water pollution.

The 2015-2020 USAID Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project works with local communities, county water offices and decision-makers to improve community representation in WRUAs within sub-catchments to increase sensitization on integrated watershed conservation and water resources management. The project also aims to build the capacity of county governments and institutions to expand source water protection and improve water access

CST de Bamako : Atelier de partage de connaissances sur le Contrôle de la Qualité de l’Eau

Au cours de la 78ème session du Conseil Scientifique et Technique de l’Association Africaine de l’Eau (A.A.E.) à Bamako au Mali, le Groupe de Travail sur la Qualité de l’Eau du Comité Spécialisé N°2 (CS2) a organisé du 28 au 29 novembre 2017, un atelier de partage des connaissances sur le contrôle de la qualité de l’eau.
L’atelier a connu la participation d’une quinzaine d’acteurs du secteur de l’eau potable du Bénin, Centrafrique, Mali, Nigéria, et Gambie. Il s’inscrit dans le cadre du programme AfriCap de l’AAE financé par l’USAID Bureau Afrique de l’Ouest sur une période de quatre (04) ans dont la composante 3 vise à renforcer les capacités des laboratoires d’analyse de la qualité de l’eau.
Des présentations en salle sur les résultats des audits sur la qualité de l’eau du programme AfriCap et sur l’unité de production sur site du Chlore de la SOMAGEP-SA, suivies des visites du Laboratoire Central et de la Station de Traitement de l’Eau de la SOMAGEP-SA ont permis aux participants d’apprécier le savoir-faire technique de la SOMAGEP-SA dont celle relative à la gestion de son Unité de Production sur site du Chlore.
Au terme des deux jours riches d’apprentissage, les participants se sont dits globalement satisfaits et prêts à partager les bonnes connaissances acquises dans leurs pays respectifs.
Pour en savoir plus sur AfriCap, veuillez contacter :
gdjagoun@afwa-hq.org/ Coordonnateur du programme Africap ou
skenfack@afwa-hq.org/ Directeur des programmes

terrace

Farming methods clean up Nairobi’s drinking water

Samuel Kinuthia knows how to make the most of technology. Using a technique called basin terracing, he has boosted his income at his farm in Murang’a county, and helped provide Kenyans as far away as Nairobi with better access to clean drinking water.

Kinuthia and a group of 300 farmers in Kiaruta village are turning hilly land into more productive farmland through basin terracing. It also reduces soil erosion, which can choke central Kenya’s rivers and pollute drinking water.

farming techniques

Kinuthia and his employee prepare the plot

On a sunny morning, Kinuthia and two employees are preparing a fresh strip of land to sow crops on his three-acre farm. First they dig across a hilly patch to make it into a flat terrace. They then dig square holes to form basins on the strip, where Kinuthia will plant vegetables.

“I used to plant maize and beans but I could not harvest much,” he said. “With basin terracing, I can plant fresh produce like tomatoes, kale and onions. Both the harvest and the resulting income improve because there is a ready market.”

Fred Kihara, water fund manager in Kenya for The Nature Conservancy (TNC), an international environmental organisation, explained that the technology reduces the amount of soil being eroded away into rivers. “It also increases the amount of water that is being retained in the soil,” he added.

A 2015 study by TNC says the Upper Tana basin – which provides water to an estimated 9 million Kenyans – is a watershed under pressure. Overall, 80 percent reported a decrease in rainfall in recent years. About 65 percent of the farmers questioned by the group said the productivity of their land had declined even though they use more fertilisers than five years ago..

From Kinuthia’s farm in the Upper Tana basin, the view is of stretches of hilly terrain that have been stripped bare of trees. The red soil is easily blown away or eroded.

Protecting Source Water

Farming on hilly land has increased the amount of soil ending up in rivers that feed the country’s largest water reservoir, the Ndakaini dam, in central Kenya.

In Nairobi alone, 85 percent of water – or 70 million cubic metres – is supplied by the dam, around 80 kilometres away, according to officials from the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company. More sediment turns the water cloudy, they say.

Soil runoff can include manure and fertiliser used on farms, which may pollute drinking water and make people sick, said Philip Muthui, the company’s production manager. He hopes that the use of basin terracing by farmers will reduce erosion into rivers, thus protecting Ndakaini water.

