Half of Kenyans living in rural areas have no access to water. At the same time, 73% of wastewater is not returned to treatment plants. This limited water infrastructure means that communities in both urban slums and rural areas are highly exposed to diseases. However, creating large-scale pipeline infrastructure is not feasible due to the high cost.
Purifying wastewater to make it suitable for drinking, crop irrigation and other uses can play a crucial role in closing the gap between water demand and supply. Unlike rainwater, availability of wastewater is not dependent on weather. Wastewater is therefore a more reliable water resource. In Kenya’s Kericho region, an existing water treatment facility will be expanded, with an integrated technological solution that incorporates an aerated wetland and a membrane filtration unit. This will increase capacity for treating wastewater, with minimal environmental impact.
The high-performance facility will produce safe drinking water while preventing wastewater from being discharged into the river and allowing waterborne diseases to thrive. Automation via sensors and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) will keep energy consumption low. Native macrophyte (water plants) species will be planted to increase biodiversity and sequester CO2, thereby removing greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.