Intercountry Learning on Industrial Wastewater Management between Tanzania and Zambia

The often-inadequate disposal of industrial wastewaters into public sewers deteriorates sewer structures, increases maintenance costs, adds problems in sewage treatment and contributes to stream pollution. Direct discharge into streams harms aquatic life and deems the water unfit for its intended use by both communities and businesses. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the volumes and levels of toxicity of wastes entering waterways through a combination of measures. 

Industrial wastewater discharged into waterways causes serious health risks, especially for communities relying on the water for their household needs. Copyright: GIZ/Jesper Anhede 

Challenges resulting from poor Industrial Wastewater Management

In Zambia, like in many other countries, issues around industrial wastewater (IWW) management are given less priority than those related to water supply. This is oblivious to the fact that both water supply and IWW management are essential and interrelated. Wastewater from industries and sewage spillages from burst pipes in most urban centres, including Zambia’s capital Lusaka, are released into streams and wetlands. From there, they subsequently discharge into catchment areas or leach into aquifers upon which communities and businesses are heavily dependent on for water supply. Most of the poorly managed wastewater from industries is released into the environment in an untreated or partially treated state. Also, most industries have adopted substandard treatment methods that partially treat and, in some cases, even forego the effluent treatment process in totality. Therefore, industrial wastewater management becomes critical. As such, an effective IWW strategy is necessary to promote and improve IWW management and determine priorities pertaining to the enforcement of applicable legislation, monitoring, and engagement with industries.  

Intercountry Learning on Industrial Wastewater Management between Zambia and Tanzania. Copyright: GIZ/Dijana Delic

To effectively do this, an intercountry learning exchange was coordinated by the GIZ Reform of the Water Sector Programme Phase II (RWS II) active in Zambia and the GFA Consulting Group with support from NatuReS Tanzania and Zambia. The objective was for the Tanzanian partners of NatuReS to share best practices, challenges and effective innovations in managing industrial wastewater with their Zambian counterparts. Case presentations were made by Eng. Miriam Esanju from the Wami Ruvu Basin Water Board (WRBWB) from Tanzania and Fred Chimpukutu, Senior Chemist at the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) from Zambia, triggering insightful exchange of experiences and success factors that could help with challenges such as environmental pollution, faced across both countries.

Industrial Wastewater Management in Tanzania: Challenges and Solutions

This video visualizes both the processes and the regulators involved in industrial wastewater management, showcasing the example of an imaginary factory in the Benjamin William Mkapa Special Economic Zone in Dar-es-Salaam. Copyright/GIZ NatuReS Tanzania, Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), Dar es Salaam Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (DAWASA), National Environmental Management Council (NEMC), The Confederation of Tanzanian Industries (CTI) and Wami Ruvu Basin Water Board (WRBWB)

In Tanzania, industrialization is one of the key strategic objectives within the National Development Framework. However, with the expansion of water-intensive production, treating the increasing amounts of wastewater poses major environmental and regulatory challenges, such as the complex process of obtaining official permits for the appropriate disposal of wastewater. As multiple regulating agencies are involved in this process, industries are required to obtain various types of permits. This resulted in complex and lengthy processes to safely dispose of wastewater. The untreated wastewater discharge does not only have negative impacts on the ecosystem and the health of communities using the water, but also on foreign investment, as international investors increasingly value environmental compliance. Therefore, NatuReS under the Partnership with the Tanzania Export Processing Zones Authority has supported the development of industrial wastewater guidelines, as well as the integration of digital water management systems for a more efficient permit regulation. 

Industrial Wastewater Management in Tanzania: Stakeholder Interviews

The video includes testimonies from the regulators, explaining their roles and responsibilities in managing industrial wastewater. The confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) on behalf of the private sector highlights the persisting challenge to environmental compliance by industries and why it is important to have a coordinated approach in managing industrial wastewater. Copyright/GIZ NatuReS Tanzania, Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), Dar es Salaam Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (DAWASA), National Environmental Management Council (NEMC), The Confederation of Tanzanian Industries (CTI) and Wami Ruvu Basin Water Board (WRBWB)

Industrial Wastewater Management in Zambia: Way Forward 

A Trade Effluent Management (TEM) Task Team has been established in Lusaka with stakeholders from the mandated and responsible authorities led by LWSC as well as industries located in Lusaka. The TEM seeks to coordinate the mobilization and use of human, financial, and other relevant resources for the implementation of industrial wastewater management activities for the city of Lusaka. The task team also seeks to support the coordination of the regulation, monitoring, enforcement and management of the trade effluent discharge into the sewerage system. 

The shared lessons from Tanzania have the potential to inform current activities in Zambia and could be adapted by LWSC to ensure the effective treatment and management of industrial wastewater effluent. These lessons also aimed to improve LWSC’s monitoring of industrial wastewater and the safeguarding of the two new wastewater treatment plants to be constructed through the Lusaka Sanitation Programme with support from KFW and EIB, as well as technical assistance from RWS II. 

The Safe Back to School Campaign in Lusaka – Close-out of Phase Three

The Green Schools Partnership Programme (GSPP) focuses on improving and enhancing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (“WASH”) in schools within Lusaka. It specifically targets public and community schools in Lusaka’s most vulnerable (peri-urban) communities.

The five key behaviors for good hygiene emphasized under the Green Schools Partnership Program. Copyright: GIZ

The Safe Back to School (SB2S) Campaign is a project implemented under the GSPP as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The campaign supports the implementation of prevention and control measures to enable learners and teachers return to school in a safe environment. This is achieved through improving knowledge of key hygiene behaviours for Covid-19 prevention in schools and surrounding communities, adherence to preventive measures, improving Covid-19 multi-sectoral coordination in Lusaka District and enhancing accountability and reporting mechanisms for targeted schools.

