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Entrepreneurial And Partnership Mode Of Wastewater Reuse In Uganda

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Frederick Kakembo (Kampala, Uganda), Frederick Kakembo
Ndejje University1

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 14: Valuing water: monetary and non-monetary dimensions,
Abstract Introduction: This paper discusses prospects for integrating technological and social approaches by multiple partners for up-scaling wastewater management in Uganda. The potential for partnership between academia, civil society, local authorities and business communities discussed. Rising population and urbanization have severely stressed water quality. Existing management approaches are focused on collection and disposal, aimed at providing physical infrastructure, setting quantitative targets and determining time-frames for attaining targets. However, experience shows that fixing issues of wastewater management goes beyond technology, equipment and physical infrastructure. For instance, the sewage treatment plant operated by National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) discharges 15,000 m3/day of inadequately treated sewage into Murchison Bay (Air Water Earth Limited 2013). Investment in infrastructure ought to be accompanied by creative non-tech initiatives that involve multiple stakeholders. One of such initiatives is private investment in recovery of nutrients and bio-energy from wastewater. While the relevant technology exists in the country, recycling has not rolled out to have a significant impact. Stakeholder partnerships have potential to upscale wastewater reuse in a proactive, integrated, and sustainable way. University faculty has expertise and could have access to multiple sources of funding and collaborators. Civil society, business communities and local government bring along with them a clear understanding of community needs and issues, knowledge of the practical approaches; the right social networks; a long-term stake and commitment to local communities. This paper describes attempts to create linkages between the various stakeholders for development of entrepreneurial models for wastewater management within urban communities. Methods: Baseline surveys were conducted to identify existing waste reuse actors, gaps in their operations; potential marketing structures and opportunities, needs for start-up facilitation, socio-cultural facilitators and barriers; and availability and status of outreach materials for education and awareness. Laboratory tests: With the help of MWE and the facilities of the NWSC, Bio-methane Potential (BMP) tests of different biomass types were done including: municipal wastewater, municipal sludge, water hyacinth and fish-guts. The BMP was used to evaluate the amount of methane generated per unit mass of Volatile solids (VS) within the feedstock. It is the fraction of the total solids which can be consumed by anaerobic bacteria. The VS of different feed-stocks break at different rates and when AD is performed for a fixed time, the amount of VS broken down for the given feedstock differ. These tests were used in the feasibility studies to develop four business case scenarios for Anaerobic Digester (described below). Feasibility assessment of biogas production was made alongside analysis of nutrient recovery amounts in wastewater. The assessment was based on four scenarios; 1) urban; 2) informal settlements; 3) rural areas; 4) institutional. For each of the scenarios, a payback analysis was used. Likely capital costs needed for the initial set-up of the installations was compared with potential net annual revenue from each scenario. Common values for evaluation parameters were used for all scenarios. These included biogas revenue per-tone, bio-slurry drying and briquetting costs, electricity costs and operational labor costs. Field studies, interviews and document analyses were also used to collect information. Findings: Feasibility studies revealed potential attractive returns on investment for smaller scale wastewater reuse projects. With a payback period of between one and five years, prospects make economic sense even in the absence of social benefit accounting (based on sales of bio-energy, soil amendments and pay-toilet incomes). Other benefits are related to health, environmental and socioeconomic wellbeing. Existing constraints include; low levels of public awareness and acceptance for waste reuse; inadequate technical skills, health-risk perceptions; lack of marketing structures, inadequate capital for start-up and/or up-scaling, non-supportive policy environment and lack of an institutional framework (Kakembo 2011; 2014; UNU-INWEH 2014 ). Because of such constraints, bio-energy production (anaerobic biogas/briquettes) and composting are done on a relatively small scale. The few households that are involved in production of biogas, briquettes and compost depend on cow dung as a principal feedstock (Muyiiya and Kasisira 2009). The few operators are trained and funded by the limited resources of NGOs and CBOs. There is absence of factory-scale production of biogas, briquettes and fertilizers because households produce small quantities for domestic use and for sale to immediate neighbors. They do not achieve the scale of production needed to reduce untreated wastewater discharge into the environment. Conclusion: The strength of the initiatives lies in capacity building initiatives, stakeholder partnerships; creative funding options, robust policies and sound governance. In line with the eco-hydro-social-health cycle, wastewater management has technical, socio-cultural, economic and policy dimensions. Education and training could transform attitudes, practices and knowledge and bridge opportunities, gaps and barriers. Wastewater can be demonstrated as a tradable resource that has commercial value in form of bio-energy and soil implements. Besides, management of wastewaters can be done championed by multiple actors. AirWater Earth Limited (2013) Why Lake Victoria pollution levels are Rising. News and Events. Retrived June 2013; http://awe-engineers.com/new/index.php/news-and-events/27-whylvictoria-pollution-levels-are-rising Kakembo. F (2011) Socio-economic and Policy Factors in Wastewater Disposal in Uganda: Constraints and Opportunities; presented at the congress for The International Water Association (IWA): Dublin, May 2012 Kakembo. F (2014) Education for Transformation: From Disposal to Marketing of Wastewater in Uganda. Paper presented at the Water convention in Singapore 1st -5th June 2014 Muyiiya and Kasisira (2009) Entitled; Assessment of the effect of mixing pig and cow dung on biogas yield, agricultural engineering international,. The CIGR E journal. Manuscript. PM 1329, vol xi 2009 UNU-INWEH (2014) From Waste to Wealth; Sustainable Wastewater Management in Uganda. see http://inweh.unu.edu/waste-to-wealth
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