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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. 

A milestone moment for sustainable water management in South African Industrial Parks – Launch of the Water Stewardship SOPs

On 31st May 2022 the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition in partnership with NatuReS launched the Water Stewardship for Sustainable Water Management: Standard Operating Procedures for Industrial Parks (Water Stewardship SOPs). Launched virtually alongside key contributors and partners who were instrumental in the development, namely the Alliance for Water Stewardship, Water Witness International, the advisory firm Pegasys, the South African National Cleaner Production Centre, Free State Development Cooperation and the Atlantis Special Economic Zone, the Water Stewardship SOPs represent a turning point for sustainable water management in industrial parks in South Africa.  

water stewardship
The launch event of the Water Stewardship Standard Operating Procedures in Industrial Parks took place on 31th May 2022.

Managing water sustainably in South Africa’s industrial parks

Through a four-phased approach, the Water Stewardship SOPs support industrial parks, including park tenants, to holistically view their interaction with water, establish actions for efficient and sustainable water use within the facility, as well as at a park level and beyond park boundaries into the catchment. The value of this integrated approach is that it provides a basis for engagement in collective action for the shared management of a common resource. It also offers first level guidance for responses embedded in stewardship to support the journey of industrial parks towards water security.

The water security of industrial parks is fundamentally linked to the catchment conditions in their area of operation. Therefore, it is critical for industrial parks and their associated park tenants to engage beyond their sites through actions which mitigate against shared catchment-related water security risks. By doing so, they elevate their competitiveness, while enhancing the water security of their sites and that of the catchment where their supply chain network and employees are located.

water stewardship in industrial parks
Participants during the launch of the Water Stewardship SOPs. Copyright: GIZ

An internationally informed process

The Water Stewardship SOPs draw from the criteria and indicators within the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s ‘International Water Stewardship Standard’ and from the global Eco-Industrial Park Framework. Integrating these two instruments into the SOPs provides park managers and tenants with the confidence to internalise the SOPs with the knowledge they have already gained from these internationally recognised frameworks.

The launch of the Water Stewardship SOPs is timely, as industrial parks and other economic sites are facing increased nature-related risks and hazards. The launch event was attended by over 80 participants, representing various public, private, and non-governmental organisations active in the South African industrial park landscape, as well as an international audience. The presence of these diverse stakeholder groups underscores the cross-cutting nature of industrial parks and the importance of developing clearly articulated guidelines which aim to foster cross-sectoral collaborations and backstop the participation of stakeholders as they journey towards improved water use and shared water security. 

Did you miss the launch event? Watch the recording here!

The Water Stewardship SOPs can be accessed through this link: FINAL-COMPLETE-REPORT.pdf (industrialefficiency.co.za)

QINA – Be Strong! WASH Campaign linked to COVID-19 Behavioral Change and Vaccine Awareness in the Nelson Mandela Bay City Region

The impact of COVID-19 on health, economic development and community life remains unprecedented in South Africa as well as the Nelson Mandela Bay City region (NMB) in the Eastern Cape province.
To adequately address the impacts on economic and social life from the ongoing pandemic and its consequences in the City region, a collaborative response by private, public and community stakeholders was needed. Therefore, NatuReS South Africa partnered with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) under the umbrella of the Nelson Mandela Bay Water & Economic Resilience Partnership to mitigate the tremendous setback stemming from the pandemic.

The QINA campaign logo. Copyright: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber/Simon Says Visual Communication

In November 2020, in a first phase of immediate actions funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (BMZ) COVID-19-relief-funds, the Business Chamber launched various awareness campaigns promoting behavioural change at community level. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and water were distributed to vulnerable communities. Additionally, community engagement workshops, as well as media-, radio- and poster campaigns in local languages were conducted. Moreover, an extensive school PPE and COVID-19 awareness campaign was developed to ensure a safe re-opening of schools, one of the priorities given the major impact closed schools have on children’s lives and their future opportunities.

QINA campaign rollout in Sydenham Primary School in Nelson Mandela Bay. Copyright: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber/Simon Says Visual Communication

As the pandemic continued, a second phase of actions was needed. Through another allocation of funds, the NMBBC launched an awareness campaign on COVID-19 behavioural change and vaccine awareness, linked to the safeguarding of jobs in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Region. From February until April 2022, the QINA Campaign (Qina meaning ‘be strong’ in isiXhosa – the most spoken language in NMB) informed the residents of NMB about good water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) principles, linked to COVID-19 behavioural change and vaccine awareness. The campaign included radio adverts on Umhlobo Wenene FM, the most popular radio station in the Eastern Cape with a listenership of about 2.7 million people, to encourage people to protect their communities by washing their hands, wearing masks and getting vaccinated.

Bus back of one of the buses that drove around the NMB area saying “hlamba izandla, usindise impilo zabanye!” meaning “wash your hands, and save the lives of others” in isiXhosa. Copyright: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber/Simon Says Visual Communication

Moreover, six buses, which drove around the NMB area for three months, spread these important messages through bus back advertising in English, Afrikaans, and isiXhosa. A social media campaign on Facebook reached more than 54,000 people through posts that were boosted to target areas in NMB. Finally, roadshows in 15 schools with more than 11,300 students in Algoa Park, Greenbushes, KwaZakhele, Motherwell, New Brighton, Theescombe, and Zwidewere were organised, informing students and teachers on the importance of WASH principles, highlighting hand washing, wearing of masks and social distancing behaviour. For this purpose, 12,000 booklets containing both a children and an adult section were handed out to the pupils to inform them and their parents on good WASH behaviour and vaccine awareness. In addition, 16,500 facemasks, 650 five-litre bottles of sanitizer, and 90 infrared thermometers were distributed to the schools to assist them in fighting COVID-19.

An example page from the children section of the booklet. Copyright: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber/Simon Says Visual Communication
An example page from the adult section of the booklet. Copyright: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber/Simon Says Visual Communication

All these measures aim at improving communities’ and businesses’ resilience against the current pandemic, as well as against future outbreaks and other disasters. Particularly the awareness for the importance of adequate WASH principles and services is crucial to keep communities safe in the long-term.

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.


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NatuReS is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by the European Union and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). This website’s contents are the sole responsibility of GIZ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the BMZ, European Union or FCDO.

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