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Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4194; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114194

Defeating Fluorosis in the East African Rift Valley: Transforming the Kilimanjaro into a Rainwater Harvesting Park

1
Department of Humanities, Governance and Leadership, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha P.O. Box 447, Tanzania
2
Department of Water and Environmental Science and Engineering, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha P.O. Box 447, Tanzania
3
Department of Applied Geology, Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidtstraße 3, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 10 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
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Abstract

The high availability of fluoride in surface and groundwater in the East African Rift Valley was documented during the colonial period. Since the early 1960s, many studies have been conducted to solve the fluorosis crisis in this region. At present, no cost-effective solution to mitigate fluoride contamination is available for the large majority of the population. This situation prompted a process analysis of commonly used technologies. Results revealed that the geochemistry of fluoride is the main problem. Fluoride is very difficult to remove from the aqueous phase. Thus, eliminating the need for technical water defluoridation is an excellent way out of the fluorosis crisis. This goal can be achieved by harvesting fluoride-free rainwater. Harvested rainwater can be mixed with naturally polluted waters in calculated proportions to obtain safe drinking water (blending). This paper presents a concept to transform the Kilimanjaro Mountains into a huge rainwater harvesting park for drinking water supply for the whole East African Rift Valley. However, blended water may contain other pollutants including pathogens that are easy to treat using low-cost methods such as metallic iron based-filters (Fe0 filters). The proposed concept is transferable to other parts of the world still enduring fluoride pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: East African Rift valley; rainwater harvesting; solar pasteurization; water defluoridation; zero-valent iron East African Rift valley; rainwater harvesting; solar pasteurization; water defluoridation; zero-valent iron
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Marwa, J.; Lufingo, M.; Noubactep, C.; Machunda, R. Defeating Fluorosis in the East African Rift Valley: Transforming the Kilimanjaro into a Rainwater Harvesting Park. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4194.

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