New dry sanitation and waste management project in Mbabane

A dry sanitation and waste management project to be implemented in Mbabane between 2014-2016 has received funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The project will be jointly implemented by the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland, Turku University of Applied Sciences, GLM Swaziland, University of Swaziland (UNISWA) and the City Council of Mbabane. The project builds on the long-term cooperation between the Turku University of Applied Sciences with Swaziland partners focusing on environmental issues in the capital Mbabane.

The project is implemented in the communities of Malagwane, Mangwane and Mnyamatsini. It aims to improve the state of the environment in the project areas by developing their sanitation and waste management. Young people, in particular, will be trained on environmental health, dry sanitation, construction of dry toilets, composting, gardening, utilisation of grey water as well as waste management, reuse and recycling. Their capacity will also be strengthened in various other areas including participatory group work, management and leadership. The young people will form a group in their region which will function as an information-sharing channel in the community and also start small-scale businesses on the basis of the acquired knowledge and skills.

In addition to the youth, the project will specifically target local authorities and media. Local authorities will be disseminated information on the opportunities of dry sanitation as an alternative form of sanitation as well as on sustainable waste management. The training will be based on previous sanitation and waste management projects in Msunduza, enabling the replication of solutions, such as a community recycling centre established in Msunduze, in other regions. Sanitation, in particular, poses challenges to development, which is, however, not openly talked about in Swaziland. The project will also bring together media representatives to discuss the topic and to share information about this sensitive issue in various media.

The local partners each play a specific role in the project. GLM Swaziland is responsible for field work, for example, while the University of Swaziland will provide local academic expertise on the topic and enable utilisation of students in the project. As a local authority, the City Council of Mbabane monitors project implementation as well as acts as an expert and network connection to project stakeholders, such as other authorities. This project will provide GLM Swaziland with invaluable experience of a larger-scale initiative, expertise from the other partners as well as visibility as an organisation in a rather limited civil society.