UNDP support WUC with equipment to measure levels of fat, oil and grease that are going into sewer system

Posted March 16, 2022

Chief Executive Officer –Water Utilities Corporation, Mr Gaselemogwe Senai (L) and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Balasz Horvath (R)

Botswana, March 15, 2022 – UNDP recently handed over laboratory testing equipment to Water Utilities Corporation at an event held in Mmamashia, Gaborone. The donation was motivated by the recommendations of the pilot study done to determine levels of pollutants in the effluent discharged from selected industries around Gaborone. The pilot study has identified gaps in the monitoring and enforcement of the trade effluent agreement which therefore, necessitated UNDP to support the WUC with equipment that would enable the testing of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) from wastewater samples.

When speaking at the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer –Water Utilities Corporation, Mr Gaselemogwe Senai remarked that, “With the growth of food outlets, there is growing production of fat, oil and grease (FOG)”. He added that it is important for WU Corporation to know how much  FOG are going into WUC treatment facilities.. Senai said it is also worth noting that the treatment of wastewater is a biological process which functions effectively in the presence of oxygen.

WUC has developed the Trade Effluent Agreement (TEA) to ensure that the wastewater discharged into the environment and into the WUC sewer system is at an allowable level of pollution. The TEA is meant to reinforce the commitment of industries to undertake pre-treating of wastewater according to the standard of BOS93.

When presenting the laboratory testing equipment UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Balasz Horvath explained that the equipment will expand Mmamashia laboratory testing abilities. He said he is confident that, this addition to the Mmamashia lab will make work easier and testing much better going forward. He also explained that the UNDP supported the Water Utilities Corporation in the past 4 years through the GEF/UNDP funded Biogas Project. UNDP’s  support to Water Utilities Corporation has also focused on harmonization of the WUC trade effluent agreement with the Council by-laws to enable better enforcement of the Trade Effluent Agreement and Capacity development of WUC personnel in the efficient and effective treatment, storage and disposal of sludge waste as well as training in wastewater pre-treatment methods.

UNDP through the Biogas Project has also supported the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resource Conservation and Tourism (MENT) to develop the Integrated Waste Management Bill which aims to facilitate the implementation of the Integrated Waste Management Policy. The bill will provide strategic direction and guidance towards sustainable waste management practices and will adopt an integrated approach for the sound management of all forms of waste media covering solid waste, wastewater and air quality.

Balasz explained that, “Approval of this bill will further support the mandate   of WUC  in managing wastewater and its effects on the environment”. As Botswana transitions to a circular economy, waste being an integral part of this process, Balasz encouraged WUC to play a key role in the process and support the reuse and recycling of wastewater to achieve sustainable development goal targets.

He added that, “Together we can contribute and achieve set targets for SDG 6 which highlights that we ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, and SDG 12 which encourages us to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Saving our natural resources, in this case water, will require a collective effort by all stakeholders”.