Sanitation for Water Utilities

Experience of Mbeya Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority

The present sewerage network of Mbeya City covers less than 30% of the city residential area, leaving a larger part of the city including the peripheries without proper and reliable means of waste water and excreta disposal. 75% of the cities water production depends from water sources within the city area itself, posing a constant danger of pollution to these water sources. As city residents still have little or no knowledge of alternative low cost sanitation technologies, hygiene and water re-use, this project is an important milestone on the road to a common awareness about those topics within the community.

Contact: Venance E. Hawela | Cell: +255 754 374 357 | vhawela(at)yahoo.co.uk | Mbeya Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (Mbeya UWSA)

Lessons Learnt

  • Sending the message of sanitation to the community is not an easy task. However, it can successfully be done if a participatory approach and vigorous marketing skills are used to promote the benefits (e.g. in the case of water re-use for agricultural purposes).
  • Initial important stage is to gain support from utility staff and management, councils and stakeholders and finally the community.
  • Community should first see with their own eyes how these new technologies work. Hence, demonstrations are vital.

Objectives

The objective of this project is to raise the awareness and disseminate information about sanitation to the population of the city of Mbeya and the towns Chunya and Rujewa to reduce communicable diseases and to protect water sources.

Project Description

Exploring Stage (01-02 2013): Information on sanitation to fellow staffs and managing Director (MD) was conveyed by using the prepared report proposal document. Emphasis was put on alternative sanitation technologies, re-use/recycling and subsequent benefits.

Obtaining support of board members and council (03-05 2013): Training conducted during MAJI WEEK to disseminate information on sanitation. Emphasis on alternative sanitation technologies and hygiene issues.

Formation of a Sanitation Working Group with the following tasks: 
* Wider dissemination of information and implementation of activities that promote sanitation and hygiene to staffs and other stakeholders in the three towns.
* Conduct marketing activities on re-use processes and benefits that accompany sanitation and thus create demand on their use.
* Assist utilities on measures to upkeep water sources and avoid their pollution.
* Assist Mbeya UWSA on measures to allow more city residents to join the central sewer.
* Commemorate hand washing and toilet days accordingly.

Results

  • Presence of sensitized staffs in the utility UWSAs of Mbeya, Chunya and Rujewa.
  • Message on sanitation already sent to councils and other stake holders in the three towns (e.g. Basins, institutions).
  • Agreement already reached by BORDA and GIZ to start implementing the way forward starting November 2013

Sustainability

  • Extend the training to get more supporters from the community
  • House to house, street to street, village to village visits to evaluate the needs on sanitation and relevant solutions
  • Continued working with the present council administratives
  • Involve institutions, especially schools in sanitation activities and hygiene training
  • The marketing approach will base on available and appropriate products

WAVE Impact

The training conducted under WAVEplus directly impacted my personal approach to my work and my team spirit has risen immensely. It is amazing how I can now speak with ease and confidence in front of my colleagues, at gatherings or even in front of a crowd. Presentations and facilitations became much easier than before.

The idea of low-cost sanitation technologies and on re-use of waste water provided by the WAVEplus training of trainer courses changed my professional life perspective completely!