Sociotechnical configurations for managing wastewater reuse in urban agriculture

Project title: Crafting effective sociotechnical configurations for managing wastewater reuse in urban agriculture in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Project summary: In the face of population growth, urbanization and climate change, the use of wastewater for irrigated agriculture is growing. However, wastewater use poses significant risks to producers and consumers in the absence of appropriate safety barriers. Despite these risks urban wastewater is widely used as a source for irrigation, being a more reliable source than rain- or freshwater supply. Examples of reuse in urban Africa show that limited sanitation services, poor wastewater management and weak or no enforcement of regulations, result in environmental pollution and health risks for producers and consumers. The objective of this research is to understand how practices of water reuse in urban agriculture become more (or less) effective in contributing to health, food security and environmental sustainability. By studying practices along the water chain from upstream users to downstream (re)users, this research shows how sociotechnical configurations of water reuse in Dar es Salaam emerge and evolve under influence of both technical and institutional interventions. It contributes to better governance of small-scale reuse practices and thereby stimulates safe and productive agriculture in urbanizing landscapes across sub-Saharan Africa.

Project details:
This PhD research is part of the Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS) graduate school. The research is a collaboration between Ardhi University (School of Environmental Sciences and Technology) and Wageningen University (Water Resources Management group and Environmental Policy group) and closely aligns with work of other institutes working in the domain of urban water and agriculture.