Currently, the cost of removing the sediment and treating water at Ndakaini ranges between six and seven Kenyan shillings ($0.06-$0.07) per cubic metre, which Muthui says is too high. “Reducing sediment load into rivers has cut the cost of treating water by about three percent,” he added.

Efforts to reduce erosion in the Upper Tana basin have been supported by the Nairobi Water Fund, a $10 million public-private partnership between TNC, the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company and the Kenyan government, among others.

“Water security is likely to pose a bigger challenge as climate change leads to less water in the dry season and heavier deluges in the rainy season,” said Eddy Njoroge, the fund’s president. “This is compounded by population growth that reduces the amount of water available per head,” he said, adding that the fund was set up to tackle these issues.

The project aims to improve water quality in the Tana basin, safeguard Nairobi’s main water source and improve the incomes of thousands of people through sustainable land management, he said.

Originally posted by Thomson Reuters Foundation
Reporting by David Njagi; editing by Zoe Tabary and Laurie Goering
briquettes

Sanivation: Innovative fecal sludge treatment plants to reach SDG 6

With the Millennium Development Goals, countries raced to increase access to basic sanitation facilities. Now to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 of safely managed sanitation, municipalities face a new challenge – finding cost-effective ways to process the fecal sludge from these basic sanitation facilities. In Kenya, while 80 percent of the urban population relies on these basic on-site sanitation facilities, less than 10 percent of the created waste is properly treated before being disposed in the environment. As a result, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death for children under five and the country loses an estimated US $324 million per year because of poor sanitation.

Sanivation’s Process

With Sanivation’s innovative waste processing technologies, wastewater treatment systems are no longer the only answer to on-site sanitation challenges. Sanivation’s solutions enable municipalities to achieve waste processing that is both affordable and scalable. Sanivation partners with municipalities and water service providers to conduct sanitation planning and then build fecal sludge treatment plants (FSTPs), or what they call “factories.”

Sanivation’s eco-friendly briquettes made from fecal waste

At these factories, they treat fecal sludge and transform it into a sustainable charcoal alternative valued at over $200 per ton. These high-value briquettes enable them to deliver cost-effective sanitation services and help municipalities reach Sustainable Development Goal 6 of 100 percent safely managed waste. By selling this fuel back on the market, Sanivation is showcasing a replicable and financially-sustainable model for municipal-scale fecal sludge management. They have already launched two of these factories, one in Naivasha, Kenya and another in Kakuma Refugee Camp.

Just the Beginning

Founded in 2014, Sanivation first piloted their waste treatment technologies in Kakuma Refugee Camp where they taught refugees how to manage the system in just one month. After the pilot, Sanivation established their headquarters in Naivasha to meet the demand for sanitation services in urbanizing communities. To prove their concept of decentralized fecal sludge management, Sanivation offered a subscription-based, in-home sanitation service to families in Naivasha. They installed container-based toilets in the homes of the urban poor, and charged a small monthly servicing fee. The waste was then collected and brought to their processing plant for treatment and to produce their waste-based charcoal briquettes.

agglomerator

The Agglomerator used to create Sanivation’s briquettes

The Sanivation treatment process, approved by Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, uses solar-thermal energy for pathogen inactivation. This process rendering waste safe for reuse at a low cost. The treated waste is then combined with carbonized biomass residue, such as agricultural waste, to produce their eco-friendly briquettes. Through this patent-pending process, feces can be transformed into briquettes in just four days. The sale of their in-demand fuel enables Sanivation to recover their operational costs at a relatively small scale. Plus, by displacing charcoal, these briquettes save four tons of carbon dioxide equivalents and 88 trees per ton sold, which helps to combat climate change and deforestation. To date, Sanivation has carried out over 100,000 collections, treated over 14 tons of fecal sludge, and sold 60 tons of their eco-friendly briquettes.

Moving to Municipal-Scale

Because not every household will subscribe to their sanitation service, Sanivation is now launching their next phase of municipal-scale fecal sludge management by taking in fecal sludge from on-site sanitation sources, like pit latrines and septic tanks. In June, Sanivation signed an MOU with Naivasha’s local water service provider, NAIVAWASS, to design, build and operate a new fecal sludge management plant next to NAIVAWASS’s wastewater treatment plant. This new FSTP will treat 100 tons of fecal sludge from non-sewered sources, or the equivalent sludge of 1,500 people. The FSTP will then produce 100 tons of briquettes per month.

