Project Results: 

Ecological management of drain sludge

Valorisation of faecal sludge in Parikou

About the project
The project aimed to treat faecal sludge by a technology that separates the solid phase and the liquid phase. The solid phase (rich in nitrogen, poor in carbon) can be co-composted with biodegradable household waste, to produce a compost that can be valued in agriculture. The liquid phase will be treated by the lagooning process that leads to biomasses of phytoplankton and zooplankton. This will be used in fish farming because these biomasses are the preferred food of fries. The fingerlings can then be sold to fish farmers.

Unexpected circumstances
Unfortunately, this project remained at the design stage and could not be realized. This had several reasons:

  • Changes that occurred in the socio-political context just when VIA Water agreed to finance it.

  • This new socio-political context led to the necessity to transfer the project from the land initially planned, to another site belonging to the Parakou town hall, but where it was necessary to start all over again.

  • DCAM-Bethesda had difficulties to find the necessary additional financial resources.

Intermediate results
There were some intermediate results realised:

  • A dirt road to the site (provided by the town hall)

  • A technical folder for the new site with a realistic cost estimate per solution (from very simple to more sophisticated)

  • An environmental impact study report validated by the Benin Environmental Agency

  • Laboratory equipment for physico-chemical and microbiological analyzes. This was transferred to the research laboratory of the Department of Zoology at the University of Abomey-Calavi.

Project partners
DCAM-Bethesda, (Laboratory of Water Science and Technology (LSTW), Laboratory of Research on Wetlands (LRZH), WASTE

June 2017-March 2019




The city of Parakou has a draining mud treatment station (STBV) which has not been made functional since its establishment in 2000. Meanwhile the 9,280 m3 of BV currently produced each year (2014) in Parakou, continue to be dumped directly in nature, and in the fields, with the health risks posed by this practice.
In order to contribute to the resolution of this public health problem, DCAM-BETHESDA initiated the first phase of the project which helped to mobilize resources that have financed technical and financial feasibility and environmental impact studies and social. She also helped fund some work, without for as much opportunity to finalize the implementation of all the infrastructure of oil sludge treatment and to start its operation.
This phase takes into account the treatment of BV and the valuation of the sub products (Co-compost) solid and liquid (plankton)

Project Plan

The proposed project has two scales of issues that will be resolved following two scales of innovation and opportunity
- On an international level
In General, the sanitation sector is unattractive in the southern countries both for Governments and for the private sector, because consolidation projects such that they are currently mounted in these countries, lack of profitability financial, to attract investment. However, sewage treatment plants and sludge from drain treatment stations, generate products (such as compost, algae, zooplankton,...) which can be recycled to generate financial resources (Barnabas, 1979; Myrand and de la Noue; 1982; Barnabas, 1983; Mara et al. 1993; Cauchie, 2000; Kring and al., 2013; Liady, 2014). The present project is to demonstrate that it is possible to promote the sanitation sector in the countries of the South such as Benin, by integrating financial attractions in the project. On this first plan, it represents an innovation insofar as global in the format where it is presented, it had never been developed elsewhere. If necessary, this type of model (which includes financial attractions in remediation projects, and shows their level of profitability) can be popularized among the main backers of the water and sanitation sector and from many Governments of the countries of the South, which will be the main beneficiaries of these results.
- On a local level
In particular, the city of Parakou, where this project will be developed, and who has recently experienced a significant increase in the rate of equipment in basic sanitation works (as detailed in chapter I), currently has no functional drainage sludge treatment plant; drain sludge collected (mechanically or manually) will eventually be discharged into nature, with the health and environmental risks are associated.
Through the installation and commissioning of a driver of oil sludge treatment station, the project will therefore, provide a solution to this major problem (the collected drainage sludge spill, in nature) and so to ensure an impact some on health and the environment of people over its extension. On this second level, the project presents a great innovation at the local level, since drain sludge, were never addressed in this city.
strategic approach to develop and test our innovation takes account of the project cycle and includes:
- During the draft, a study of environmental and social impact, to identify the mitigation measures required to integrate the project into the human and environmental environment where it will be developed;
- During the implementation phase implementation of the project, a participatory approach that includes several levels of structuring:

• Level umbrella: a support Committee
Everyone in the chain of production (households), transport (companies active in the transport of oil sludge), and drain sludge management (town halls and other institutional stakeholders such as representatives of the ministries in charge of) the environment, health and the Interior) will be taken into account in the implementation of the project by bringing together their representatives within a support Committee. This support Committee will have as main mission to reconcile the different challenges and existing (sometimes conflicting) issues on the management of sludge of oil changes. It will be co-chaired by two town halls, will meet regularly quarterly or in an extraordinary way needed to facilitate the implementation of the project. A municipal administrative act will be developed to confirm the existence of the support Committee.
• At the median level: a project management Committee
It will be composed of the heads of the four technical partners are: DCAM-BETHESDA, the list, the LRZH, and WASTE. Each of the four partners will be held accountable on a specific aspect of the project. As described in Chapter 1.
DCAM-BETHESDA will take care of the administrative and financial management project, the coordination of activities with the various partners, as well as planning follow-up assessment. DCAM Management will ensure that the administrative, accounting and technical procedures proposed under the terms of the contract with the VIA WATER.
• At the local level: the project team
It will consist of a Chief antenna for administrative matters, an engineer in sanitary engineering, an engineer in Hydrobiology, and workers. She will be responsible for the efficient conduct of the operational work of sludge treatment of drain and valorisation of by-products on the STBV.
Moreover, during this phase of implementation of the project, it is also planned to achieve: (1) the work of scientific research conducted by students and PhD students in masters in sciences and technology of wastewater treatment, and/or master hydrobiology applied in the framework of their academic training. Research will be supervised by teachers of these two laboratories, and will result in publications scientific, (2) participation in seminars, national and international, to popularize the results of this project original pilot, publications in scientific journals, (4) (3) one or two national workshops for the return of the results of these experiments, but also, it is expected (5) to participate in the animation community for exchanging experience of Via water.

• During the phase post project
The project takes into account a period of transition for his transfer to a contractor private for the pursuit of exploitation in the direction of the implementation of the experience gained.

Target group

- Companies active in the collection and transportation of oil sludge which will find a place safe discharge of sludge of oil change they collect,
- People who will be spared as well of some public health risks related to the uncontrolled discharge of drainage sludge collected from customers, in nature,
- Farmers who need to fry for their farms.
- Holders of this project who are active researchers in the field of sanitation, who the pilot station to put their knowledge to the service of their communities through the results of the research they can develop.


At the end of this project, the following actions are planned:
- The continued operation of the STBV for continue to meet local demand for treatment of sludge from drain, the measure of the ability of the STBV pilot;
- Assessment of the cost of its extension to meet any demand sludge of oil city;
- The search for funding, under the suitable forms to the results obtained during the pilot, to achieve the STBV extension so that you can satisfy all of the demand for treatment of sludge from drain.

Overview of Goals

1 - Provide a hygienic and durable solution to the practices of anarchic spill, drain sludge (collected) observed in Parakou, through pilot-scale development experience that will allow not only to mobilise all the data foundations for the sizing of a treatment on a large scale, but also to define the optimal conditions of treatment of sludge from drain, in the local context.
2 - Test pilot, a funding model for the ecological management of sludge oil from spill and the valorisation of by-products resulting tax. This objective aims to contribute to promote the sanitation sector in the countries of the South such as Benin, including financial incentives, such as the valuation of by-products of treatment of sludge from drain (phytoplankton, zooplankton, co-compost,...) in the development of these projects.

Results and indicators

  • The infrastructures of the pilot station of fecal sluge are built
    • Thes station of fecal sludge is built
    • Achievement rate of the work
  • Develop a production and marketing line for compost
  • Develop a fry production and marketing line
  • A technical-financial file and a business plan are assembled for the scaling up of the project
  • the social measures of the project are implemented