Durban Metro Water Services: Sewage Disposal Education
Programme, South Africa
Durban is the main port of the Republic of South Africa. It is
situated on the East Coast of South Africa, approximately 600km
South East of Johannesburg. It is the commercial center of the province
of KwaZulu Natal. Durban Metro Water Service's Sewage Disposal Education
Programme arose out of the need to curb high levels of sewage pollution
and maintenance costs incurred through the abuse and misuse of sewerage
systems in the Durban metropolitan area. This education programme
has become a vehicle of broader social reconstruction and development.
Directed by Durban Metro Water Services, it involves public / private
partnerships, and aims to establish a climate of civic responsibility,
calling on communities to support their local government and businesses
in the construction and development of their living environments.
The main objective of the Sewage Disposal Education Programme is
to create a better understanding of the workings of the sewerage
system amongst communities, especially first time users of these
services. This is done through a number of innovative educational
interventions, which encourage interactive and participative learning.
Educational resources and toolkits have been designed for use in
schools and at informal education settings, such as clinics. Road-show
and street theatre performances are presented at informal settings
to a broad spectrum of the community, reaching out to less literate
members of communities.
The education programme has made a quantitative impact. In Umlazi
(population 262,000) for example, blockages have been reduced from
approximately 1300 per month to 300 - 400 per month, after a period
of about one and a half to two years. Sewage blockages throughout
the Metro area have resulted in savings equivalent to US$ 200,000.
The education campaign has reached 141,646 learners and 212,104
adults. The entire education programme has been introduced in 226
schools and many clinics. In addition, within the period of one
year, 550 street theatre performances were held in the Durban metropolitan
area, reaching approximately a further 35,600 adults and 40,000
school children. Rewarding public/private partnerships have resulted
from the programme, with buy-in from industry. Emphasis has been
placed on community capacity building and skills development, and
the employment of women has been encouraged. By-laws have been passed
and formalised in the form of a Legal Framework for Pollution Management.
Over thirty facilitators are now fully employed. In additions the
program provides employment to thespians who perform on the streets.
Durban Metro Water Services has pioneered the Sewage Disposal Education
Programme in South Africa. As a result of an invitation to present
an aspect of this educational programme to the World Bank Water
Supply and Sanitation Forum in Washington, Durban Metro Water Services
has received an invitation to help develop a toolkit in Kenya, for
improving delivery of water supply and sanitation services to low
income urban communities, which could be utilised by service providers
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Water Conservation Conscious Fukuoka, Japan
Like most best practices, effective water demand management in
Fukuoka was born from a crisis. There was a great drought in 1978,
forcing the city government to curb water supply for 287 days in
a year. Without abundant water resources and subject to serious
periodic droughts, Fukuoka faced an enormous challenge in securing
a stable water supply to serve population of over 1.3 million. To
respond to this alarming situation, the Fukuoka city in partnership
with the citizens and private sector launched various initiatives
promoting a “Water Conservation Conscious City” in 1979.
Under this scheme, several innovations and measures were implemented.
Water-saving apparatus were introduced and currently approximately
96% of users have water flow reducing devices installed in their
facets. Water savings have been realized with an average family
saving up to 1,000 liters per month. Water conservation consciousness
amongst residents is promoted through “Save Water Campaign”
held annually in June. Guidelines on saving water are distributed
to homes and educational materials to primary schools. More than
85% of citizens are involved in some kind of efforts to conserve
water. The Fukuoka City Water Bureau has been addressing water leakage
by replacing old pipes were replaced with new ones. Through such
effort Fukuoka has the lowest water leakage rate of Japan and it
was under 2.7% in 2001. The city is also actively promoting reuse
of treated wastewater. Using the Wide-Area Circulation System and
Individual Circulation System for large- buildings, used and treated
water is utilized for flush toilets and watering plants. The amount
of water conserved by this approach is about 7,000 cubic meters
a day. The City supplements its fresh water supplies by converting
seawater into freshwater, using the Reverse Permeability system,
to produce 50,000 cubic meters of freshwater daily.