Sanivation believes that these partnerships with municipalities are the fastest way to scale their services and impact. In the future, Sanivation aims to work directly with municipalities to develop five-year county wide sanitation plans and secure simplified project financing to build new fecal sludge treatment plants, tackling SDG 6 through these innovative public-private partnerships.

4 Political Errors to Avoid in Achieving Water and Sanitation for All

Eliminating inequality is integral to the Sustainable Development Goals, from ‘universal access’ to water, to ending poverty ‘everywhere’. Yet in a world where the politics of who gets what is increasingly polarised, leaving no-one behind is fundamentally a political project.

In a recent study with WaterAid in Nepal, for example, we found that in rural areas a combination of poverty, caste, and geography have shut the poorest fifth out of politics. While access to water has increased significantly for others, they are lagging behind.

Every city, country or district has its own political rules, most of which aren’t written down. Yet despite all this complexity, experts working on essential services like water, sanitation, health or education can avoid some common political missteps, wherever they work. Here are four most typical ones:

Error 1: If something is an ‘essential service’, it’s a top priority for people and politicians

Poor people live with high levels of risk and face hard choices every day. In urban Ghana, poor residents told us that they choose to buy water from street vendors, as getting connected is too expensive. Meanwhile, politicians have crowded agendas – and delivering services doesn’t always win votes. In Ghana we found more gets spent on grand, visible water treatment and storage projects, than on small pipes connecting homes.

Error 2: Self-interest trumps grand narratives and values

Experts in essential services often assume that politicians, civil servants and citizens will respond the way they expect, if the personal incentives are right. They fail to talk about the big idea or tell a story. Softer ideas and values can be important drivers in the narrative of reform. In other research for WaterAid we found that sanitation is being sold to India and Indonesia’s political classes as a matter of collective pride and modernity. The same approach in East Asian countries like South Korea and Singapore revolutionised sanitation in the 1960s.

Error 3: I’m talking to the minister so I’ve got politics covered

If you’re focused on a particular topic, it’s tempting to think about the politics of your sector. In water and sanitation, we have a tendency to focus on water and health ministries. But how government and society interact in the wider sense can be more important. In Cambodia, politicians strike bargains to get into power; the need to pay back supporters can trump investing in health or sanitation for citizens. In Ethiopia, local officials involved in sanitation can be more reactive to orders from the ruling party than their bosses in the ministry.

Error 4: Being pro-poor means working only with poor people

Because power and resources are often stacked against poor people and communities, it is essential to keep a focus on their rights. But there are cases where pro-poor strategies need to line up with improvements to wider services, so that wealthier people feel included and support reforms. World Bank research across a number of water utilities in Africa shows that pro-poor reforms tended to start with wider performance improvements, closely followed by dedicated (and well resourced) strategies to serve poor people.

For anyone dedicated to a particular issue like water, health or education, facing the truths behind political priorities can be hard. But if the goal is structural reform to tackle deep-rooted inequalities and the power and interests behind them, we need to confront them. That will call for realism about why, and for whom, your issue matters.

Originally posted on June 15, 2017 by ODI.org

Originally written by Nathaniel Mason

Kenyan Steps to Urban Water Supply Sufficiency

Water system coverage in Kenya is concentrated in urban areas, but water supply and service delivery is not always consistent. This is because water utilities that serve these urban areas lose as much as 67 percent of their water to leaks in transmission, poor billing systems, theft and weak metering policies. Also called non-revenue water (NRW), these losses are the difference between the quantity of water produced by a utility and the water that is paid for.

Actions Taken

Working together since January 2016, five water and sanitation companies in eastern Kenya (Kiambere-Mwingi, Kitui, Wote, Mbooni, and Kibwezi-Makindu) and USAID’s Kenya Integrated Water Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project developed individualized action plans to reduce NRW losses that deny them income for expanding and improving water services.

Through a series of trainings and strategic planning workshops, the utility staff learned cost-effective techniques that they could implement leading to notable improvements within a period of 6-12 months.

The project’s engineers helped the utilities implement simple techniques including:

  • establishing a unit of staff dedicated to periodic monitoring and reporting on NRW indicators,
  • installing functional production meters,
  • replacing all meters older than eight years, and
  • updating the utilities’ metering policies.

Some of the highlighted indicators included time taken to repair leaks and bursts, number of functional district managing areas, percentage of metered connections, integrity of meters, billing cycle, and efficiency of bill payment.

