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Launch of Industrial Wastewater Management Guidelines

Tanzania has recently achieved the status of a low middle-income country. The creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Export Processing Zones (EPZs) under the surveillance of the Export Process Zone Authority (EPZA) are considered key in the National Development Plan.

The EPZA Director of Investment Promotion and Facilitation Mr. James Maziku with GIZ-NatuReS Tanzania Country Coordinator Mr. Fridtjof Behnsen during the launch of the guidelines.
Copyright: GIZ

Wastewater from any manufacturing process is discharged back into the environment. Untreated discharge harms the ecosystem and the people using it. It also has a negative effect on foreign investments, as industries often adhere to strict environmental compliance.

NatuReS has been collaborating with EPZA to improve water security and increase attraction of the zones to investors. Under the collaboration, EPZA partnered with three other main governing bodies in regulating industrial wastewater discharge. Their goal is to develop industrial wastewater management guidelines for SEZs. Other regulators include the Basin Water Boards (BWBs), Water Supply and Sanitation Authorities (WSSA), and the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) as the highest authority to safeguard overall environmental compliance.

“We have come up with these specific guidelines that will ensure, wastewater from the zones that we are managing will cause no harm to people and environment; industries will get water at the desired quality and with no negative impacts to the surrounding communities,” said Mr. Lamau Mpolo, Director of Planning and Development at EPZA, after the launch on 18 December 2020 in an interview with Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC).

While the guidelines will cover all Export Processing Zones, they will also be distributed to other stakeholders, including district councils for efficient wastewater management, according to Mr. Mpolo.

Tanzania - The frontpage of the guidelines document
Tanzania – The frontpage of the guidelines document
Copyright: GIZ

Community awareness and education campaigns in the Nelson Mandela Bay City region

The impact of COVID-19 in South Africa has been particularly dire. One region that has been significantly affected by the pandemic is the Nelson Mandela Bay City region in the Eastern Cape.

The impact on economic development, health, and community life across the city has been unprecedented, and has worsened hardships faced by already vulnerable communities. This led to an urgent call for collaborative responses by private, public and community stakeholders.

A community education workshop educating participants about the virus and its dangers. Due to lockdown regulations, restrictions on gatherings are in place; participant numbers have to be kept to a minimum with social distancing observed at all times.
Copyright: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber

To support the efforts, NatuReS South Africa partnered with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) under the umbrella of the “Nelson Mandela Bay Stewardship Partnership Initiative”. They launched various awareness campaigns that promote behavioural change at a community level. This includes implementing education programmes for schools and communities, and community-based healthcare facilities on good Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) principles, especially hand washing and social distancing behaviour.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and water was distributed to vulnerable communities.

For vulnerable communities and schools:

– 1158 Surgical Masks
– 814 5-litre bottles of sanitiser
– 4883 5-litre bottles of water

For healthcare facilities:

– 42 boxes of gloves
– 1483 gowns

Additionally, community engagement workshops as well as media-, radio- and poster campaigns in local languages took place. An extensive school PPE and COVID-19 awareness campaign is currently being developed to ensure safe reopening of schools. Further measures include educating community healthcare workers on safe waste disposal of used COVID-19 testing kits at local clinics. Through the Chamber’s leading role, these actions directly feed into the Nelson Mandela Bay City Command Council’s emergency response to COVID-19.

Bottled water and sanitisers ready to be handed out in communities, healthcare facilities and schools
Copyright: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber
One of the media advertising campaign posters
Copyright: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber

Safe waste collection

Waste collectors are among those that do not have the luxury of working from home. Every day, they go from door to door doing the essential work of waste collection. In Ethiopia, these waste workers do not have, if at all, sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE). This makes them and their families vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PPE distribution ceremony for waste collectors in Addis Ababa
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

NatuReS Ethiopia provided personal protective equipment (PPE) to waste collectors in Addis Ababa and Hawassa to support safe waste collection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three trainings on safe waste collection and proper use of PPE were also provided to waste collectors. Because women have less access to information than men, one of the trainings was targeted exclusively at women. 250 women collectors participated.

Targeting women in trainings for gender inclusion
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia
Demonstrating proper use of PPE to reduce exposure to Covid-19
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

NatuReS effort to support safe waste collection during this pandemic didn’t go unnoticed. NatuReS was acknowledged during the world clean-up day event, receiving a certificate of appreciation from the Mayor of Addis Ababa.

NatuReS receiving a certificate of appreciation for supporting safe waste collection
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

The Launch of the “Safe Back to School Campaign”

A pupil utilizing one of the foot operated hand washing station given to schools
Copyright: GIZ

Zambia, like many other countries, has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and has taken measures to mitigate the risks of the virus. In education, schools were closed to curb the spread of the virus but were reopened after two months.

In Zambia and its capital Lusaka in particular, the number of COVID-19 cases has been steadily increasing. This poses a threat to the lives of both pupils and teachers. In response, the local municipality, Lusaka City Council (LCC), launched the “Safe Back to School Campaign” on 21 September 2020.

The campaign aims to support a safe reopening of all schools in Lusaka by taking action to contain the spread of COVID-19 in schools. By ensuring that students wear face masks and practice good personal hygiene, especially washing their hands with soap and water and regular use of hand sanitisers, both teachers and learners are protected. This will also help to protect surrounding communities.

Forty-two schools in Lusaka were selected. During the launch, schools were given facemasks, hand sanitisers and handwashing stations. The availability, provision and access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in schools are an essential defence against COVID-19.

Handwashing demonstration at the launch of the ” Safe Back to School Campaign”
Copyright: GIZ

The Safe Back to School Campaign is part of the Green Schools Partnership Program (GSPP) led by LCC and implemented under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) of that NatuReS Zambia is a partner.

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor, Zambia