Large Capacity Building Project in sanitation (UNESCO-IHE, The Netherlands and Sub-Saharan Africa and SE Asia)

  • MRonteltap
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Large Capacity Building Project in sanitation (UNESCO-IHE, The Netherlands and Sub-Saharan Africa and SE Asia)

UNESCO-IHE plays a big role in capacity building in the field of water and sanitation. In the Department of Environmental Engineering and Water Technology, sanitation is one of the main pillars of research and capacity building. In 2011, UNESCO-IHE and the BMGF joined efforts in combining research and capacity building on sanitation in a multi-million dollar project reaching out to Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced this grant at the AfricaSan conference in Rwanda launching its Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene strategy. The goal is to provide a large impulse in postgraduate sanitation education and research with a focus on sanitation solutions for the urban poor.

Grant title: Stimulating local innovation on sanitation for the urban poor in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia

Time period: 2011 to 2016
Grant type: "Other" (i.e. not Reinvent the Toilet Challenge and not Grand Challenges Explorations)
Project leader: Damir Brdjanovic (I am assisting him with the communications work here on the forum)

There are 5 key themes which all research is grouped around:
1. Smart sanitation provision for slums and informal settlements
2. Emergency sanitation following natural and anthropologic disasters
3. Resource oriented decentralized sanitation
4. Low cost wastewater collection and treatment
5. Faecal sludge management

Naturally, there are overlaps between these themes; however, this will only enable faster and better integration of the research outcomes.

The project consists of a substantial list of outputs:
  • 5 post‐doctoral fellows,
  • 20 researchers with a PhD degree,
  • up to 60 educated professionals,
  • up to 60 MSc degrees and theses,
  • up to 8 experimental lab and/or pilot scale set-ups in place,
  • up to 8 upgrades of partners’ organization laboratories,
  • development of 2 new online courses: Faecal Sludge Management and Experimental Methods
  • 3 new book titles published, among which Faecal Sludge Management
  • An online Postgraduate Professional Diploma Training in Sanitary Engineering (covering 20 ECTS),
  • An online Master Specialisation in Sanitation and Sanitary Engineering (covering 140 ECTS).
As there are scholarships for MSc students for training in Delft, for training within the double degree programs with AIT and KNUST as well as for online courses, many students will be able to profit from this project.

The 20 PhD students are hosted at different institutes, all of which are partners of UNESCO-IHE in this project:
  • Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand
  • Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) in Indonesia
  • International Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE) in Burkina Faso
  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana
  • Makerere University Institute of Environmental, the Natural Resources (MUIENR) in Uganda
  • University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa
  • Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil to train Portuguese speaking students.
The role of the partners in the project is amongst others: to host and supervise 2 to 3 PhD students and a post doc researcher; to deliver research input and feedback to projects of the other partners; and to deliver input to training materials. Contact details of the research partners, as well as more details on the project, can be found in the brochure attached.

A selection of PhD research topics that have already started is given below: MSc theses which have already been introduced on the forum: Many of the 20 PhD researchers will present their first findings at the IWA Development Congress in Nairobi in October this year; they are all strongly encouraged to post their research topics here on the platform to profit from SuSanA’s joint knowledge, input and ideas.

I hope to have informed you sufficiently; for now, there is no project website yet but if you have questions please post them here on the platform, then we see here who can answer them. (see also the project brochure attached below)

Other relevant links:
Double Degree:
Full Masters Degree @ IHE:
Sanitation Online Courses:
Short Courses at IHE:

The new Programme on Post Graduate Diploma (20 ECTS) will be announced in a later post.

With best regards,

Note by moderator (EvM): The introductions of the research projects of these PhD students are now located in the relevant thematic sections on the forum. You can find the links above for those students who have already posted about their projects.

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  • MRonteltap
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Re: Introducing UNESCO-IHEs BMGF MSc, PhD and Postdoc team

Dear all,

At the last IWA Development Congress in Nairobi a flyer was presented with all current MSc and PhD students on it as well as our postdocs. You can also find their topics in here as well as a short description of the project.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.

All the best,

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  • muench
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Re: Introducing UNESCO-IHEs BMGF MSc, PhD and Postdoc team

Thanks for this, Mariska. It's a very nice flyer. The size of this project is quite mind-boggling.