Results

These efforts are resulting in more efficient distribution of water and increased access for more residents. “People have started demanding our services because they see their neighbor’s taps with water more frequently,” said Stephen Mutiso, Managing Director of Mbooni Water Company. “After repairing all leakages within the pipeline and installing new and efficient meters, customers are getting sufficient water and paying their bills. Our revenue has increased by 100 percent,” he added.

With new awareness on NRW challenges, staff training and establishment of a NRW unit, the utilities are well poised to make affordable changes and infrastructure investments to increase revenue, provide quality services to their customers, extend their water networks, and move towards greater financial sustainability.

KIWASH is working with 11 Kenyan utilities in total to improve governance, operations and financial performance. These changes will improve their ability to qualify for, and take on, debt or equity financing from commercial banks for expansion of WASH services.

drilling water well

Urban Drilling – Opportunities Rising, Cities Sinking

Around the world, cities in low and middle income countries are growing rapidly. With this rapid urbanization, often already weak water supply infrastructure cannot cope or keep up. Many cities are in low-lying areas on shallow aquifers. So why wait for a pipeline to be built, when you can just dig down to find water?

manual drilling

Manual drilling at a private home in Lagos, Nigeria | Source: Kerstin Danert

Manual drilling is tough work, but start-up costs for equipment are low. A team of drillers can work in a confined space, an alley or backyard, where a mechanized rig could never reach. There is also a market for conventional motorized drilling because in many cities hotels, factories and offices cannot operate if the water quality and quantity is not consistent or if water is rationed. For households, getting a connection is either a pipe dream or not a priority. This is particularly true in slum and peri-urban areas where alternatives are either free (springs, or shallow wells) or convenient (bottled or sachet water).

Drawbacks

At first glance, a private water supply, such as a borehole in the backyard, is a very sensible, rational response; water users are taking back control over an essential daily resource. Using low cost technologies, such as manually drilled wells and simple pumps should also be pro-poor. In many rural areas this is certainly the case; however in cities and towns, it is generally richer households, and businesses, that can afford to drill deeper wells with better well-head protection. They drill wells to adapt to the poor city water service, but also to avoid paying their water charges. This just deprives the utility of revenue that could improve service and cross-subsidize across the network to serve poorer areas.

Poorer residents only have shallow wells. Shallow wells are the first to dry up, be contaminated by nearby pit latrines and uncontrolled industrial discharges, or in coastal areas become brackish and then unusably saline. The poor must then travel further each day to collect water, or to buy over-priced and unsafe water from water vendors who bring water in by trucks. They could drill deeper, but with declining water levels from so many private abstractions in small area, it is a race to the bottom.

Though the rich are not immune. In Jakarta, Indonesia, much of the city is sinking at the rate of 3-10cm per year because of groundwater pumping from private boreholes. Buildings and infrastructure are cracking and portions of the city are dropping below sea-level, an issue during the monsoon season1.

Looking Forward

manual drilling

Manual drilling at a petrol station in Ogun State, Nigeria | Source: Kerstin Danert

A research project, called T-GroUP, is working in Arusha (Tanzania), Dodwa (Ghana) and Kampala (Uganda) to understand how groundwater is used in slum areas. Thier innovative method called ‘Transition Management’ manages the social, technical, political and economic feedback loops to achieve better groundwater management, that benefits everyone.

In the meantime, it is clear that if the common good cannot be achieved through unfettered market forces, then government needs to step in and regulate effectively and fairly. For such successful regulation, they need openness and transparency to eliminate the space for corrupt practices. City water utilities also need to be able to provide a high quality, affordable, and accessible service. In rapidly growing cities, utilities could consider a modular approach to water supply that brings in groundwater recharge and rainwater harvesting. Good customer service is essential; smart, easy payment systems are increasing revenue collection. For example, in Kampala, Uganda you can pay your water bill easily by phone app, SMS or phone call. In general, people pay for convenience, so the route to success is to make water supply as easy as turning on a tap.

Further reading:

1 Abidin, H. Z., Andreas, H., Gumilar, I., & Brinkman, J. J. (2015) Study on the risk and impacts of land subsidence in Jakarta, Proc. IAHS, 372, 115–120, 2015, proc-iahs.net/372/115/2015/, doi:10.5194/piahs-372-115-2015

Originally written by: Sean Furey, Skat Foundation