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The management of septic tank sludge is a major issue facing many African countries, including Côte d'Ivoire.  To contribute to the improvement of this situation, a workshop was held on September 13, 2022 at the Pôle Scientifique et d'Innovation de Bingerville on the theme: "Optimization of the management of sludge from septic tanks of non-collective sanitation in low-income environments in Africa: Case of Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire."

The research project is the joint initiative of the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d'Ivoire (CSRS) in partnership with the https://www.epfl.ch/fr/ and the https://univ-fhb.edu.ci/.  

For Tra Ange-Laetitia, Principal Investigator of this thesis project, the results of this study will contribute to the sustainable and inclusive management of sludge at the scale of the study area and can be used in similar contexts.

The study is intended to be inclusive

To do this, the project plans to develop automated tools to optimize this management in the city of Abidjan. "The study is intended to be inclusive with the involvement and participation of all stakeholders for sustainable solutions," she explains.

But this could not be done without the mobilization and commitment of all actors related to this theme. In particular, the target communities living in the study area who are necessary in the framework of this research, she emphasizes.

This is why the different actors were involved during the work during which they made observations, remarks, suggestions and concrete proposals to facilitate and improve the implementation of the project in an inclusive approach.

These include directors and representatives of institutions involved in sanitation, community leaders, but also representatives of youth and women in the communities.

The study started in August 2021 with a bibliographic research, meetings and informal exchanges in order to appreciate the environment, the different actors and stakeholders of the sector. Also, informal visits were made for a better knowledge of the study area. This research will continue with the collection of socio-environmental data and the analysis of laboratory data. 

The study will end in October 2026 with a workshop to present the results of the project to all stakeholders. 

As a reminder, Tra Laetitia is part of the first cohort of the first 10 students of the program "100 PhD for Africa", of the joint EPFL-UM6P initiative "Excellence in Africa".


Aïssatou Fofana