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Published on: 05/08/2015

An action research initiative working towards a viable model for mobile desludging in urban centres in Zimbabwe

Research into Sludge Enterprise (RISE) is an action research initiative which believes that by trialling, researching and demonstrating a viable model for mobile desludging in urban centres in Zimbabwe:

  • Local authorities will have a new tool to address sanitation challenges
  • Private operators will have a viable business option that supports sanitation services
  • Institutions will be able to reduce costs by desludging rather than building new toilet blocks
  • Householders with latrines and septic tanks will have an affordable locally available emptying service
  • Local Authorities and the Environmental Management Agency will be able to regulate the activities of licensed operators to ensure that faecal sludge is adequately collected, transported, treated and disposed

Research objectives

1. To bring users, operators and local authorities together, to:

  • Grow their knowledge on how to design, implement and scale up faecal desludging towards improved sanitation services
  • Use their knowledge to design, implement and scale up mobile desludging
  • Build partnerships for improved sanitation services across the sanitation chain

2. To answer these research questions:

  • What are the key considerations in developing sustainable business models for desludging units in small urban centres?
  • What are the enablers and barriers to the success of mobile desludgers in the small urban centres in Zimbabwe?
  • What alternative faecal sludge treatment and disposal options are suitable to the context of small urban centres in Zimbabwe?
  • How can the regulatory environment enable local faecal sludge conveyance, treatment and disposal options?

3. To influence sector change..

.. local, regional and international forums and learning events

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