eThekwini Municipality takes steps to improve sanitation in informal settlements with pilot project

The eThekwini Municipality said that the council has approved sub-contracts with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Project Preparatory Trust to improve sanitation in informal settlements.

eThekwini Municipality said a pilot project with innovative sanitation technologies will improve sanitation in informal settlement. Picture: File ANA Photographers

Published Apr 24, 2023

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Durban – The eThekwini Municipality said that the council has approved sub-contracts with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Project Preparatory Trust to improve sanitation in informal settlements.

The municipality said that the sub-contracts that were approved are for innovative sanitation technologies in informal settlements with the pilot project expected to be rolled out next year.

The municipality said that the new generation sanitation technologies that are part of the project include what is known as the Clear Full Recirculation Toilet, New Generator and Aquonic Wastewater Treatment.

“The technologies are off-grid and utilise minimal water. Once implemented, they will go a long way towards promoting better hygiene and reducing contamination of the environment.”

The municipality added that the City would also close the gap of poor access to the main sewer grid in informal settlements.

“The City partnered with the Water Research Commission under the South African Sanitation Technology Enterprise Programme (Sastep) for the pilot project.”

The new generation technologies will be piloted through funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) according to the municipality.

Head of eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) Ednick Msweli said the testing of innovative sanitation technologies assists the City to have a suite of technologies to evaluate service delivery and receive feedback from customers.

“Such projects assist EWS to demonstrate locally manufactured reinvented toilet technologies in informal settlements. Our intention is that these technologies will contribute to community preparedness for and resilience to the effects of climate change.”

Msweli added that the Clear Full Recirculation Toilet is a full recycle toilet system.

“A unit that collects waste stream (either urine or sewer) from a flushing toilet, treats it, recovers the water, disinfects the recovered water, stores it, and uses it for flushing.”

He said the New Generator is designed to turn sewage wastewater into clean water for reuse as toilet flushing water.

“It is also biogas-based energy and nutrient-rich fertiliser. The Aquonic Wastewater Treatment is a modular and decentralised wastewater treatment plant that turns wastewater and used water into pathogen-free reusable water that can be used for flushing and irrigation.”

Msweli said the City is currently busy with site selection. “The pilot is expected to be rolled out next year when an agreement with technology providers is finalised, including community engagements.”