Other measures include an integrated water distribution monitoring
system to ensure efficiency. The City has also embarked on protecting
water sources through tree planting campaign. Currently, per capita
water consumption in Fukuoka City is less than what it was before
in 1978, despite a 30 per cent increase in population. Fukuoka City
consumes approximately 20% less water than other comparably sized
Contact: Hiroaki Goda
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A City Saving Water, Zaragoza, Spain
Eleven million Spaniards were undergoing daily water restrictions.
There were serious inter-regional conflicts over this scarce commodity.
The only one solution was to have more reservoirs and more water
pipe network. Zaragoza, a city of 700,000 inhabitants in the northeast
of Spain was no exception to this situation with rainfall being
scarce and irregular and water being misused. In 1997, the "Zaragoza,
the water-saving city" project was initiated aiming to promote
a new water-saving consciousness through a more efficient management
of this resource. It emphasised, above all, the importance of simple
technological change to achieve a sustainable reduction in water
consumption. The project's aim was to save 1,000 million litres
of domestic water consumption in one year.
The Zaragoza Water Saving City project has demonstrated that that
partnerships, awareness building and technology can be combined
to achieve a sustainable reduction in water consumption. The major
participants in the project are government institutions, financial
institutions, the business sector (manufacturers, distributors,
professionals, large consumers), the educational sector (teachers,
students), the media and society in general (associations, consumers).
The project resulted in saving of 592 million litres in domestic
water consumption. Partnership arrangements and agreements were
made with over 2,450 establishments involving 92,000 people. 168
educational establishments, 428 teachers and 70,000 students are
directly participating in the campaign's Educational Programme.
The most important lesson is that shared responsibility between
main players (manufacturers, retailers, consumers, distributors,
plumbers etc) has managed to create a new synergy which favours
water-use efficiency. Many Northern and Southern Hemisphere cities
have shown an interest in the project, such as Lisbon, Málaga
and Valencia, Cuzco in Peru and León, Nicaragua.
Contact person: Víctor Viñuales Edo
Tel: +34-976 22 66 33
Fax: +34-976 22 64 69
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National Programme to Conserve Drinking Water, Egypt
This project aims to conserve drinking water, locally and nationally
by reducing water losses, utilization of 16 locally developed sanitary
fixtures, intensive public awareness program (media and personal
contact), and training of local plumbers. These measures resulted
in reducing the water consumption by 36 million m3 in one year with
cost savings of about 5 million USD/ year. Consequently, the load
on the sewerage system has also been reduced.
Contact person: Dr. Emad El-Deen Adli Nada
Fax: (202) 3041635
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SODIS, Solar Water Disinfection, Switzerland
The Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology
(EAWAG) developed a very simple but extremely effective low-cost
device for water purification that can be applied worldwide. The
priorities were outlined with the rural population in developing
countries in mind where instances of water borne diseases and related
deaths due to the lack of access to safe drinking water are high.
The new method for water purification had to produce safe drinking
water, be applicable at the household level, be simple in application,
rely on local resources and renewable energy and be replicable with
low investment costs.
Researchers carried out comprehensive laboratory and field-tests
to develop and test the effectiveness of SODIS - the device developed
for the purification of drinking water using solar energy. The principle
behind SODIS is that radiation in the spectrum of UV/A and increased
water temperature destroy pathogens that cause disease. A solar
radiation intensity of at least 500W/m2 is required over a period
of 5 hours for SODIS to be effective. To do this, all that is required
is a simple plastic container such as disposable mineral water bottles
with one side painted black and a cover to reduce the risk of re-contamination.
Through a massive publicity campaign, including demonstrations,
SODIS is in use in many developing countries where assessments have
shown a decrease in infection rates and drastic improvements in
children's nutritional status. Time and fuel consumption have been
saved and less effort is spent in purifying water using traditional
means such as boiling. A survey carried out indicates that 84% of
current users appreciate the new technology and will continue to
use it in future. SODIS promotion and dissemination initiatives
and activities are in progress or have been initiated in Latin America,
Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Kenya, Liberia, Angola,
Mexico, Brazil amongst other developing nations.
