By Triphomus Muyagu
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has warned that water and sanitation will remain one of the key development challenges facing African communities and nations, with direct impacts on economic growth.
The statement from AfDB has been made at the 6th Africa Water Week (AWW6), held in Dar es Salam, Tanzania, from July, 18 which has ended today.
“Africa is one of the developing regions that have not met the drinking water and sanitation targets. More than 50% of Africa’s population currently does not have access to safe and reliable water and sanitation services. Also an estimated of 1 million Africans die every year from lack of adequate sanitation, hygiene and from water borne diseases,” Mohamed El Azizi, AfDB’s Water and Sanitation Director, said.
The AfDB is in a unique position to help African countries better cope with water and sanitation challenges. “We have track records in implementing water, sanitation and climate change resilience projects as well as a robust experience in managing dedicated trust funds and tools: the award-winning African Water Facility, the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative, African countries can really benefit from our experiences and lessons learnt,” said El Azizi.
“Expanding access to clean water and better sanitation is a strategic priority for the AfDB. Overall, our projects created 116,000 m3 of drinking water capacity between 2013-2015, with more than 6.1 million people benefiting from improved access to water and sanitation as a result of our projects,” he added.
The AfDB and the African Water Facility an instrument established by the African Ministers’ Council on Water and hosted by the AfDB took part in a series of events aimed at translating the high-level commitments on water security and sanitation into implementation.
Discussions have allowed to identify the main “game changers” and the policy shifts that are needed to reach the 6th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG6) endline to “Ensure access to water and sanitation for all” Participants also tried to develop a common understanding of policy design options and financing requirements for practical implementation of climate change resilience projects.
“Getting the right design is critical for financing of any infrastructure. Key design parameters for water infrastructure are hydrological information. In many countries this information is weak and the uncertainties introduced by climate change make projections even more difficult. A new program Hydromet can support better information for design in climate resilient infrastructure,” said Jean-Michel Ossete, acting coordinator, African water facility.
“To meet SDG6 targets in Africa, realistic and comprehensive financing plans are needed based on the costs of providing both hardware and software components, as well as operations and maintenance to ensure services operate efficiently and sustainably,” added Jochen Rudolph, water and sanitation expert, AfDB
AWW6 was an opportunity to explore and identify opportunities for linkages and collaboration across global, regional, and sub-regional monitoring initiatives in order to better track progress on SDG6.
The Bank’s delegation to AWW6 also seized the opportunity to explain how AfDB’s top five priorities or “High 5s” as well as its climate finance strategies can help accelerate the attainment of SDGs.
Although used tires are a complex and challenging form of solid waste, the demand for scrap tires has been soaring over the years due to the booming scrap tire recycling industry. The tires that motorists are driving on the road can be shredded and burned to generate fuel oil, used to make fuel, or pulverised to bits to be used to fill in a playground or football field.
Tire recycling or rubber recycling involves the use of tires that can no longer be used by vehicles owing to significant wear and tear. The high availability, bulk, resilience and non-biodegradability of the tires make the scrap tire recycling business lucrative. Besides, with more than half a million tires being disposed annually, recycling is a great way of reducing landfills in addition to being a profitable venture. So then, what does the process of tire recycling entail?
Process of Tire Recycling
1. Collection of Used or Worn Out Tires
Just like any other recycling process, collection is the first step. This function may be assigned to individuals or business individuals that are paid to collect the scrap tires and send them to the collection points. Once the required volume is reached, they are packed on trucks and sent to the processing plants.
2. Whole Tire Processing
Once the tires reach the processing plant, they are cut into tiny pieces. This step is important as it is aimed at reducing the volume of tires while also creating materials that are easy to handle. Tire shredders that are specially designed with two counter-rotating shafts that are used to cut the tires into 2-inch pieces. Generally, the end product from this stage may be used as raw material for fuel that is tire-derived. Tire processing involves two systems:
• Mechanical Systems
These are used to grind the scrap tires into small chips through an ambient process. The size of the product is determined in a typical ambient system where the rubber shreds are put in the granulator that is fitted with screens.
• Cryogenic Systems
Here, the tires are frozen at low temperatures, shattering the rubber and effectively creating different sizes. Liquid nitrogen is then used to super cool the tire shreds. The rubber that is extremely cold and brittle is then passed through a hammer mill that shatters it into tiny particles. Magnets are then used to remove steel while fibers are separated with the aid of air classifiers. The clean recycled rubber is then used in other applications.
3. Steel Liberation Stages
This entails processing and preparing the tire shreds that are obtained in stage 1 for elimination and separation of the tire wire from rubber that are usually used for strength, versatility and resilience. It also includes course screening and fiber separation. The wires are sent to the rolling mills to manufacture new steel while the rubber mulch may be used as filed or playground turf.
4. Screening and Milling Stage
Here, the rubber is carefully observed to ensure that there are no wires or other forms of contamination. Screening involves a huge number of varied sizes of rubber that contain no wires to sort them according to sizes while eliminating substances that are unwanted. Unwanted and extra-large rubber pieces are also reduced here.
5. Cleaning Stage
When the screening is completed, the rubber that is obtained is thoroughly cleaned using water and other cleaning agents. The clean rubber is then packed and transported to other factories that need rubber as a raw material such as manufacturers of rubber shoes and playgrounds among others.
Impact on Environment and Health
Tires pose a health risk to people and the environment. When put in waterlogged ground, tires are able to leach toxins into underground water, posing a huge problem.
Tires that are used and dumped pose a health problem to people. Small animals and insects that use tires as their homes may also cause the human population some serious health issues. For instance, mosquitoes may breed in water that is lodged in tires and later cause health problems to people.
In conclusion, the importance of recycling tires cannot be overemphasized as this is not only keeping the environment clean but also promoting good health by preventing the possible spread of diseases.
The South African Government has allocated ZAR18 billion ($1.4bn) in an effort to improve the socio-economic conditions of distressed mining communities across the country.
The money will be spent on housing and wellness projects and will be headed by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) in charge of revitalising mining communities.
“Overall ZAR18 billion has been dedicated to ongoing work in distressed mining communities, benefitting the following provinces: Eastern Cape; Free State; Gauteng; KwaZulu-Natal; Limpopo; Mpumalanga and North West,” says Jacob Zuma, South African President.
“The bulk of this funding is from government, with mining companies contributing approximately a third of the funding.”
The Marikana tragedy, which claimed the lives of 44 people during labour unrest at the Lonmin mine in the North West town during 2012, prompted Zuma to appoint the committee.
IMC will work with business, labour and other sectors and oversee the implementation of integrated and sustainable human settlements.
It will also work to improve living and working conditions of mine workers and determine the development path of mining towns.
In order to better understand the challenges and determine the appropriate actions to address them in each town, the government has undertaken a socio-economic diagnostic study of the 15 prioritised mining towns and 12 prioritised labour sending areas.
As part of the projects, the Department of Human Settlements is implementing about 66 public sector housing projects in the mining towns.
More than ZAR419m ($34m) was spent on informal settlement upgrading in prioritised mining towns in Limpopo, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West provinces during the 2014/15 financial year.
About ZAR1bn ($81m) has been earmarked for the current financial year.
With regard to the wellbeing of the miners, the Department of Health, together with the Departments of Labour and Mineral Resources, is working towards the alignment of the industry’s occupational health and safety policy.
“The Department of Mineral Resources is employing mine accident and occupational diseases prevention mechanisms through improved mine inspections, audits, investigations and monitoring of occupational exposure levels,” says Zuma.
Also, the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Health are employing strategic interventions to promote healthy as well as safe working conditions.