HARMFUL sanitary habit in disposal of human waste, especially in residential areas in Dar es Salaam is gradually being brought under control following completion of a modern faecal sludge treatment plant at Tuangoma in Temeke District.
The pilot project funded by development partners, WaterAid and People Development Fund (PDF) comes as a relief to more than 200,000 residents who previously had no other safe waste disposal alternative facilities.
The Deputy Minister for Water, Juma Aweso expressed appreciation for the project which would improve sanitary services to combat outbreak of diseases, including cholera.
“With this Feacal Sludge Management (FSM) facility there will be no other excuse for discharge of latrines especially during the rainy season,” Aweso observed recently during official opening of the treatment plant at Tuangoma, in Temeke district in Dar es salaam.
Adding, the aim was to have more of such facilities in Dar es salaam and countrywide especially in peripheral areas to the convenience of the people. Uneasy accessibility to congested unplanned areas where more than 90 per cent of the population use pit latrines complicated efforts to allow collection, transport and treatment of human waste.
Ibrahim Kabole, MD, Country Director WaterAid said the 50 meter cube capacity of Tuangoma treatment plant would also lead to the production of bio-gas, fertilizer, purified water for gardening among other advantages.
“We really appreciate the cooperation and friendship demonstrated by wananchi, local authorities and the government at large during a three-year implementation period of the two projects,” Kabole explained.
The projects he was referring to are the Tuangoma sludge management facility and a deep well with the capacity to produce 236,000 litres a day situated at Charambe ward, Kurasini Mpya in Mbagala. Both projects worth more than 500m/- also involved the establishment of 11km supply pipes and construction of a water tank.
Residents to benefit from the project include those in Kiburugwa, Kilungule, Charambe and others. Fatma Chambela, (60), the local leader of Goloka ‘A’ in Tuangoma said the facility was constructed at the opportune time and looking forward to minimized casesof poor hygiene-related illnesses.
“This is great. Previously during rainfall this place would temporarily become inhabitable as toilets would be drained out to unsafe destination. But now we have the sludge management facility with bio-gas to our convenience,” Fatma appreciated.
During earlier presentation, Edward Ruhinda from Ardhi University said shallow wells in the neighbourhood remained seriously contaminated due to a high water table in Dar es Salaam.
“This condition exposed residents to communicable diseases. It is not proper to wait for someone from abroad to come and help remove waste. It is our responsibility to improve hygiene condition,” Ruhimda said.
Official records by the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA) indicate that only 10 per cent of residents live in areas with sewer networks. The rest use pit latrines and septic tanks as methods to manage waste water.
During a seminar that preceded official inauguration of this Tuangoma FSM, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Water, Prof. Kitila Mkumbo, pledged special attention to sewerage and waste management services and expressed readiness to champion a policy that would ensure effective implementation.
Before winding up his speech, the Deputy Minister, Aweso challenged the residents to take good care of the projects and requested DAWASA to focus on peripheral areas that are currently not connected to the formal network and speed up connection to new consumers.
Responding to the directives by the Deputy Minister, CEO of Dawasa, Eng Cyprian Luhemeja said special budget has been allocated to ensure completion of water projects that would supply water to residents not close to the main supply line.
“The water project from Kibamba (connected from Upper Ruvu Water Treatment Plant) will supply water to Kisarawe, Pugu, Gongo la Mboto, Chanika, Ukonga and other places. The Mtoni Water Treatment Plant as been renovated and now produces 9 million litres a day,” Luhemeja explained.
He cleared doubt about bureaucratic procedures insisting that for any water connection applicant, implementation would be completed within 14 days. “We (DAWASA) have introduced a system whereby water connection will be done completely and allow the customer to clear the related costs within six or twelve months,” Luhemeja explained.