This technology provides a solution to both rural and urban low-income
households with lack of access to safe drinking water supply and
an alternative to chemical treatment processes. In addition, SODIS
contributes to the sustainability of the environment through the
re-use of plastic bottles.
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Regional Integration for Availability of Water, Sao Paulo,
The rapid increase in population to (4 million inhabitants in 62
municipalities) in the Piracicaba, Capivari and Jundiaí river
basin region in addition to the withdrawal of water from the river
basin to supply the greater Sao Paulo metropolitan area resulted
in depleted local water supply. In addition there was low coverage
at 3% of sewage collection and treatment in the region. The Consortium
PCJ (Piracicaba, Capivari and Jundiaí rivers) was created
as a result of the need to have a regional body to resolve issues
related to water resources in the region. Initiated in 1989, the
Consortium involved 11 cities, a number that has grown to 42 cities
and 34 companies. The project also contributes to the economic,
social and environmental sustainability of the region.
The main priorities and strategies were identified through open
fora and events for local leadership development, involving stakeholders
from different sectors. Regional integration, planning and management
for sustainable water supply and awareness raising on environmental
protection, are the main priorities. An integrated support programme
was developed for the implementation of the Consortium that outlined
specific projects: Cities Support; Technical
Cooperation; River Basins Management; Industrial and Urban Waste
Treatment; Domestic and Health Solid Waste Management; Protection
of Water Springs for Public Supply; Public Water Distribution Systems
Management; Replanting Forest Areas, and Environmental Education.
Community mobilisation was carried out by local groups, and co-ordinated
largely by women. Responsible citizenship and environmental awareness
were stimulated though schools and youth groups, and the programme
has been carried out with the support of local governments and the
private sector. A Water Collection and Production Plan for the Piracicaba
and Capivari Rivers was elaborated and a Basin Committee founded.
The PCJ Consortium has assisted the creation of other similar initiatives,
which utilise sound management practices such as: cost recovery,
budgeting and priority definition, executive secretariat structure,
environmental education, participatory process model and methodology,
etc. The experience has contributed to the definition of a River
Basin Management Policy.
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Grouped Drinking Water Supply Programme for
Rural Population in Morocco - PAGER, Rabat.
The supply of drinking water to the rural areas in Morocco was
not well developed in comparison to the urban areas The scattered
settlements characteristic of the villages is a serious constraint
to the development of networks of water distribution. Of the 12,600
inhabitants of rural Morocco, less than 20% had access to safe drinking
water with the situation reaching critical levels during the drought.
Women and children in 93% of the cases were responsible for the
transportation of water having to walk distances of over 10 kilometres
to rivers and exposing themselves to water borne diseases such as
bilharzia, diarrhoea and cholera and compromising their education.
The PAGER is a program launched by the High Water and Climate Council
of Morocco in 1995 to implement the National Master Plan on water
supply to rural areas. A database has been created with all the
relevant information on the rural localities of the Kingdom, which
number 40,000. In each province, the interventions are carried out
on the basis of a multi-criteria analysis that integrates the population
of the village, the distance between the source of water and the
village, the vulnerability of the water resource to drought and
water borne diseases risks.
The PAGER works on the basis that requests come from the rural
population before any intervention is initiated. This approach has
enhanced the participation of the local community in development
of their surroundings and enhanced local ownership of the project.
80% of the total budget was provided by the State, 15% by the local
community through their associations and 5% by beneficiary users.
The PAGER provides training to some community members who are tasked
with sensitizing and involving the entire community. Women particularly
have the role of reaching out to their peers in the community.
As a result of the initiative, more that 7,000 villages and close
to 3.5 million residents have access to safe drinking water. A clear
reduction of water borne disease incidences has been noted and women
and children concerned with fetching water have been relieved of
the chore. During the last period of drought, the impact on water
supply was not felt with as much gravity as in the previous years.
With the launching of the different projects each year, about ten
small enterprises have been created and the population has received
training on various aspects of the project such as civil engineering,
pumping facilities and bore-holes.
