Svensk partner: Vänersborgs kommun

Vänersborg and Chobe, Botswana

Project: ECOWAMA36

Continuing the partnership between Chobe District and Vänersborg Municipality, this is a knowledge and experience exchange project within solid waste management. The overall objective is to achieve improved community resilience and a more sustainable environment in Chobe District and in Vänersborg.

The project objective: Enhanced conditions for a more efficient and sustainable solid waste management system in Chobe district/Botswana and in the municipality of Vänersborg/Sweden.

The intermediate objectives are following the whole solid waste management process to ensure sustainable results.
Hence, the short-term objectives to reach the project objectives are focusing on:

  • planning
  • awareness
  • sorting/source separation
  • collection of waste
  • landfill
  • recycling

The project will provide the partners with strengthened capacity regarding efficient and sustainable solid waste management, the whole chain/process, transparent residents dialogue and community empowerment, a fruitful public-private collaboration, and more, thus strengthening the organisations’ capacities to deal with complex and important waste management challenges in the future. The residents’ awareness of how their behaviours affect local environmental health is a prerequisite to succeed with sustainable waste management.

Central for the project implementation are the Chobe District waste management department and Vänersborg’s public waste management department as well as staff at the landfill, potential recycling companies and residents in a pilot district in Kasane, the capital in Chobe District. The long-term ambition is that source separation of recyclables will be expanded to the rest of Chobe District, forming a foundation for a sustainable resource management where waste is treated as a valuable resource.

Social Inclusion 2.0 – Network for Impaired Youth Access to Culture & Sports

The international cooperation work “Social Inclusion 2.0 – Network for access of young people with disabilities to culture and sports” is a project that implements the pre-study carried out by our partnership on how especially vulnerable groups in Chobe District in northern Botswana are included in the society more than before. The project focuses on a special school, the Katchikau Special Unit School, which will act as a national “best practice” if the project is successful.

Our strategy is to make the disabled people’s rights visible from a human rights perspective. This will be achieved through motivational actions at local level and by mobilizing NGO’s to participate in these people’s everyday life. At the same time we will together with Chobe District Council establish functions within their administration for enhanced inclusion and accessibility with the human rights perspective as foundation.
The project period is of three years, which is the time we deem necessary considering the complicated nature of this issue, the number of activities and time necessary to implement changes, especially in attitude and behaviours.

Aligned with the development work in Chobe District Council several analogous development processes are operating in the municipality of Vänersborgs. During this period the project will therefore include a number of joint elements and the partnership continues to be characterised by a considerable reciprocity.

Development of Crisis Management

The municipality of Vänersborg and the town Omaruru in Namibia applies for municipal partnership grants in order to develop the local crisis management. The project is bounded to four areas of intervention, during a 24 month period.

These areas are development of a systematic risk – and vulnerability analyse, improved rescue service in the field, developed methods for psychosocial treatment and a developed cooperation between the civil servants and volunteers.

As a main tread for this partnership project runs the climate change that gives new conditions for the crisis management in both municipalities.

The overall goal is to contribute to a skilled and well working organization when it comes to crisis management in Omaruru.

This contains a strategic work, a clear organisation with set routines for the rescue service and conditions for a psychosocial care at emergencies.

Development of Wastewater Infrastructure

The project concerns the ongoing upgrading of mainly waste water infrastructure and the treatment of waste water. Due to the direct relationship between water use and waste water generation, the project therefore inherently includes the water supply component.

The objective within this Municipal partnership project is to improve service delivery of waste water and water reticulation to maximise waste water re-use and to minimize fresh water wastage.

The main focus will be capacity building on the operation, maintenance, monitoring and care of infrastructure. The improvement of the administration and management of waste water and water supply are therefore inherent components of this project. 

The expected results are: 

  • Containment of waste water and reduction of pollution to the environment.
  • Reduced waste water infrastructure component malfunctions at pump stations and at other appurtenant works.
  • Reduced blockages and surface pools of waste water.
  • Re-use of waste water to irrigate green spaces.
  • Reduced freshwater wastage through the use of semi-purified effluent for irrigation.
  • Reduced water losses from pipe bursts, leakages and water theft as a result of upgraded infrastructure components.
  • Savings on natural water reserves (water bank) and the water bill.
  • Satisfied customers through an attractive and healthy environment free from waste water pollution and a reliable supply of good quality water.
  • A green Omaruru as a result of more green spaces that are wisely irrigated. 

The main activities are outlined below: 

A mini treatment plant was built in 2010 by the Municipality at the northern waste water disposal site (oxidations ponds) where wastewater was previously discharged into a stream leading to the Omaruru River. This mini plant comprises a reed bed constructed at a slope of 1% to allow a gentle flow of wastewater through the reed bed. From the reed bed the wastewater is filtered through a rock – sand medium after which it is collected in a 1,8 m deep concrete manhole. Before the manhole floods the semi-treated effluent drains to a second set of ponds located approximately 100m downstream of the primary ponds to the west via a 160mm uPVC gravity line.

