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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Peri-urban mangroves forests as filters and potential phytoremediators of domestic sewage in East Africa


ABSTRACT: Peri-urban coastal areas of the developing world receive extensive amounts of untreated sewage, which is typically discharged into creeks lined by mangrove forests. Mangroves in all probability filter this discharged wastewater, thereby limiti ng coastal sewage pollution. This project aims to demonstrate this ecosystem service and to examine its ecological and socio-economical effects. It will develop the technology for using constructed mangrove wetlands for secondary treatment of domestic se wage water. It will examine the feasibility of "strategic reforestation and conservation" in sewage hotspot areas, to encourage natural mangrove filtration of discharged wastewater. It will develop an implementation plan for the exploitation of the devel oped technology and know-how, based on analysis of governance, policy, cost and financing options. The work will take place in peri-urban mangrove areas of Maputo (Mozambique), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Mombasa (Kenya). It will include: socio-economy, condition mapping, biogeochemistry, ecology, modelling, controlled experimentation and experimental optimisation of a trial wetland used for secondary treatment of sewage. Governance analysis and implementation planing will focus on Dar es Salaam, but have reference to Maputo and Mombasa. PUMPSEA addresses INCO research objectives A.2.2 (primarily) and A.2.1 (secondarily), by valuation of coastal ecosystem services, and by supporting policy and management analysis into mitigating the degradation of co astal zones in peri-urban areas. Using constructed mangrove wetlands for sewage treatment could be an innovative solution that complies with the social, economic and environmental contexts of developing countries. Strategic mangrove conservation and refo restation in sewage discharge areas can facilitate natural filtration and may represent cheap and immediately implementable approaches to mitigating coastal sewage pollution.

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