Newsdetails BORDA Africa

10.09.2013 15:30 by Kamuka Kang'ombi, BORDA Partner, WASAZA Zambia


The Water and Sanitation Association of Zambia (WASAZA) in collaboration with the Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor held its first WATSAN meeting of 2013 on 11 April at the Golf View Hotel in Lusaka Zambia. The theme this year was improving sanitation through feacal sludge management. The focus was on the Kanyama pilot project; the challenges it faced, its current status and future plans for up-scaling such a project to other peri urban areas in Zambia. WATSAN events such as this one, offer opportunities for stakeholders to share knowledge, experiences and lessons learnt in the water and sanitation sector, in order to further improve sector development.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Mines Energy and Water Development, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Ministry of Health and Lusaka City Council. Others guests represented various National and International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), private firms, African Development Bank, USAID, Care International, SNV, IDE, UNICEF, Water Aid, WASAZA, NGO Wash Forum members and World Vision Zambia. There were also individual participants.


Although around 6o people were invited,  70 people actually attended. The impressive turnout indicated the importance of the importance of this type of waste managment to key players in various sectors.


Presentation 1

The first presentation was given by Mr. Richard Wilson from the Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP). He gave a brief introduction about the organization, their involvement in sanitation and their projects in Zambia and other countries. He then went on to speak about WSUP’s partnerships with the private sector, research institutions and NGOs. He also talked about how  WSUP empowered utilities, municipalities and SME’s to serve the urban poor as viable consumers. WSUP currently operates in Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, Zambia, Ghana and Bangladesh.

Presentation 2

The second presentation was given by Ms. Mwansa Nachula, an engineer for the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company. The theme of her presentation was: Improving Sanitation through Feacal Sludge Management with a focus on the lessons learnt in the Kanyama Pilot Project.

In her presentation, Ms. Nachula highlighted Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company’s cooperation with  Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor and Water and the Sanitation Association of Zambia. Their cooperation focused on:

  • Piloting new methods of emptying (pit emptying tools)
  • Observing how pit emptying is done
  • Formally training people responsible  emptying pits
  • Identifying primary transport 
  • Designing Bio-digester and drying beds
  • Coming up with a practical business model

Conclusion of presentation

Ms. Nachula concluded by looking at a way forward for the project. Her suggestions included:

  • Fine tuning of the existing pilot designs
  • The construction of two transfer stations in Kanyama
  • The construction of a transfer station in Chazanga

 Presentation 3

Mr. Moffat Tembo, engineer for WASAZA, gave the third presentation. He focused on the functionality of the Biogas Digester. Mr. Tembo’s project focused on:

  • Ground water protection
  • Practical know how about Bio-digester construction
  • Capacity building (11 Masons & 10 Engineers were trained in biogas construction and design)
  • Up-scaling of the pilot project to other areas

The range of positive outcomes generated by this project included: 

  • Biogas as cooking energy for the Water Trust and the surrounding areas
  • Nutrient rich water for a small banana plantation
  • Treated solids as fertilizer for gardening and farming
  • Solid waste separation at the transfer station

Mr. Tembo also talked about how the process was managed from households to the transfer station.

 Conclusion of presentation

 He concluded my highlighting challenges faced in managing solid waste and continuing efforts to fine-tune the system to suit various contexts.