March 1, 2024

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€8.1m solar-powered Kigali Faecal sludge treatment plant set by 2025

By TAN REPORTER

Kigali Faecal sludge treatment plant that will be powered by solar energy could be complete by 2025.

The construction of €8.1 million plant is under design in Masaka sector of Kicukiro district, according to Coletha Ruhamya, the Deputy Executive Secretary of Lake Victoria Basin Commission which is supporting the implementation of the project

“Reducing pollution from pit latrines and septic tanks into Rwanda’s rivers could also reduce pollution into Lake Victoria into which they flow,” she said.

Kigali city is surrounded by Rivers such as Nyabugogo, Nyabarongo and Akagera Rivers which flow into Lake Victoria.

River Nyabugogo flows into Nyabarongo which is the longest river in Rwanda, part of the upper headwaters of the Nile.

River Nyabarongo turns into Akagera River, which eventually flows into Lake Victoria and forms the Nile River.

“Rwandans buy fish from Lake Victoria. If it is highly polluted, it will affect the whole regional population as the production can also decrease.” she said.

New research has established that at 47.8 per cent of household waste including waste from pit latrines or septic tanks, followed by industrial waste, is being discharged into Nyabarongo River.

Ruhamya said the sewage treatment is expected to reduce such pollution that is affecting Lake Victoria’s biodiversity species.

It is estimated that 92 percent of Kigali’s population rely either on pit latrines or septic tanks as sanitation facilities while seven per cent use semi-centralised systems.

“The plant will also reduce diseases born from such waste. It will reduce the cost of treating such diseases and polluted water.” Said Ruhamya.

The project to be implemented from 2022 to 2025 is based on a two-step approach with liquid-solid separation as a first step and the treatment of liquids and solids as a second step.

The plant will have capacity to treat 500 cubic meters per day of sewage.

After treatment on sludge drying beds and extended storage of two months, the bio-solids should reach a quality that will allow for restricted use in agriculture according to project developers.

The quality after treatment also allows for the disposal of the sludge at a controlled landfill if reuse options cannot be implemented.

The project further envisages assessing the technical and financial feasibility of fuel production and composting.

1.8 million people to have access to sanitation

According to projections, access to sanitation will be improved for approximately 1.8 million additional people in Kigali after 10 years of operation.

The waste into Lake Victoria basin could be reduced by 0.67 tonnes per day through the plant.

Ruhamya said that the plant will contribute to the goal of providing 100 percent coverage of sanitation services to the population of Kigali by 2024.

The plant will reduce the negative environmental impact of raw sludge being dumped at Nduba solid waste landfill in Kigali.

“Some households dump waste from pit latrines into wetlands and water bodies. Because it requires money to empty septic tanks and pit latrines,” Emilienne Uwiringiyimana, a resident of Gatsata sector.

Julien Sebashyitsi, a resident of Kicukiro district said some households dump waste from pit latrines in the environment when it is raining.

“Such waste is washed away by rain into the environment such as Rivers,” he said.

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