Johnny, the wise man this how he is called. His real name is Johnny Nduwimana. He has been working for 20 years at the Buterere wastewater treatment plant in the city of Bujumbura in Burundi. This seasoned technician agreed to talk about the positive changes in the Buterere wastewater treatment plant after the support of the LATAWAMA project jointly implemented by Enabel Burundi and the Lake Tanganyika Authority, with funding from the European Union.

9am, at the Buterere station. The background sound is made by the emptying trucks taking turns to evacuate wastewater from households. From afar, we apperceive Johnny Nduwimana, the station’s ‘living library’. On this day, he was coordinating the team emptying the sludge from the station using the automatic pump funded by the LATAWAMA project. This is the missing piece of the ‘puzzle’, completing a package of activities of the LATAWAMA project, which aims at optimizing the operation of the Buterere wastewater treatment plant.

“I have worked here for many years. I have witnessed different supports. I’ve seen different activities at this plant, I’ve never seen a pump with such a performance that can help us empty the sludge from the ponds over a length of 200 linear meters. I think we are the first in the country to have such an efficient pump,” says Johnny.

Two birds with one stone! In addition to the optimization of the operation of the plant, the use of this pump means that the manual cleaning of the sludge in the Buterere wastewater treatment plant’s basins, with all the consequences that this can entail, is no longer necessary. “With the new pump, we will easily discharge the liquid sludge to the drying beds. We hope, if necessary, to recycle the sludge in agriculture and contribute to increasing income from the sewage treatment plant.

This is a support that makes an impact and improves the plant’s treatment performance. A source of pride for Enabel Burundi.

As a reminder, in Bujumbura, the LATAWAMA project contributes to optimizing the operation of the Buterere wastewater treatment plant. Then, after the rehabilitation of the sludge drying beds and the water analysis laboratory, the project has just delivered sludge pumping equipment with a capacity of 200 m³ per hour. This equipment allows the sludge to be emptied from the plant’s basins and treated in the drying beds. Efficient sludge management improves the plant’s purification performance and ensures that the plant’s discharge water does not degrade the quality of Lake Tanganyika’s water.