byEric Nartey via web
IWMI co-convened a workshop on “Innovations in Urban Sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa” together with the African Water Facility (AWF) of the African Development Bank and the Office National de l'Assainissement du Sénégal (Senegal’s National Office for Sanitation, ONAS) in Dakar, Senegal, October 3-5.
Efforts made in the sanitation sector in Africa during the last three decades have not had significant impacts in increasing sanitation access rate figures as these have remained around 40% from 1990 to 2015. The workshop sought to elevate the profile of urban sanitation in Africa, evaluate the impact of ongoing projects, identify levers as well as stumbling blocks in promoting innovative ideas, enhance practitioners' knowledge, inform decision makers and the private sector of their critical roles as well as explore business opportunities in urban sanitation. More than 100 practitioners from various countries and representing all sectors discussed selected cases from across Sub-Saharan Africa. Josiane Nikiema (IWMI – West Africa) presented IWMI’s research on resource recovery and reuse with a particular focus on technologies and business models. The opportunity of upgrading faecal sludge to fuel briquettes or fertilizer is still largely underexplored, as confirmed by the audience. Further discussions evolved around technological innovations, sector structuring, financing mechanisms and the involvement of the private sector, e.g. through public-private partnerships. Katharina Felgenhauer (IWMI – West Africa) presented the key outcomes of the workshop during the closing ceremony. A field visit, on October 4, took participants to two treatment sites near Dakar. First, the sanitation project in Mbour which is one of five interventions in secondary cities in Senegal funded by the European Union. The project comprises new facilities for wastewater purification and sludge treatment, connection of households to sewage systems, on-site and community sanitation facilities. Second visit was to a testing site for the “Omniprocessor”, a technology imported from the USA. The facility generates value from wastewater and faecal sludge by purifying water, producing ash fertilizer and generating energy through incineration.