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Sanitation and farmer production in Sabtenga, Burkina Faso
The population of Burkina Faso is 13 million
(UN, 2003) with a GNI per capita of US $220(World Bank, 2001). Centre
Régional pour l’Eau Potable et l’Assainissement (CREPA) is
an international NGO working in several countries of West Africa.
CREPO started a programme of ecological latrines (EcoSan) in the
village of Sabtenga (3,062 inhabitants), 20 km away from Ouagadougou
(the capital of Burkina Faso) within its water and sanitation framework.
Among its objectives, CREPO aimed to contribute
to improving the health conditions of the populations by putting
appropriate and cheap sanitation facilities at the disposal of the
populations and by promoting the composition of human excreta for
To be enable it to achieve its goals, the organisation
started by identifying and prioritisation the needs of the population,
sensitising and training local actors, researching and studying
the socio cultural, technical, hygiene-health, and agronomic aspects
of ecological sanitation, preparing the experimental site and conducting
the experiments and finally disseminating the results of the pilot
The project started in October 2001 with several
preparatory meetings involving all local stakeholders and community
leaders. Capacity building activity included training of masons
and awareness coordinators.
Human excreta was collected, mixed with domestic
waste and set aside to composite, this in turn resulted in good
quality manure for agriculture. This process not only contributed
to the reduction of random defecation on open spaces, but also improved
the hygienic conditions of the village. The EcoSan latrines built
in the village contributed to the preservation of the quality of
drinking water. After the construction of the first 10 latrines,
the positive impact on the environment and on the economic situation
allowed the project stakeholders to mobilize additional funds for
the realization of 50 others latrines.
The awareness strategy adopted during project implementation
has put emphasis on community participation and behavioral change.
Every household involved in the project committed to playing his/her
role fully and to maintaining his/her own garden for agricultural
production, enforcing community responsibility previously unseen
in the village. The beneficiaries of the latrines understood quickly
the EcoSan’s concept and the conditions of usage and maintenance.
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Sand Dams of Kitui: Providing Potable & Production Water
in Semi-Arid Lands of Kitui District, Kenya
Kitui district, with a population of 575,512 and per capita income
of US$26, has agriculture as the main economic activity. The district
is repeatedly hit by draught as it lacks water mainly due to the
lack of retention of the water in the catchment areas, as 80% of
the received precipitation is lost as surface run-off. As a result,
water resources are few and far apart in dry periods and people
walk up to twenty kilometers to get water. The district suffers
from food insecurity and has been a net importer of food.
The sand dam programme, undertaken by Sahelian
Solutions Foundation Kenya (SASOL) aimed at increasing the availability
of water by reducing the distance to water sources and avail adequate
water for domestic and productive use within two kilometers of every
household; and the amount of water in the catchment to diversify
the economic activities of the community and impact on the environment
by building of sand dams in a series in a catchment’s drainage channels
for synergistic effects.
SASOL works with local communities towards the
alleviation of the persistent water problem by organizing and informing
the community members about sand dams and their role in the construction.
The community identifies sites and decides on the total number of
sites it is capable of developing depending on availability of enough
stones, sand and water. The site committee plans for activities
at the site, supervises and monitors the work in progress; maintains
site records, mobilizes the required local resources, stores and
protects resources obtained externally, maintains technical staff
assigned; and assures compliance of rules and regulations developed
by the community.
The development of sand dams and water holding
structures, terraces and contour bunds on the land, has increased
productive shallow wells from 2 to 39 to date. In total 376 sand
dam sites have been developed in Kitui to date bringing water closer
to households serving up to 200,000 inhabitants. The time saving
on water chores for these inhabitants has been reduced from 5-10
hrs to ½ - 1 hr in these areas as indicated by the community in
Tungutu during their project impact assessment. This has boosted
food security and economic activities have sprung up, such as bee
keeping, brick making and growing of vegetables and trees. This
has improved the people’s livelihoods. Women and children are the
principle beneficiaries in this development as they usually bear
the burden of water chores.
