Development project for a fair and sustainable access to drinking water in disadvantaged communities on the outskirts of Kinshasa (DRC)
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has a high potential in water resources. Despite this freshwater potential, more than 75% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water (UNEP, 2011). Kinshasa, the country’s capital city, has more than 16 million inhabitants, 75% of whom live in the city’s peripheral communes, where more than 70% of the population does not have access to the drinking water provided by the national water supply company. Notwithstanding the presence of a few urban rivers, groundwater is the main source of water for households. However, with regard to microbiological parameters, several studies found high bacteriological contamination in a majority of water points involved. Consequently, the peri-urban communes of Kinshasa are known for their recurrent epidemics, mainly of waterborne diseases.
Two communes in the Province of Kinshasa, with approximately 300,000 inhabitants each (Bumbu and Mont Ngafula), were selected for this pilot project. The choice was based on the results of two studies carried out in Bumbu and Mont Ngafula, that showed that 61% of the people living in those communes suffered from water-borne diseases.
This pilot project, launched by Antenna Foundation in collaboration with the University of Geneva, the University of Kinshasa and the local NGO ADIR (Action pour le Développement des Infrastructures en milieu Rural), is an appropriate response to this issue. It will be deployed in 2 neighbourhoods in each of the 2 selected communes (for a total of 4 target neighbourhoods). According to initial estimates, this 3-year project will reach approximately 18,430 direct beneficiaries with an investment of only CHF 14.23 per beneficiary over the 3 years.
The project will treat water sources contaminated by faecal matter (which is the most frequent contamination, 98%) with a locally produced sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) solution, using WATA technology and in particular the Nano-WATA device powered by a solar kit. Over the past six months, Antenna has successfully collaborated with the University of Kinshasa and the University of Geneva to demonstrate the effectiveness of Nano-WATA in the DRC.
The objective is to guarantee access to safe drinking water to the underprivileged population in the peripheral areas of the city of Kinshasa in order to improve the recurrent and persistent epidemiological situation in the selected communes. The Nano-WATA will be deployed in a first phase as a pilot community development project; in a second phase, the objective will be to extend its reach by starting the commercialisation of the technology.
The solution proposed in this project will significantly contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6.2 to provide safe and managed drinking water services for all and thereby contribute to improved health and healthy living for all (SDG 3.9). In addition, the solar power of Nano-WATA will improve access to reliable and modern energy services at an affordable climate-friendly cost (SDG 7.1, 7.2, 7.b), while promoting capacity building in partnership (SDG 17), water management and renewable energy. Furthermore, the project’s contribution to the achievement of SDGs 6, 3 and 7 is fundamental to poverty eradication (SDG 1.1 and 1.4). Together, the achievement of these sustainable development goals will contribute to reducing inequalities between urban areas (SDG 10).
In summary, this project will contribute to the achievement of the following Sustainable Development Goals:
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Head of WASH and Partnership Units
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