Launch of a complete fecal sludge sanitation chain in a secondary city of Madagascar

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Tamatave is a typical Malagasy secondary town: the population is served by pits and latrines mostly emptied manually, informally and without treatment. The action has helped to develop a small local business, financially and technically self-sufficient, offering an improved drain service, and set up a treatment service by planted humification beds. This chain covers 10% of the city’s theoretical sludge production for a pollutant load estimated at 120 T MS / year and is now set to expand.

Financially self-sufficient small local business offering an improved drain service and treatment service in Tamatave, Madagascar.

Project description

What problem are you trying to solve?
Tamatave is the second largest city in Madagascar with a population of 300,000. Sewerless sanitation is predominant: 97% of households use latrines (38% septic tanks, 62% single pits). 97% of the sludge was manually unhygienic drained by informal operators to be buried in the yards. This practice generates health risks: 60% of households use hand pumps and the city is regularly affected by floods, with the spread of faecal contamination germs. The sludge is very concentrated because of the sandy soil (average concentration of 100 g MS / L). The aim has been to set up a sustainable complete sanitation chain business line in this context.

What is your solution to this problem?
The service design in 2014 is based on an initial diagnosis and a market study of collection and transport of sludge.

The startup of the small company has required support to optimize its technical, commercial and financial results, based on monitoring tools. It has been equipped in a progressive way to be able to answer technically and economically to all types of customers. The company has been financially autonomous quite quickly, has progressed steadily in its volume of business. It now provides an affordable service for 500 families / year with 750 m3 of sludge drained, The treatment plant is located 12 km from the city centre on land provided by the municipality. The treatment plant with planted humification beds consists of 6 beds of 280 m2 planted with local macrophyte species, designed to treat 120 T MS / year (100 m3 / month of 100 g MS / L sludge) and is nowadays functional at 60% of its capacity. The beds are fed by mud brought by the emptying company.

What is your latest update on your innovation?
The company Impact need a progressive evolution in terms of volume drained and diversified services (construction of latrines in particular), To guarantee a sustainable management and exploitation of the sludge plant, the enterprise impact will also assume this exploitation in their portfolio, but therefore the City council need to recognize the delegation of this management to the enterprise Impact. Impact will become responsible for the whole sanitation chain in Tamatave. Sludge production is recently available, further investigation on the valorization of Station products as fertilizer is needed.


Francesca Rossi

Katrien Van Hooydonk


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