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Enterprise of wastewater treatment in Africa, April 20, 2015 Adjust font size:

A research report of Sino-Africa wastewater treatment cooperation was released by Beijing Municipal Research Institute of Environmental Protection and Tongji University, to explore the possible wasterwater treatment technology transfer mechanism between China and African countries.

Water sector in African countries usually begins from national legislation, establishing corresponding regulation agency; and then commercialized suppliers appear, as well as modern enterprise and water industry. For example, Kenya, legislated on water in 1952 and made a revision in 2002.

In 1988, Parastatal National Water Conservation and Pipeline Cooperation was established and supported by Ministry of Water Resource. This company has designed, operated and managed numerous water treatment plants.

The Ministry of Water Resource undertakes administrative management of drinking water and sewage. Projects of water resource preservation and treatment require the cooperation of various responsible sections of government. Departments which are involved are the following: Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Regional Development, Ministry of Chemical Industry, Ministry of Environment and as well as local government which is responsible largely for the management of treatment equipment. As many African countries share common water resources, multi-national administration committees on regional water resource use formed gradually. For instance, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, signed an agreement to establish an administration committee on water resource for the management of the overall water quality of the Victoria Lake region including sewage discharge.

Most sewage treatment business is owned and/or supported and controlled by government in Africa but the running of such treatment plants fall far short of satisfying the huge demand for the whole country. Consequently a large part of sewage treatment depends on private sector which utilizes unconventional treatment equipment and is hardly supervised by government. Most of the effluent cannot meet national quality standard.

Administrative and inadequate resources are huge hurdles for these countries. For instance in the neighbor of Victoria Lake, a private sewage treatment company could not deal with sewage from pit latrine and septic tank as it had no licence from the administration committee on water resource of Victoria. Now only two companies which had licences did not own sufficient vehicles that could be used for collection. The situation for sewage treatment is hugely inadequate.

Foreign agencies also play an important role in providing treatment facilities. Projects that Chinese enterprise has participated in are Water Supply and Sewage Treatment Engineering in Mbini, Equatorial Guinea, constructed by CGC Overseas Construction Group, and sewage treatment plant in Luanda, Angola by CTCE Municipal Branch, etc.

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