As the world’s population continues to grow, the number of people living in cities in developing countries is expected to expand by 2.1 billion people by the year 2030. With this growth comes many challenges, including those of sanitation and wastewater. Farmers growing crops in urban and peri-urban environments will be integral to the food security of these expanding cities and, increasingly, will rely on wastewater to irrigate their crops. The health risks associated with using this untreated wastewater are numerous, but with proper education and training it is possible to use wastewater safely at the farm level.
FAO recently published a training handbook for farmer field schools entitled ‘On-farm practices for the safe use of wastewater in urban and peri-urban horticulture.’ The handbook highlights a series of simple, low-cost and low-tech wastewater treatment and irrigation solutions for farmers in developing countries.
The best practices described in this handbook were designed and field-tested as part of a CPWF Phase 1 project under the coordination of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the International Water Management Institute.