The SB2S campaign has had three phases since 2020, with the most recent phase ending in May 2022. In this third phase alone, 80 schools within Lusaka District have been reached, and 72.000 learners, 2.400 teachers and 400.000 community members have been sensitized and trained in Covid-19 prevention and proper sanitation and hygiene practices. The project also provides handwash facilities, waste bins and hygiene items to schools. For the sustainability of these facilities, local female entrepreneurs have been capacitated to fabricate the necessary handwash stations, improving economic opportunities for their local businesses. Collaborating partners of this project include Lusaka City Council, Lusaka District Education Board, the Zambian Ministry of Health, WaterAid and the University of Zambia (UNZA); all collaborating under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative(LuWSI) partnership.

Metal fabrication training for women to produce the necessary handwashing stations. Copyright: GIZ

To commemorate the success of the third phase of the SB2S campaign, a close-out event was held on the 13th of May 2022 at Mumana Primary School in Lusaka. The event garnered representation from all collaborating partners, including the District Commissioner’s office and the German Embassy. It included lively skits and poems from pupils of the target schools. During the event, the ten best performing schools in terms of WASH practices and facilities, i.e availability and accessability of sanitation and handwash facilities, were awarded with further hand hygiene and environmental cleaning materials. Moreover, the female entrepreneurs received their metal fabrication certification, testifying their capacity to produce the necessary handwashing stations.

Deborah Banda, one of the women trained in metal fabrication, receiving her certificate of successful training completion. Copyright: GIZ

Schools were also given the opportunity to display their environmental and menstrual health management innovations. There was praise and acknowledgement for the dedication and collaboration of partners towards the success of the campaign. Partners also made appeals for the campaign to continue and be extended to all the schools in Lusaka.

Kristin Otto, Deputy Head of Development at the German Embassy in Zambia, giving her speech re-affirming the German government support to improve Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Zambia and acknowledging the continued need to invest in WASH, especially in schools. Copyright: GIZ
Handwashing demonstration by the Deputy Head of Development at the German Embassy, Kristin Otto, and the Public Health Director from Lusaka City Council, Christopher Mtonga. Copyright: GIZ

NatuReS supports multi-stakeholder partnerships to sustainably manage natural resources and provide direct and effective support to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, mitigate its impacts and build more resilient cities and communities.

Empowering women entrepreneurs to mitigate consequences of Covid-19 in Lusaka, Zambia

Metal fabrication training. Copyright: GIZ

Handwashing as one of the most effective protective measures against Covid-19 has received unprecedented attention during the past two years of the pandemic. Twenty women-led community enterprises from low-income communities of Lusaka have therefore been trained and certified in the fabrication of handwash stations. Since many people’s livelihoods, especially women, have been and still are adversely affected by the pandemic, the training empowers the women entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 45 to meet the community’s needs for handwashing stations by offering a Jumbo Hand Wash fabrication and maintenance service while improving economic opportunities for their own local businesses.

The 11-week intensive training process led by technicians from the University of Zambia was completed in May 2022. It was conducted under the Safe back to School (SB2S) Campaign, a project supported under the Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) in collaboration with Lusaka City Council, the Zambian Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, WaterAid, the University of Zambia (UNZA) and other partners under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative.

Elizabeth Banda receiving her certification for completion of the training. Copyright: GIZ

The SB2S campaign supports the implementation of prevention and control measures to enable learners and teachers return to school in a safe environment during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is done through improving knowledge of key hygiene behavior for Covid-19 prevention in schools and surrounding communities, improving Covid-19 multi-sectoral coordination in Lusaka District and enhancing accountability and reporting mechanisms. The project also provides handwash facilities, waste bins and hygiene items to schools.

The Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) supports multi-stakeholder partnerships to sustainably manage natural resources and provide direct and effective support to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, mitigate its impacts and build more resilient cities and communities for future outbreaks of communicable diseases. The NatuReS programme collaborates with partners such as Lusaka City Council, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, WaterAid, UNZA and other partners under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative

Launch of the 2021 Urban and Peri-Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Report in Lusaka, Zambia

The award ceremony led by the Guest of Honour, Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Elton Mposha.
Copyright: GIZ

Zambia’s National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) launched the 2021 Urban and Peri-Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Report at Lusaka’s Taj Pamodzi Hotel on 9th April 2022. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Elton Mposha, was the Guest of Honor. The report covers the first-year implementation of NWASCO’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. This strategic plan focuses on “leveraging on enhanced enforcement, information communication technology, research and development and innovation to efficiently and effectively regulate water supply and sanitation services” at 11 Zambian water and sanitation commercial utilities (CU) and four private schemes.  

The event included the annual presentation of awards to the utilities demonstrating the strongest performance when it comes to sustainable water management in the sector, including the Water Stewardship Awards, presented by the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) .  

The Water Stewardship Awards were launched in January 2018 to promote sound water resource management by companies. It focuses on water conservation and efficiency in business and industry as a main criteria for evaluation. This year’s winners were the Southern Water and Sanitation Company (SWASCO) in first place followed by the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) in second place. See the video below for more information on the importance of water stewardship for all – private companies, public authorities and communities.

The Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) also received six further awards; namely: (1) most improved commercial utility water service; (2) best staff efficiency; (3) best operations and management cost coverage by collection; (4) second place for Water Stewardship; (5) most improved commercial utility; and (6) 2021 CEO of the Year Award for Engineer Jonathan Kampata. 

LWSC and NWASCO are key partners of the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI); Lusaka’s lighthouse initiative for water security, which NWASCO hosts. Through collective action and with private companies and utilities becoming water stewards, the country’s vital natural resources can be protected and sustainably managed. The awards acknowledge and encourage the important work utilities and companies are doing in this regard.

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