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A Green Path to Sustainable Development of Marginal Drylands,
Iran, population 68.9 million and per capita income of US $1,720,
covers an area of 636,296 sq. miles. Oil exports account for around
80% of foreign exchange earnings as well as non-oil exports such
as carpets. The Gareh Bygone Plain, a 6000-hectare sandy desert
in southern Iran annually receives 150mm of rain as opposed to 2860mm
of Class A pan evaporation. Freshwater scarcity, poor rangeland,
and dust storms had caused migration of some nomads-turned-farmers
from the Gareh Bygone Plain. The remaining women and children had
to walk up to 6-km a day to fetch water resluting in back pain and
miscarriages for the women and the lower school attendance for thethe
The initiative addresses the vicious cycle of poverty,
desertification, and drought affecting the nomads in the Gareh Bygone
Plains of Iran. The main objective of the initiative was desertification
control through floodwater spreading for the artificial recharge
of groundwater. Other objectives include planting of shade trees
and fodder bushes as live windbreaks; deposition of the suspended
load onto the moving sand; and provision of fuelwood which would
discourage people from cutting trees and removing bushes on the
watersheds, thus helping soil and water conservation. All of these
activities, along with hiring of laborers and watchmen, would reverse
the tide of migration.
Floodwater spreading, as expected, has transformed
a desert into verdant scenery. Some of the tangible benefits, which
were instrumental in reversing the migration towards the Gareh Bygone
Plain. The program introduced programs for reforestation, community
education and mobilization. A collaboration of central government,
local authority, parastatals, non-government organizations, community-based
organizations and academic institutions provided knowledge, resources
and technology. After five years, results show that 8 million cubic
meters of floodwater provided ample freshwater, fuel wood, and employment
opportunities, and reduced work burden on women and children. The
irrigated area has increased from 147 ha to 1,193 ha and this has
provided income for 250 operators, and 95 hired laborers. Moreover,
extra employment has been provided due to the annual production
of 10 tons of honey. Its success led to a government policy adopting
aquifer management as a program and allocated annual budget. It
demonstrated the potential of annually harvesting 50 cubic kms of
floodwaters could control desertification on 14 million hectares,
supply irrigation water for 6 million hectares and provide jobs
for 4 million people.
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Integrated Management of Water Resources in
The Paraiba Do Sul River Basin, Brazil.
The Southeast Coastal Hydrographic Region of Brazil
has an area of 231,216 km2, accounting for 3% of the
country's total area mass and has a mean river discharge rate of
4,024 m3/s (3% of the country's total). Its main rivers
are the Paraíba do Sul and Doce rivers, run for 1,150 and
853 km respectively. The Paraíba do Sul basin alone produces
an impressive 10% of national GDP. This hydrographic region also
presents, significant economic differences, with the GDP per capita
ranging from R$ 5,239 in Minas Gerais to R$ 9,210 in São
Paulo. The national GDP per capita is R$5,740.
The Paraíba do Sul river crosses three of
the most important and developed states of Brazil: Minas Gerais,
São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It is the main water supply
for more than 11 million people in Rio de Janeiro City, and it is
also used extensively as a waste disposal system by industrial facilities
in all three states. The river basin has a total population of 7,600,000
(IBGE/2000 Census). The integrated water management initiative is
a model of sustainable management for this important river basin
to guarantee water for future use.
The establishment of a committee (CEIVAP) comprising
60 members from Central government, 9 state governments, local authorities,
research institutes, industries and water users is a complex and
effective model of partnership. The objectives were to implement
a pioneering and fully operational management system and establish
a set of instruments in compliance with the Brazilian National Water
Resources Policy and the respective Federal Act 9433/97. CEIVAP
thus obtained resources for structural interventions in environmental
remediation and improvement of water availability in a river basin.
