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The use of harvested rainwater and treated greywater in urban agriculture to improve

the socio-economic conditions of small farmers in Ariana-Soukra (Tunisia)

HOUMAN Boubaker; BOURAOUI Moez; MARZOUKI Yassine


Club Unesco Alecso pour le Savoir et le Développement Durable (CUASDD)

Context

Water availability in Tunisia stands at a third of the international


level according to the theoretical needs per capita (350m3/ inhabitant/
per year). Since the beginning of the 1970s, the use of treated
wastewater to complement irrigation has helped to sustain
agricultural activity.

However, the government’s severe restrictions on wastewater use


have significantly constrained agricultural diversification, leading
small farmers to abandon what is now a barely profitable sector.
La Soukra : Focus city

This poster describes an applied research carried out by the “Club The project specific objectives are:
Unesco Alecso pour le Savoir et le Développement Durable”
(CUASDD) in order to improve the socio-economic conditions of - Valorization of rainwater collected from roof and treated greywater
small farmers of Ariana-Soukra – Tunisia - through the use of as additional water resources to address water scarcity
rainwater and treated greywater in urban agriculture. This project - Increase the income of targeted population, through intensive
is part of the UPE Focus Cities Research Initiative (FCRI). Urban Agriculture
- Build a gender disaggregated data base for Ariana-Soukra to
improve natural and human resources management
- Build the support of local and national stakeholders for the concept
of rainwater and greywater harvesting in urban and peri-urban
agriculture as a means to reduce poverty
- Disseminate the model with its different versions at local, national
and international levels.

Small farmers in La Soukra

To ensure the project’s feasibility, a study of social habits of the


beneficiaries was documented and spatial analysis of land occupation
using GIS was realized. At the same time, a pilot project was conducted
during 2007-2008. This pilot project will serve as a practical
demonstration and reference site for local authorities and small farmers
facilitating the transfer of the model to the community.

Results
- Studies of land occupation in Ariana-Soukra reveal that the agricultural
land covers 56% of total territory; 32% of this land lie fallow and the built
The implementation of the pilot project in the training center of
area continues to increase covering now nearly 44%. the Tunisian Association for the Support of Deaf people revealed
- The average monthly household income (with an average of 6 persons
that:
per family) amounts to around 300$US confirming a worsening socio-
- Treated greywater collected from the system developed by
economic conditions of small farmers. CUASDD with the support of Tunisian water research
laboratories is suitable for irrigating ornamental plants. The
annual volume collected (55 m3/year) cover the need of 250 m2 of
plants growing under greenhouse.
- With respect to rainwater harvest, the estimated annual volume
amounts to 250m3 allowing the cultivation of 540 m2 of vegetables
under greenhouse.
Treated greywater system

Practice of intensive and diversified agriculture


using local resources water is an alternative for
small urban farmers to improve their income
and to preserve their lands and their Know-
how.
Harvesting rainwater basin