Tag Archives: Rwanda

Sustainable Solutions for Sanitation Challenges in Informal Settlements of Kigali, Rwanda

Sustainable Solutions for Sanitation Challenges in Informal Settlements of Kigali, Rwanda, 2015. Institute of Policy Analysis and Research – Rwanda.

Dwellers of informal settlements are inclined over time to reject traditional pit latrines for alternative low-cost options that are more sustainable, such as innovative decentralized sanitation and reuse (DeSaR) and water serving sanitation technologies. This is important because these options can play a part in reduction of over exploitation of natural water sources, which continue to be scarce, as a result of population pressure in the country.

DeSaR technologies are also appropriate in informal settlements of Kigali because they occupy less space, do not require emptying by vacuum tankers, pre treatment/composting, provides opportunity for nutrients re-cycling which is environmentally sustainable and, if well maintained, can have minimal harmful effects.

Waste not: How businesses can turn a profit from poo

Waste not: How businesses can turn a profit from poo | Source: CGIAR, Mar 10, 2016 |
By Miriam Otoo, Krishna Chaitanya Rao, Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy, and Marianne Gadeberg

A clean and private toilet is something a lot of us take for granted, but for thousands of people living in the slums of Rwandan capital Kigali, safe sanitation was long a luxury out of reach.

REC Kigali

Rwanda Environment Care (REC) constructs eco-san toilets in public places in Kigali. Photo Credit: Eugene Dusingizumuremyi.

In the past, these communities had no other option than to use either pit latrines, often full and overflowing, or flying toilets, essentially plastic bags serving as single-use toilets and then tossed to the wayside. Naturally, the absence of proper sanitation was a daily nuisance, causing both pollution and disease.

From sanitation challenge to business opportunity

Many megacities across Africa and Asia are bogged down by similar issues, and while proper sewage systems would be the ideal solution, there is virtually no chance of realizing such systems in the next few decades. But what if sanitation and waste challenges in urban centers could be turned into profitable business ventures?

In Kigali, Rwanda Environment Care (REC), now a privately owned company, recognized that the high demand for sanitation in cities coincided with an equally high demand for fertilizer among farmers throughout the country – and that the two could be combined to make up a viable business.

Now, REC builds and operates public ecological sanitation (eco-san) toilets and uses the collected fecal sludge to produce organic fertilizer and compost for sale to farmers. The revenue from sale of compost is complemented by fees paid for use of the public toilets, rental income from kiosks and shops nearby, and consultation services on how to construct eco-san latrines offered to other entrepreneurs. In total, the revenues are great enough to cover routine repairs and staff salaries.

REC’s new eco-san latrines in Kigali have not only improved quality of life for local people, they also contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment. As an added benefit, the increased supply of organic, environmentally friendly compost is expected to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers, furthering sustainable farming.

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Microfinance as a potential cataylst for improved sanitation

. Summary of sanitation lending and product delivery models. Water for People

. Summary of sanitation lending and product delivery models. Water for People

Microfinance allows middle- and lower-income households to invest in desirable sanitation products, so that public funding can be freed up to reach the poorest, according to Water for People (WfP). In a new report [1], WfP reviews their experiences in piloting various lending models in seven countries: Bolivia, Guatemala, India, Malawi, Peru, Rwanda and Uganda.

The report provides lessons and recommendations for donors wishing to engage in sanitation microfinancing. The four key recommendations are:

  1. Think like a business
  2. Support lending institutions based on the microfinance climate and capacity needs
  3. Build an autonomous sanitation microfinance market
  4. Track progress and lessons

The report is part of WfP’s Sanitation as a Business (SaaB) program, funded by a Gates Foundation grant.

Read the full report

[1]  Chatterley, C. et al, 2013. Microfinance as a potential catalyst for improved sanitation : a synthesis of Water For People’s sanitation lending experiences in seven countries. Denver, CO,USA: Water For People. Available at: <http://www.waterforpeople.org/assets/files/sanitation-microfinance.pdf>

Source: Christie Chatterley et al., Microfinance as a potential cataylst for improved sanitation, Water for People, 27 Dec 2013

WaterAid – Keeping promises: why African leaders need now to deliver on their past water and sanitation commitments

210 million more Africans lack access to sanitation than in 1990 | Source: WaterAid-Feb 18, 2013

African Governments are failing to keep their funding promises on sanitation, a new WaterAid report has revealed. The report warns that unless investment is increased, the challenges of urbanisation, climate change and most critically population growth risk turning the clock back on sanitation access even further(1).

