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Peri-urban mangroves forests as filters and potential phyoremediators of domestic sewage in East-Africa

Acronym: PUMPSEA
Period: 2004 till 2008
Status: Completed

Institutes (4)  Top 
  • Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (ICAT), more, co-ordinator
  • Institute of Marine Research (IMAR), more, partner
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Faculteit Wetenschappen & Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen; Vakgroep Biologie; Ecology and Biodiversity; Laboratorium voor Algemene Plantkunde en Natuurbeheer (APNA), more, partner
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Faculteit Wetenschappen & Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen; Vakgroep Chemie; Analytical, Environmental and Geochemistry (AMGC), more, partner

About the project
This project aims to demonstrate the ecosystem service performed by mangroves when filtering discharged wastewater, and thereby limiting coastal sewage pollution, and to examine its ecological and socio-economical effects.

Proposed tasks
The main tasks of the project are:

  • The development of the technology for using constructed mangrove wetlands for secondary treatment of domestic sewage water;
  • Examination of the feasibility of ?strategic reforestation and conservation? in sewage hotspot areas to encourage natural mangrove filtration of discharged wastewater;
  • The development of an implementation plan for the exploitation of the developed technology and know-how, based on analysis of governance, policy, cost and financing options.

The project will thus examine two innovative ways in which mangrove filtration can be utilised to preclude coastal sewage pollution:

  1. facilitating sewage filtration by conserving filtering mangroves and replanting mangroves in deforested areas exposed to sewage (?strategic reforestation and conservation?), and
  2. using constructed mangrove wetlands for sewage treatment. The use of constructed mangrove wetlands for sewage treatment could be an innovative solution that complies with the social, economic and environmental contexts of developing countries. Strategic mangrove conservation and reforestation in sewage discharge areas can facilitate natural filtration and may represent cheap and immediately implementable approaches to mitigating coastal sewage pollution.

The work will take place in peri-urban mangrove areas of Maputo (Mozambique), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Mombassa (Kenya). It will include: socio-economy, condition mapping, biogeochemistry, ecology, modelling, controlled experimentation and experimental optimisation of a trial wetland used for secondary treatment of sewage. Governance analysis and implementation planning will focus on Dar es Salaam, but have reference to Maputo and Mombassa.

Time planning
The PUMPSEA project will be developed during 36 months. Each work package has a specific duration, in order to assure proper connections between the different activities. The important deadlines and milestones for reaching the specific objectives of the five RTD/I Objectives generally correspond to the completions of the ten work packages.

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