Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Africa Water, Sanitation Jan -Feb 2014 Vol.10 No1 - Page 26

SUWASA News Presently the lagoon has no maturation pond or alternative anaerobic pond to allow for desludging and cleaning. The lagoon lacks a proper maintenance plan so the single anaerobic pond has been overloaded with solids including plastics, bottles and other debris. It is also likely that accumulation of grit and sand in the anaerobic basin is reducing treatment capacity. The lagoon produces foul smells and poor quality effluent is released into the environment (Figure 2). Incomplete construction explains some of the problems, but poor operation, maintenance and staff training is mostly to blame. Despite its weaknesses, the lagoon is an improvement over the previous situation where fecal sludge was dumped in the open on the outskirts of Juba. Improving Fecal Sludge Management in Juba It is clear from the foregoing that though a new capital, Juba has strong elements of the framework required for effective fecal sludge management. However each of the three components of the fecal sludge management chain namely containment, collection and transportation, and treatment and disposal of sludge, could benefit from further improvements (Figure 3). Improving Sludge Containment Improving fecal sludge management in Juba must start with the way fecal waste is collected and contained in households. Latrines should be constructed to allow for mechanical emptying with adequate sub-structures such as lined pits or septic tanks which will help reduce emptying frequencies and therefore lower costs. Given general practice in Juba and across Africa where toilet construction is a responsibility of the property owner and also given current limited government spending in the sanitation sector, a demand-driven approach to fecal waste containment is recommended as more cost effective and sustainable. However this requires building codes to be developed and enforced by Juba City Council. Improving Sludge Transportation Private exhauster businesses in Juba have created a potentially viable private-public partnership, and have contributed to safe disposal of at least 40% of fecal sludge. This should be preserved and enhanced as long as the market remains viable. Regulation should however be strengthened focusing on overseeing tanker routes through the city, proper parking, penalties for pollution and stipulating measures for worker safety. The sector could also benefit from streamlined institutional arrangements within the County and the Council. Improving Sludge Treatment Operation and maintenance of the Roton lagoon could be improved through greater technical expertise which could be provided by a government agency such as the South Sudan Urban Water Corporation (SSUWC). . Alternatively, its operation could be transferred to SSUWC or the private sector. To ensure sustainability, a formalized plan is needed for ring-fencing the emptying fees for reinvestment in operation and maintenance of the lagoon, and where possible to undertake small expansion works. Treatment capacities must also be increased to ensure levels of treatment do not drop below current ones but rather increase with the related increases in population. There are also opportunities to explore use of the sludge for biogas or agricultural purposes. 26 Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene • January - February 2015