Fecal sludge management in Tamatave – Madagascar

Tamatave is Madagascar’s second largest city, home to approximately 270,000 inhabitants. The sprawling coastal city is located on an alluvial plain in the northeast part of the island. Most households in Tamatave defecate in shallow pit latrines that interact with the groundwater table.

As just two vacuum trucks operate in Tamave, sludge management is traditionally the work of informal day laborers who empty pits manually with basic tools. Sludge is often buried in vacant lots or dumped directly into rice fields, canals, rivers or the sea.

This project aims to develop a sustainable and affordable fecal sludge management system with an appropriate sludge treatment.


  • To set-up a sustainable and affordable desludging service for popular neighbourhoods
  • To design and build a cost-efficient sludge treatment plant (200m3/month)
  • To support local authorities in the monitoring and improvement of sludge management facilities


  • Design tools for extraction and transportation of fecal sludge.
  • Training latrine workers in desludging technics (Hygienic methods and the use of tools)
  • Support and improve the business management of desludging enterprises
  • Train and involve local authorities in the monitoring and improvement of sludge management facilities
  • Design and realize the fecal sludge treatment plant


Agence de l’Eau Adour-Garonne, Communautés de Communes Terrasses et Vallée de l’Aveyron and the Belgium Government made available an estimated budget 325.600 €. PRACTICA is managing a budget of 162.000 €


  • Sludge drying test and characterization
  • Feasibility studies of the treatment plant
  • Operational pilot desludging service
  • 6 locals latrine workers trained on desludging technics
  • Design and test of several tools needed for sludge extraction and transportation
  • Latrine emptier team
  • Latrine workers training
  • Opening-pit
  • Cyclopousse near a latrine
  • Disposal
2013 - 2016