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African Leaders to Put Effort in Water Availability

As the sixth African Ministries Council on Water and Sanitation (AMCIOW) meeting draws close, African leaders have been urged to double their efforts to make sure the continent achieves universal safe water access by 2030.

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The historic meeting to map the way forward to achieve accessibility of clean water and basic sanitation is expected to be held in Dar es Salaam next week. Water Aid Country Director, Mr Ibrahim Kabole, speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday on the importance of the upcoming meeting, said African leaders need to add more effort to make sure the problem of availability of clean water becomes history in the continent.

“Our African leaders should undertake important measures in making water, sanitation and hygiene play an important role in economic development of the continent,” said Mr Kabole. According to available statistics, of the 1.2 billion people in Africa, 695 million people, which is more than half of the population, are without basic sanitation and 395 million are without clean water.

The statistics are expected to be worse if urgent measures will not be taken because by 2030 African’s population is expected to reach 2.2 billion. In Tanzania, 27 per cent of people do not have access to safe water, 66 per cent lack basic sanitation and hygiene and more than 33 per cent of our health centres are without safe water and sanitation facilities.

“Lack of water in health facilities puts the patients at risk of being attacked by communicable diseases, particularly women and children, therefore resulting in loss of lives of the children, the very future of any country,” noted the Water Aid Director.

He, however, applauded the government efforts to make sure the people of Tanzania have access to clean and safe water. “Water Aid is calling for a roadmap that will result in reaching everyone everywhere in Africa with safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene by 2030, in line with Sustainable Development Goals.

I believe that the government has made good progress and given the efforts of the current leadership, Tanzania can do more to achieve universal access by 2030. All African governments and stakeholders must seize the moment and make this transformation change for the poorest being achieved,” he noted.

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Source: allafrica


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Africa: Use ICT to Ensure Sustained Water Supply to Communities

I would strongly propose that as a result, we need to use artificial intelligence for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector mapping. There is a need to identify the impact of climate change variation on functionality of water points.

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More than 900 million people worldwide, are not receiving their drinking-water from improved water sources like ground water according to the UN’s Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking. The report highlights areas of stagnation and suggests the post-2015 challenges that need to be addressed. Specifically sighted is no- functionality, regarded as one of the key reasons for low access.

Most groundwater originates directly from excess rainfall infiltrating the land surface. Thus land use has a major influence on both groundwater quantity, quality and recharge rates. Different land-use practices leave distinctive signatures on the quantity, quality of groundwater recharge and, in some instances, result in low ground waters hence arid conditions, diffused groundwater pollution, irrespective of climatic conditions. Similarly, land-use practices influence groundwater recharge rates, especially under more arid conditions.

The ability to supply water directly from rainfall using rainwater harvesting, from springs and surface water (with or without piped distribution), or from groundwater using hand-dug wells and boreholes, depends fundamentally on the availability of rainfall, surface water or groundwater – in other words on water resources.

In arid and semi-arid areas of South Africa for instance (and indeed parts of Uganda), communities may only have a limited number of wells and boreholes where they can access groundwater. In dry periods, there are long queues and competition for access between different water users -including livestock.

In absence of technical bits that should be monitored such as (low yields, poor water quality, mechanical breakdown), causal factors (poor siting, poor construction, wrong materials, wrong borehole design, lack of supervision and many others) and the underlying conditions of lack of hydro geological understanding, weak procurement processes and lack of technical and financial capacity of communities, all compound threats to water supply and use. It is only through monitoring that well-informed management decisions and operating principles can be used to improve water security and ensure fair allocation of water.

There is need to strengthen sustainable monitoring approaches to better take account of ongoing threats though the use of ICT/ mobile phones, to ensure sustained access to water supply to vulnerable communities.

I would strongly propose that as a result, we need to use artificial intelligence for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector mapping. There is a need to identify the impact of climate change variation on functionality of water points.

Climate change to date stands as an obstacle to increased access to equitable water and sanitation and governments and scientists disregard a considered response only at the peril of the population, especially in Africa. To prove the concept the sector can do this through an ICT project to use mobile phones to update and repair broken down water points.

This will be the rigorous assessment of the causes of failure, and the outputs of the phone will significantly increase the capacity of availability of information to ensure investment in sustainable services that really achieves lasting water based land use success. Monitoring is essential because Water resources (rural water boreholes with hand pumps) and surface water suffer high failure rates. Understanding the causes of these failures is necessary to carry out more effective service provision. Differential water tables, Low yield and poor water quality are symptomatic of human activity and poor land use, poor siting, construction and materials selection. Underlying causes lie in poor practices of implementing agencies, and especially the lack of competent real-time information for various sustainability actions. Luckily, technology is here and must be embraced and utilised to the full.

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Source: allafrica


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Cheap, waterless toilet that turns waste into clean water and power to be trialed in Africa

A cheap, easy to maintain, “green” toilet that uses no water and turns human waste into electricity and clean water will be trialed in 2016, possibly in Ghana. Dubbed the “Nano Membrane Toilet” by its creators from Cranfield University, UK, this new approach to managing waste could help some of the world’s 2.3 billion people who have no access to safe, hygienic toilets.

The toilet’s magic happens when you close the lid. The bottom of the bowl uses a rotation mechanism to sweep the waste into a sedimentation chamber, which helps block any odors from escaping. The waste is then filtered through a special nanotech membrane, which separates vaporized water molecules from the rest of the waste, helping to prevent pathogens and solids from being carried further by the water.

The vaporized water then travels through to a chamber filled with “nano-coated hydrophilic beads”, which helps the water vapor condense and fall into a collection area below. This water is pure enough to be used for household washing and farm irrigation.

The residual solid waste and pathogens are driven by an archimedean screw into a second chamber. This part of the design is still being finalized, but the current plan is for the solid waste to be incinerated to convert it into ash and energy. The energy will power the nanomembrane filtration process, with enough left over to charge mobile phones or other small devices.

nanomembranetoilet-6

The only waste product of the whole process is ash from the burning of solids, which is nutrient-rich and pathogen free, and therefore, usable in farming. The toilet can manage the waste generated by households of up to 10 people.

Funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, and winner of the CleanEquity Monaco 2015 award, the nano membrane toilet is to be trialed and tested in 2016, possibly in Ghana.

Currently, more than 650 million people in the world do not have access to clean water, and more than 2.3 billion don’t have access to a safe, private toilet. Researchers around the world are working to help solve this problem, but high-tech solutions, such as adding solar panels, are usually too expensive to be practical.

Sociological issues also play a role. As toilet infrastructure deteriorates, people prefer to go outside rather than use a smelly room inside their house. This makes women vulnerable to rape, and creates further sanitation and hygiene issues.

The nano membrane toilet is clean, odorless and aspirational, and it should be capable of working in environments that lack sewage, external power and water. So it will be interesting to see how it works in the field.

The plan is for the toilet to be rented to households through a local organization, helping to spread the costs to stay within the Gate Foundation’s challenge of keeping the cost of the toilet below US 5 cents per person per day.

If all goes well, the toilet could also find applications elsewhere like the military, construction industry, yachts, or outdoor events.

The video below, created by the Cranfield Water Science Institute, was developed for the Reinvent the toilet fair in 2014. It showcases some earlier ideas of how the toilet could work in the field.

Source: gizmag


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