This semi-treated effluent was tested in March 2011 and again in September 20211 and meets the Department of Water Affairs Standards for Waste water Treatment and Discharge. The effluent can be pumped to the Parks via a pump or alternatively it can drain to the second set of ponds for further evaporation or for use for gardening or fish farming. All the pipes and electricity to the recreation areas are installed and it is planned to commence with the irrigation of these two test sites using this effluent in October 2011.

Upon approval of this proposal it is planned to implement the following main activities:

  • Formalize and improve the wastewater purification at the northern waste water disposal site (oxidation ponds) by adding a second natural treatment medium of a bigger size stone – sand filter at least 40m x 20m x 2m deep. This way the quality of the two systems can be compared and improvements made accordingly.
  • Line the primary oxidation ponds to prevent groundwater pollution resulting from leachate.
  • Add a chlorination plant at the ponds as the final treatment step before irrigation.
  • Set up a mini lab at the Head office for basic water and sewage testing. 
  • Upgrade the wastewater pump stations which are currently operating in a crisis mode.
  • Set up gardening projects where suitable crops can be harvested using locals, who can then sell their produce. This way the entire wastewater disposal site becomes a green area which looks aesthetically appealing and is also pollution free while addressing socio economic concerns.
  • Set up a fish farming pond at the final pond in the chain, diluted with fresh water which is already available on the site, managed by the community.
  • Copy the same technology (a natural treatment plant) at the bigger ponds in Ozonje. This site is a serious contaminant of ground water as it is located uphill and within 100m of the river. There is clear evidence of surface and ground water pollution along this section of the river.
  • Provide technical training to Operators on pumps and systems, reticulation networks and appurtenant works.

Through this improvement of wastewater and water management, infrastructure upgrading, capacity building on the operation, maintenance and care, wastewater treatment and quality control, the community will be satisfied with the services delivered and the Municipality will save on fresh water wastage while preventing pollution. In this process unemployment and poverty are also addressed at the end of the chain, in line with the Government interventions for poverty reduction and economic growth such as the TIPEEG program.

Development of Citizen NGO Network

The main objective of the project Development of Citizen NGO network is to build a sustainable structure for planning, executing and financing projects between NGO:s in Vänersborg and Omaruru.

This can be done by using the existing structures and contacts, the result of ten years of successful cooperation between the two towns. To succeed in this an umbrella organisation should be created, through which future contacts with Omaruru should be handled. Under this organisation there will be room for churches as well as NGO:s.

In Namibia the Municipality of Omaruru will be our counterpart, as they have economic structures for coordination of different projects. Our aim is to let NGO:s in Vänersborg replace Vänersborgs kommun in the continued work between the partner towns. That way the work will continue on a citizen to citizen level.

Thematic Job Shadowing in the Field of Social Inclusion

The general objective is to make our municipalities become national “best practices” where inclusion and equality foster sustainable growth.

The aim of the project is to supply each other’s organisations with an analysis of and recommendations on sectors which can be improved in order to increase social inclusion. This will be done through informal examination and job shadowing activities. During the project period an analysis, structured as a report, will be submitted by the two organisations to the joint Management Group.

Sustainable Shoreline Development

The project builds upon a previous Development/Expansion phase with focus on sustainable development in shoreline areas. The municipality of Vänersborg and Chobe District Council have an ongoing, well functioning partnership and would like to expand that by developing their similar resources; being located close to nature and water. We see that these prerequisites could become a resource for income generating activities meanwhile serving with possibilities for the citizens recreational opportunities.

The project gathers different actors, organisations and residents to commonly develop a strategy document in their respective municipalities. The documents should clarify how to reach a sustainable development for recreation and entrepreneurship in connection to the shorelines and waters. A development which should happen with respect to nature and climate while giving new opportunities for social meeting places and jobs.

The project strives to accomplish strategic documents which can function as guidelines within the municipalities. Parallel to formulating the documents the project process will be utilized to establish new contacts and networks between different stakeholders, give opportunities to participation in the development and increase knowledge on how to work with these questions in the continuation.

Development of HIV/Aids preventive intervention part 2

This is a two year project resulting from previously established cooperation between Vänersborgs and Omaruru municipalities. The project is in the field of social issues and is specifically aimed at addressing HIV and AIDs related issues. The project aims at creating a comprehensive strategy for local preventive work, creating support groups and developing educational programmes that can be used for preventive work.

Different trainings and educational activities will be carried out with the objectives of training the personnel on crisis management, communication etc that will further improve on the preventive work. A social support system is also hoped to be developed with the hope of providing support for the people living with HIV or AIDS or for those who are affected in one way or another.

In general, the project is aimed at establishing a social support system for people living with HIV and or AIDS and also for preventive measures for residents in Omaruru and improving the skills of the staff to deal with HIV/AIDs related issues in the area. Vänersborgs municipality is also hoped to benefit from the educational program that will be developed for the purpose of sexuality education in schools.