The committees also introduced billing for water use covering large
portions of three key States: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo,
and Minas Gerais, with 180 municipalities all characterized by extreme
economic, social, and political heterogeneity. The discussions and
approval of water billing rates took into account users’ economic
interests and involved various sectors and participation at various
levels in the Committee
The initiative has been successful in implementing
structural interventions in the water supply, sewage treatment,
waste collection, drainage, and slope stabilization in order to
arrest and reverse environmental degradation and ensure the availability
of water resources. This type of management system involves participation
by society as a whole in the preservation and use of rivers (some
127,000 liters of water per second are drawn from this river basin
every day, used for household, industrial, and irrigation purposes),
including a sustainable water supply for 14.4 million inhabitants,
80% of whom are in Greater Metropolitan Rio de Janeiro. A Programme
for Participatory Mobilization was established to ensure decentralized
and participatory management. The sensitization campaign was realized
through the Waterway Environmental Education Programme.
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BioSand Filter International Technology
The purpose of the initiative to disseminate
BioSand filter technology (BSF), to as many people as possible,
in a short period of time and in such a way that the technology
is used effectively and consistently. The BioSand filter (BSF) is
a household water treatment device that is capable of improving
water quality by removing a large percentage of disease causing
microorganisms in water. Concrete BSFs cost between US$12 and US$30,
and have minimal operating costs.
Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology
(CAWST), and its predecessors, Davnor Water Treatment and David
Manz, developed a training program, which enables BSFs to be built
with good quality control, by local communities using local materials.
Tens of thousands of BSFs are now used in over 30 developing countries,
and impact the lives many people worldwide. The BSF user education
program encourages users to adopt a multi-barriered approach to
the prevention of water disease. It includes education on sanitation
and hygiene as well as water treatment. International NGOs, including
Rotary Clubs, Mercy Ships, Medair and Samaritans Purse incorporate
BSFs in their international development programs overseas, and,
national NGOs in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ecuador, Ghana and Uganda
are working with CAWST to introduce the technology to other NGOs
and government agencies in their countries. Furthermore, agencies
in many countries, have adapted the BSF design to suit their in-country
environment. Students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
University of North Carolina and the University of Waterloo are
all conducting research projects on the BSF. Government agencies
and NGOs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are participating with
CAWST and several international agencies in developing a model for
building capacity in household water treatment in those countries,
focusing on the BSF as the primary enabling technology.
The Biosand filter has gained acceptance as a viable
household water treatment technology, by international organizations
such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Research
Council (IRC) and the International Water Association (IWA).
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Rehabilitation of Urban Areas - Guarapiranga Project -
The Guarapiranga Water basin is located in the northern part of
Sao Paulo region of Brazil and extends into Embu-Guaco and Itapecerica
Da Serra municipalities. The Environmental Sanitation Program of
the Guarapiranga Water basin started in 1993, aiming to guarantee
the water quality of the Guarapiranga Reservoir, through corrective
actions including basic sanitation infrastructure and capacity building
for fresh water management. The implementation was based on the
concerted efforts of state and local authorities with financial
support from the World Bank.
The Guarapiranga Reservoir presently supplies nearly 25 percent
of the drinking water to the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Area (SPMA).
The urban informal settlements (more then 190 different slums) had
progressively expanded into the lower part of the basin, near the
reservoir. The rehabilitation and expansion of the Guarapiranga
area entailed relocation and resettling of the slum dwellers. The
works included new streets, paving, drainage, channeling of streams
and waste collection. The population participated in the process
of architectural design and civil works by offering suggestions
on the most suitable design solutions.
The implementing authorities also developed a proposal for the
Guarapiranga Water-basin Management agency which involved an environmental
master plan for the water basin integrating sectoral plans for land
use, sewerage, solid waste and water quality.
As a result of the programme the following has been achieved:
• Construction of basic infrastructure for 190 slums, home
to 20,000 families (or 100,000 inhabitants);
• 264 kms of sewer network to serve 80% of the 580,000 inhabitants
of the Guarapiranga Water-basin;
• Drainage construction and restoration of 13 sq. km. of urban
areas which had deteriorated due to insufficient drainage
• Land-use planning and the resettlement of 4,000 families
living in high-risk sites with construction of houses averaging
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