Because the flyer content would not be searchable with keyword searches, I have copied below the names of the students, their countries and their research topics. Just to ensure if someone searches about Mozambique (for example), they do find this research that is taking place in Mozambique.

While doing this I noticed: I do hope that the students will from time to time find the time to help others (or also inform themselves) by interacting here on the forum.

PhD and Postdoc:

Eric Antwi Ofosu, Ghana
Faecal sludge management

Peter Owusu Antwi, Ghana
Assessment and optimization of vermitechnology for the treatment of onsite blackwater: A case of the biofil toilet technology

Eugene Appiah-Effah, Ghana
Co-composting of dry toilet sludge from low income areas of Ghana; case of a mobile drum composter

Kobina Mensah Afful, Ghana
Odour control from onsite sanitation facilities in urban poor areas - study of Ayigya

Mutai Kipyegon Peter, Ghana
Optimizing biogas production by co-digestion of human excreta and domestic organic waste in slums/informal settlement

Samuel Norvixoxo, Ghana
Towards an improved planning and design model for public ablution facilities in selected African city informal settlements

Isaac S-Lase Kuwornu, Ghana
Improving the contaminant removal performance of the biofil toilet system using the filtration mechanism

Joy Nyawira Riungu, Kenya
Biogas toilets as a sanitation solution for the informal urban slum settlements: Enhanced sludge valorisation

Peter Mawioo, Kenya
Novel concept and technologies for excreta and wastewater management in emergencies conditions

Anne Nakagiri, Uganda
Enhancing the performance and increasing the life span of pit latrines: processes and implications

Babu Mohammed, Uganda
Smart sanitation provision for slums and informal settlements

Buyi Tom, Uganda
Development of innovative on site faecal sludge technologies for high water table slum areas in Kampala

Thanh Hung Anh, Thailand
Optimized conveyance model of faecal sludge management in different urban settling. See here:

Tatchai Pussayanavin, Thailand
An integrated kinetic model for design and operation of Solar Septic Tanks

Krailuck Fukaew, Thailand
Faecal sludge treatment using two-stage hydrothermal carbonization

Dyah Wulandari Putri, Indonesia
Development strategy of domestic wastewater infrastructure for urban estuary, river and swamp communities application in Indonesia (Case study: Palembang city)

Fiona Zakaria, Indonesia
Rethinking faecal sludge management in emergency setting

Moumouni Diafarou Ali, Niger
Performance optimization of two stage high rate anaerobic reactors coupled with wet - dry sand filters and baffled maturation pond for domestic wastewater treatment in a warm climate: The case Of Ouagadougou

Elias Sete Manjate, Mozambique
Behavior evaluation of vertical flowconstructed wetlands for treatment of domestic wastewater and septic tank sludge

Daniel Filipe Cristelo Dias, South Africa
Combined solution of UASB reactor, polishing ponds and rock filter for wastewater treatment and reuse in developing countries. See here:

Sophia Pan, USA
Transitioning beyond basic sanitation for low-income households in Cape Town. See here:

Thye Yoke Pean, Singapore / Indonesia
Development and application of a product development framework for emergency excreta disposal.
See here:

Adugna Amare Tirunah, Ethiopia
Concentrated greywater treatment by vermifiltration for urban poor

Juan Martin Velez Garcia, Colombia
Evaluation of performance of High Rate Anaerobic Pond (HRAP) for primary treatment of landfill leachate under tropical conditions

Thomas Lugeiyamu Balthazar, Tanzania
Climate compatible wetland based sanitation for sustainable cities in humid Africa

Ellis Lloyd Andrew Tembo, Malawi
Self-sustaining hanging bed system (DHS) as low cost treatment system for dilute wastewater for secondary water reuse for isolated communities in Asia

MSc students:

Zeeshan Bilal, Pakistan
Reducing membrane bioreactors (MBRs) footprint and aeration costs by supplying pressurized air: Evaluating an innovative pressurized air delivery system introduced by Ovivo

Apurva Sahu, India
Die-off of pathogens in household size anaerobic digesters (India)

Ashish Shrestha, Nepal
Impact of climate change on urban flooding in Sukhumvit area of Bangkok

