In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – one of the fastest growing cities in Africa – more than 90 per cent of the capital’s population use on-site sanitation facilities such as septic tanks and pit-latrines as conventional sewerage networks coverage cannot keep up with the rapid urban sprawl. In unplanned areas, road infrastructure is often inadequate and streets are too narrow for conventional wastewater collection trucks to access the pits and dredge them using a vacuum pump.
Instead, residents often opt for illegal, expensive and unhygienic methods such as cracking a hole in the side of the pit during heavy rain to allow rainwater to ‘flush’ out the contents; or engaging an informal pitemptier, or ‘frogman’, to jump into the latrine and manually empty the pit with a bucket. It is therefore no surprise that cholera is still a threatening epidemic in Tanzania. In response to the high demand for alternative and affordable faecal sludge solutions, business models surrounding faecal sludge management (FSM) are currently being developed and tested in Dar es Salaam, as part of a project implemented by BORDA Tanzania and IHI and supported by HDIF.