Tackling WASH challenges in Angola

The Catholic University of Angola (CUA)  held on 22nd April 2021 a scientific seminar led by Prof Tommaso De Pippo who introduced the WASHable project context and objectives. He highlighted the importance of the initiative “to find solutions to WASH problems and to create conditions to find these solutions”.

The event was included several panellists, amongst them engineers and environmentalists.

The panellists presented the current conditions of water and sanitation in Angola, pointing out the problems, challenges and a wide range of potential solutions from infrastructure development, to community education and generation of energy from organic materials and waste.

According to the data mentioned, around 50 per cent of the population does not have access to clean/treated water in Angola (master’s thesis). This causes several diseases such as malaria, cholera, yellow fever etc. And 150 children out of 1000 die due to lack of basic sanitation in Angola according to the WHO.

The problems included:

  • Few points of water ‘production’ for all Angola territory.
  • Growing population and demand for water.
  • Lack of investment in WASH to tackle current and future WASH challenges.
  • Despite the significant natural water grids (e.g., rivers), most waters pour directly into the sea.
  • Although the terrain favours water pouring, irregular discard of solid and domestic sewer waste obstructs the draining systems causing floods.
  • Chlorine treatments can be harmful in the long term and do not eliminate all pathogens.
  • Rainwater is not collected.
  • There are dumping grounds instead of controlled landfills.
  • Need for appropriate clear regulations beyond the quality of water, including grid systems. Current legislation in Angola also does not distinguish industrial from the domestic sewer.

Solutions presented involved:

  • Creation of hydric infrastructure to deviate water that pours directly into the sea, distributing/supplying across territories.
  • ‘Eco points’ to collect recycled materials in neighbourhoods/communities.
  • Biorefinery for Production of biofuels from organic materials (sugar, beet, corn, animal compost etc.).
  • Organic energy through pyrolysis processes that produce gas that is transformed into electricity and heat.

Photo by Allioune Filipe Gonçalves Pereira

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