Why the Kribi Urban City?
Kribi in the South Region of Cameroon is at the centre of Cameroon’s industrial development since the beginning of the 21st Century. The city is being called upon to play important economic roles through heavy capital investments in the creation of deep sea port, fishing, mining and energy production industries added to the Chad-Cameroon pipeline terminus amongst others. These developments initiatives are attracting and will continue to pull huge population numbers in this city for jobs leading to urban growth. It is feared that if appropriate measures are not put in place, this emerging industrial town located along the coastline of Cameroon will face problems of urban growth that are typical of Douala—the pioneer industrial capital of Cameroon and major nerve of the Central African sub Region according to Ojuku Tiafack and al. The diverse measures put in place to redress the problems created are not only costly to the stakeholders (government, benevolent NGOs and the victims) but are indicators of development failures. This of recent has been typical of Yaoundé and Douala, the political and economic capitals, respectively, of the Republic of Cameroon.
The proposed solution:
Pro-Development SA is a development private company who signed a partnership with the Kribi Urban Community (CUK). The main purpose of this partnership is to plan and assist the Community to develop concrete project for a sustainable development of the town. So, we understood that more than 50% of the households do not have available water facilities in their houses. We decided to use the prototype already available from WECO model to assist families, public and private institutions to use WeCo’s toilets materials capable of saving, retrieving and upgrading water and waste. With WECO system, the water from the flush is retained and filtered by a sophisticated system in order to be reused for the next flushes. The filtering process disinfects the mix and kills bacteria and pathogens and lowers the ammonia concentration of urine. In the end, the process generates reusable water. The final result is the clean water and fertilizer production.
One of the main daily difficulties of the population living in this town is the lack of food. The Government launched a "Green century" of food production. But producers may need not only to produce enough food, but it's a biggest add-value if this food production is environmentally correct and sustainable. For this other reason, we (Pro-Development Sa and the CUK Team) recognize that WECO is our solution. This is just a pilot step with should be scaled-up for other Cameroon towns such as Yaoundé, Douala, Bafoussam, Garoua, etc.
WeCo offers the first eco-inovative autonomous flushing toilets. All the excrements are recycled on site into treated water for flushing and energy. It co-develops with Alstom a plug and play system, a cartridge for wasted water treatment in the train toilets and other public toilets. More than 550 million m3 of treated water are wasted each year in France in the flushes and an estimate of 29.1 trillion m3 in the world. The only alternatives to save the water wasted in the usual sewered toilets are dry or chemical toilets. WeCo’s technology converts urine and flush into treated water by electrochemical treatment: in a short period of time, all the bacteria are killed and a clean and treated water is produced, which will be reused for flushing or for other uses (cleaning, watering...). All excrements are recycled on site: the faecal sludge is recycled into energy or compost. The toilets are non sewered and autonomous. The energy is provided by solar panels and batteries. WeCo’s customers are: sustainable cities, touristic places, train or boats manufacturers, building sites, removable constructions, events agencies, toilets renters, emerging countries without any sewerage system, private companies, real estate promoters, architects, plants. WeCo will eventually develop domestic wastewater treatment systems for individuals, private and domestic uses (houses). The company is partnering with major engineering schools (CALTECH, ESPCI) and research centers for their R&D. They are members of several organizations: Climate KIC, World Alliance, France Water Team, Institute of Sustainable City, ADEME international club, RAE, GRAIE, Materiaupole... They also are AFNOR and ISO experts for sanitation. They have been awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chinese National Tourism Agency - Award for ecological and design toilets (2016), ADEME PEXE - eco-innovative company in water saving (2017), Construction 21 - Sustainable infrastructure (2018).
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