The University of Barcelona, through the UB Solidarity Foundation, and the University Gaston Berger (UGB) of Saint-Louis (Senegal), launched a pilot plant for the ecological treatment and reuse of wastewaters in the campus of the UGB, in the north of Senegal, on January 23. Designed with a capacity of wastewater treatment of 4-8 m3/day, the prototype can treat the equivalent of the waste of a population of about between fifty and a hundred people. First, the treated water will be reused to water ornamental gardens and it will be used later in agriculture.
The plant, the first ecological system of this type in Senegal, results from a collaboration that started in 2016, between the UB and UGB, and the foundations UB Solidarity and Depur GM. The prototype is part of the cooperative project “Contribution to the durable management of water resources in Saint-Louis”, which counted on the financial support of the Barcelona City Council and the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, and the project “Tecnologías naturales para la gestión sostenible de las aguas residuales en áreas rurales y perirubanas en Senegal”, with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). The aim of these initiatives is to promote the search for sustainable solutions for the management of wastewaters and to contribute to solve problems of sanitation of UGB, and the city of Saint-Louis and other rural areas of Senegal.
In general, the project contributes to the fulfilling of the goal 6 in the sustainable development goals (SDG) of the United Nations, which seeks to guarantee availability of water for everyone, as well as its sustainable management and sanitation. The methodology of the depuration of the plant is ideal for the region, since, apart from its low cost and proper temperature, the main materials –flint stone, loose stone and sand- they can be obtained locally. Therefore, studies are being carried out to copy the model of this initiative, mainly in the region of Saint-Louis.
Attendants in the inauguration of the pilot plant were the director of UB Solidarity Foundation, Xavi López; the coordinator of the project and researcher in the research group Sanitary, Economic and Cooperation Hidrology (HIDROSEC), Antonina Torrens; the vice-president of the Assembly of the UGB, Mbissane Ngom; the Spanish ambassador in Senegal, Alberto Virella, the first deputy mayor in the City Council of Saint-Louis, Aida Mbaye Dieng, and other authorities of the Ministry for Water and Sanitation of Senegal.