The development of water sanitation technologies and innovative water management approaches to deal with environmental and food security risks associated with drinking water and agricultural soil contamination is crucial for many rural areas in Africa. In the African Rift Valley, high levels of fluoride in community drinking water supply are recognized as one of the major public health problems in most rural villages.
The overall objective of FLOWERED is to contribute to the development of a sustainable water management system in the areas affected by fluoride contamination in water, soils and food thus to improve living standards of its population. In this context, FLOWERED aims to test innovative defluoridation technologies for drinking water operating mainly at small village scale. Moreover, FLOWERED addresses environmental and health (human and animal) issues related to the fluoride contamination in the African Rift Valley, and in particular in three case study area located in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya. It will improve the current scientific knowledge on the presence of fluoride in surface water and groundwater as a consequence of water-rock interaction processes, and on its impact on soils and agro-animals products (food security). The project will also investigate the relationships between fluoride contamination in irrigation water and soils along the food chain, considering food and forage crop productivity, and animal health and production.
Through the integration of advanced scientific and local knowledge and experiences FLOWERED is expected to provide opportunity to generate new knowledge for both scientists and stakeholders, enhance decision making and facilitate the rising of innovative ideas for EU and African enterprises. The project combines an interdisciplinary research approach which would allow to bring the tested technologies and the agricultural and livestock management systems into the door-step of the rural communities of the case study areas.