Alexandra Conroy is working for Wasaza, the Water and Sanitation Association of Zambia. This association was established in 1999 with the vision “to have a well managed and efficient water and sanitation sector with competent water professionals and researchers”. Its mission is to “enhance capacity in the water sector through training, collaboration, networking and research”.

Wasaza is involved in promoting innovative technologies, such as the DEWATS (Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems). Wasaza also investigates fertilizer producing toilet. This solution is a dry toilet where urine and solid execra are separated. Both products are turned into conveniently usable forms of organic fertilizer. Wasaza also develops methods to improve the community involvement in implementation project. The main topics are: Community Participatory Assessment, Health and Hygiene Education, Health Impact assessment.

On top of this, Wasaza is investigating innovations on sanitation & biogas technology. Alternative methods for sanitation are looked for in order to improve the integration of human activities in the ecosystem. There is a DEWATS Beside Wasaza’s offices and we visit it with Alex. We learn that this system can be used in different location such as Institutions / Peri-urban areas / Low cost housing areas / Private compounds. Its function is to eliminate contaminants from the water. The process is composed of the following element: biogas plant as settler / Anaerobic Baffle Reactor for treatment / Planted Gravel Filter (PGF) for smell and pathogen removal. As benefits, this system gives biogas for cooking / sludge as soil conditioner / cleaned water for gardening / no cost for emptying a septic tank. Furthermore, biogas production can be encouraged by adding more organic waste into the inlet.

Wasaza also works on agricultural biogas units, and agro-industrial digestors. The perspective of the first one is that biogas can be used to run engines and produces electricity and fire brooders and kilns. Perspective of the second is that, surplus gas can be turned to electricity and feed in the grid for revenue generation.