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RedR TSS

Irrigation with foul water

Irrigating vegetable crops for local consumption / sale, using foul water as the main source of water

Key organisation involved: The Nehemiah Project seeks to assist those whose families are impacted by AIDS in Zimbabwe. This project is based in Bulawayo. One of the areas of work for this charity is to help commercial sex workers to have an alternative way of providing for themselves and their children. One part of this is to encourage them to grow some of their own food to provide a balanced diet. Full details of technical support request: There is a proposal from this charity to irrigate a patch of land for vegetable production. The issue is that the only source of irrigation water is an open sewer running alongside, that carries foul water to a local council treatment centre. So, my question is - assuming that we receive the go-ahead to abstract this foul water from the local council - how could we use / treat this (relatively small flow of) sewage before spreading it over food crops. My concern is not just the residue being left on the crops, but the very idea that adults and/or children would be handling raw sewage to an extent (if we go for surface irrigation) or any manual intervention in the application of the sewage to the crops. There is a local idea that drip-irrigation could prevent any manual intervention, but I have my doubts that a drip system would last any length of time at all before it gets choked up with excrement or plant based materials.

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RedR CCDRR

Irrigation with foul water

Irrigating vegetable crops for local consumption / sale, using foul water as the main source of water

Key organisation involved: The Nehemiah Project seeks to assist those whose families are impacted by AIDS in Zimbabwe. This project is based in Bulawayo. One of the areas of work for this charity is to help commercial sex workers to have an alternative way of providing for themselves and their children. One part of this is to encourage them to grow some of their own food to provide a balanced diet. Full details of technical support request: There is a proposal from this charity to irrigate a patch of land for vegetable production. The issue is that the only source of irrigation water is an open sewer running alongside, that carries foul water to a local council treatment centre. So, my question is - assuming that we receive the go-ahead to abstract this foul water from the local council - how could we use / treat this (relatively small flow of) sewage before spreading it over food crops. My concern is not just the residue being left on the crops, but the very idea that adults and/or children would be handling raw sewage to an extent (if we go for surface irrigation) or any manual intervention in the application of the sewage to the crops. There is a local idea that drip-irrigation could prevent any manual intervention, but I have my doubts that a drip system would last any length of time at all before it gets choked up with excrement or plant based materials.