Saroj Kumar Chapagain, Nepal
Resource-oriented decentralized sanitation

Grover Hector Mamani Casilla, Bolivia
Die-off of pathogens in household size anaerobic digesters (India), or new title: Pathogen removal in household-size sludge treatment wetland. A study case in Gujarat, India by Grover Mamani from Bolivia at UNIVALLE, Colombia. See here:

Angela Andrea Salinas Villafañe, Bolivia
Simultaneous denitrification and methanogenesis: Batch tests and continuos flow assessment in a UASB system

Bernice Asamoah, Ghana
Design of a grey water treatment system for communal toilet facilities in urban slums

Adane Sewhunegne Molla, Ghana
The potential of subsurface infiltration for the treatment of vermibed effluents generated by the Biofil toilet. See here:

Solomon Nuetey Noi-Adzeman, Ghana
Microbial risk and indicators of environmental sanitation. Case of Asokwa Submetro, Kumasi

Eric Ntamukunzi, Rwanda
Kinetics and modelling of conventional septic systems treating black water

Happiness Ngawanamoseka Nobela, South Africa
On-site faecal sludge treatment in raised latrines for emergency situations

Yonas Gebretsadik Hagos, Ethiopia
Modeling the co-treatment of faecal sludge and domestic wastewater in anaerobic digester (ROSSA)

Seneshaw Abate Kebede, Ethiopia
Development of urban stormwater sewer optimal layout design

Ahumuza Andrew, Uganda
Faecal sludge management in flood-prone areas

Baguma Godfrey Peterson, Uganda
Pathogen removal in a low-cost Anammox-DHS reactor

Dennis Hanjalika Malambo, Zambia
Sanitizing faecal sludge with lactic acid in emergency situations

Justina Ndinelao Mwalinalo Haihambo, Namibia
Flood prone sanitation systems

Audax Rweyemamu, Tanzania
Evaluation of a microwave system for sludge stabilization in emergency situations

Mloelya Paul Mwambu, Tanzania
Development of conceptual framework for decision support system for emergency sanitation

Happymore Mbiza, Zimbabwe
Benchmarking activated sludge systems efficiency in tropical climates: A case of the Crowborough wastewater treatment plant in Harare (Zimbabwe) and the Tung Kru wastewater treatment plant in Bangkok (Thailand)

Charles Mpho Makgatha, South Africa
Faecal sludge treatment by means of bio-predating/ housefly larvae/JAMO-concept

Fraol Keneni Bedassa, Ethiopia
Feasibility of different innovative onsite sanitation systems in public places of Adama City, Ethiopia

Herath Mudiyaselage Udayakantha Hertah, Sri Lanka
Management and operation of on-site wastewater treatment system - an analyis of success factors

Awa Ndyae, Senegal
Low cost wastewater collection and treatment

Lakachew Yihunie Alemneh, Ethiopia
Assessment of the robustness of the biofil toilet technology for the treatment of black water

Charles Gisima Werema, Tanzania
Flood modelling for pollution hazard assessment in poor sanitation settlements in Dar Es
Salaam City - Tanzania

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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Introducing UNESCO-IHEs BMGF MSc, PhD and Postdoc team

Dear Mariska,

Just one small query: Is there any research currently conducted in Pakistan? If yes, then could you please provide the details - name, topic, specific location, etc - Thanks

Kind regards,

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • jonpar
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Re: Large Capacity Building Project in sanitation (UNESCO-IHE, The Netherlands and Sub-Saharan Africa and SE Asia)

Dear Mariska,

I understand that this programme has now finished.

It would be really appreciated if you could encourage your students to share their main findings and recommendations from their research with the SuSanA community.

You might also want to select those that you consider to have the most significant/influential findings and organise a webinar where they can present their work.

best regards,


Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
Principal Consultant – Water and Sanitation
IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, United Kingdom
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  • MRonteltap
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Re: Large Capacity Building Project in sanitation (UNESCO-IHE, The Netherlands and Sub-Saharan Africa and SE Asia)

Hi Jonathan, thanks for the message! Sorry for the late response, I somehow missed this post (thanks Elisabeth..)

The project will finish by the end of the year! There are still a few students writing up their final parts of the thesis, there are some ongoing activities, so our estimate is that we will be ready for an event like you propose by the end of the year. I think it's a very nice idea! Will have to check how to organise it technically with all partners spread out, but that should be 'fixable'.

Thanks for the nice idea; we'll get back to it when ready! All the best from Delft,
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