Natural-based Wastewater Treatment Plants for the City of Hawassa in Ethiopia



Project Implementer: Holistic Solutions s.r.o. in partnership with ConWe s.r.o.

Donor: Czech UNDP Challenge Fund

Implementation period: 2021-2022


Wastewater management in the City of Hawassa is still not adequately addressed - some wastewater is captured in domestic septic tanks where it seeps into the subsoil without pretreatment, excess water is exported by fecal trucks outside the city, and some wastewater is discharged directly into the lake. Through the established sewerage system, stormwater from the city of Hawassa is discharged along with sewage and large amounts of solid pollution (road debris, garbage) - in most cases without any pre-treatment - into the adjacent Lake Awassa.


The main objective of the proposed project was to introduce Czech technology of natural-based wastewater treatment plants to Ethiopia, specifically to the town of Hawassa and its surroundings in the form of a feasibility study. The technology can treat the wastewater from households and enterprises and thus, it to contribute to avoid lake and underground water pollution. Moreover, the technology enables to obtain utility water from treated wastewater, which can be further used for irrigation purposes in agriculture, and thus to contribute to sustainable water management. Apart from the environmental point of view, the technology can help reduce infant mortality while reducing illnesses such as diarrhoea due to contaminated water, and thus to improve livelihoods.


The study evaluated current poor wastewater situation in Hawassa, local conditions for the implementation of the technology and surveyed availability of materials and technologies needed for the construction of treatment wetlands. Not all the needed materials for the construction are available in Ethiopia, however, they can be imported from another countries, with an emphasis on quality which is very important. As an example, a specific NWWTP for local high school in Hawassa was designed based on Czech expert team's visit and experience, including all requirements on smooth operation and maintenance of the plant. The feasibility of the solution for Ethiopia has been confirmed and offers high potential for further scaling up and replication.