Kroo Bay slum in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2012, during the worst cholera outbreak in nearly 15 years. Credit: Tommy Trenchard

Kroo Bay slum in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2012, during the worst cholera outbreak in nearly 15 years. Credit: Tommy Trenchard

From 1990 to 2010, the population of Sub-Saharan Africa grew by 340 million, however only 130 million people secured access to sanitation over the same period(2). In total nearly 600 million Sub-Saharan Africans – 70% of the population – are without access to a safe toilet(3).

The Keeping promises: why African leaders need now to deliver on their past water and sanitation commitments report uses official Government figures from five African Governments – Ghana, Niger, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Uganda – to show that funding on sanitation is falling short of government commitments across the continent.

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Sanitation and Hygiene Policy – Stated Beliefs and Actual Practice: Burera District, Rwanda

Sanitation and Hygiene Policy – Stated Beliefs and Actual Practice: A Case Study in the Burera District, Rwanda, 2012.

Nelson Ekane, Madeleine Fogde, Marianne Kjellén and Stacey Noel. Stockholm Environment Institute.

In Rwanda, sanitation and hygiene are high on the government’s development agenda, and it prescribes a range of guidelines and standards for toilet technologies appropriate for different regions. This working paper presents these prescribed guidelines and standards, specifically those pertaining specifically to urine diversion dry toilets (UDDTs), as well as those on the use of treated human excreta as fertilizer, and on pit latrines (“drop and store”). It then describes how these guidelines and standards are enforced at the community level – specifically in the Rugarama sector, Burera District – and presents the prevailing sanitation and hygiene norms and practices, moving on to discuss how and why the prescribed guidelines and standards match or do not match prevailing practices. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Rwanda is carrying out a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the dostrict of Burera and three other districts in the country.

This study shows that health, hygiene, convenience, and safety aspects of sanitation in the study area remain unsatisfactory, and are not aligned with national guidelines and standards. Most of the toilets in these communities are neither properly constructed nor properly used. Reasons for the contradictions between prevailing practice and national guidelines and standards include the following: people do not place a high priority on toilets; financial constraints limit household investment in toilets; there is a lack of proper understanding of prescribed sanitation and hygiene guidelines and standards; and there are challenges in carrying out sanitary inspections. For the productive sanitation system in particular, poor understanding of how the system works was identified as the main cause of the mismatch between standards and practice. This study posits that a common understanding of prescribed guidelines and standards at all levels of society is vital to ensure health and safety, improved livelihoods, and to maintain minimum hygiene and sanitation standards.

Rwanda, Kigali: more connections to sewerage system planned

Kigali Eco-Toilet. Photo: Eugene Dusingizumuremyi / SuSanA

The capital city of Rwanda has turned a delay in funding into an opportunity to revise its plans so that more areas get connected to a new centralised sewerage system. Construction of a US$ 70 million wastewater treatment plant in Giti Cyinyoni, Nyarugenge District, was due to start in 2012 but has been delayed by one year.

The lack of a centralised sewage system in Kigali (pop. 1 million) has been forcing real estate developers to provide onsite sewerage systems for new housing units. Schools, hospitals and other public buildings are already required by law to have their own sewerage systems. In future all these onsite systems will be connected to the new centralised system.

In 2008, according to a survey, 80% of the people in Kigali still used pit latrines [1]. These have proved to be not only hard to maintain, but also expensive to manage in the long run. That’s why the city council recently passed a bylaw that instructs developers to install flush toilets connected to septic tanks.

[1] Hohne, A., 2011. State and drivers of change of Kigali’s sanitation : a demand perspective : paper presented at the East Africa practioners workshop on pro-poor urban sanitation and hygiene, Laico Umbano Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda, March 29th – 31st 2011 . [online] The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. Available at: <http://www.irc.nl/page/64586>

Related website: Kigali City – Water and Sanitation Programmes

Source:

  • Susan Babijja, City Council reviews sewage management plan, New Times, 26 Oct 2012
  • Rwanda: Kigali sewage system delayed by funds, Rwanda Express /  allAfrica.com, 14 Jun 2012
  • Eric Didier Karinganire, Sewage in Kigali still an issue of concern, Rwanda Focus, 09 Apr 2012

Leveraging Partnerships to Achieve Total Sanitation in East Africa

A 2010 analysis showed that most East African countries have national sanitation policies and plans in place, but that the actual programs often lack coordination. To meet the Millennium Development Goals for sanitation, such programs must combine their efforts to achieve behavior-change outcomes and focus on commonalities, which include an emphasis on learning, demand creation, and capacity building.

These key understandings are among several discussed in a new Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) Learning Note, Partnering on the Road Towards Achieving Total Sanitation in East Africa. The report highlights the objectives and initial outcomes of a learning exchange held in Tanzania, which focused on how governments and agencies can work effectively as partners to achieve sustained sanitation scale up.

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