In 2015 CPS Live Ltd, a real estate developer launched Fumba Town, a modern African
town in Zanzibar, the island that lies some 30km (just over 16 nautical miles) off the
Tanzanian mainland. Fumba Town consists of 3,000 housing units, commercial, retail,
hospitality, and medical spaces developed on 150 acres on the Indian Ocean shore of the
CPS Live’s main objectives included developing modern units that did not compromise
quality. Sustainability was another key consideration and to this end Fumba Town was to
use as much locally available material as possible.
Fundamental to the whole construction was ensuring the landscape that had earned
Zanzibar its dream destination status was maintained. However, ensuring Fumba Town’s
aesthetics and the project’s facilities functionalities presented some engineering challenges,
one of which was freshwater storage. How do you install tanks that will provide adequate
potable water but not mar Zanzibar’s picturesque scene?
One of the project’s new retail blocks needed a 50,000 litre (50m 3 ) rooftop tank to service the
building with a large volume of drinking water.
A key requirement was that the Plasco team had to design the tank to fit into a restricted
space. The tanks were not to be visible from the ground and as such were not to protrude
higher than the 1.1m high bund wall around the rooftop.
“Zanzibar is one of the most scenic locations and erecting a forest of uninspiring tall vertical
moulded or steel tanks would have been an injustice to Fumba’ Town residents,” said Plasco
CEO, Ali Gulamhussein.
Sustainability was also an important consideration for project’s developers and again this
presented another set of challenges because the traditional building technology such as
moulded plastic tanks and their steel equivalents would not achieve this desired result.
If the construction team went with the normal practice of using moulded plastic, several
tanks would have been used, because they are only available in small capacity units. They
also have a very short service life, are prone to leakages and can be easily damaged onsite.
Steel tanks on the other hand, are not readily available in Tanzania and again have lifespan
and leakage vulnerabilities.
A solution that would resolve all these challenges was available courtesy of an innovative
technology which is being pioneered by Dar es Salaam-based Plasco Ltd, the Tanzanian
licensee for the manufacture of Weholite HDPE systems.
CPS commissioned Plasco to design, manufacture and then install the tanks on the retail
building’s rooftop, making the choice to use Weholite HDPE technology a perfect solution.
Weholite HDPE pipes can be customised to fit in any area and in this case, they could
perfectly fit within the retail building’s limited space and not cross the 1.1 high bund wall that
had been set, ensuring that the project’s aesthetics were maintained.
Weholite technology has a service life of up to 60 years when installed above the ground
which is far superior to the traditional alternatives.
“Weholite was perfect for the project because Plasco was able to deliver within a short
period which was key for the client. By using this technology, CPS met all the necessary
environmental and sustainability requirements,” said Gulamhussein.
The tank was designed and manufactured at the Dar es Salaam plant in just a few weeks,
then shipped to the Island, before being lifted into position, fusion welded and then pressure
tested to provide confidence to the client. Installation was achieved within a week.
For it’s part Plasco says that Weholite’s design capabilities means that the system can be
factory built, delivered, and installed in modular form and then assembled on site to store
large volumes of freshwater. As demonstrated on this project, Weholite’s light nature means
that it can be easily transported to remote areas.
“Weholite makes it possible to customise products which can then be easily transported and
installed in areas that are difficult to access either because they are far or because doing so
would disrupt livelihoods,” said Plasco CEO Ali Gulamhussein.
Plasco has also installed other large volume Weholite freshwater storage tanks, most
recently, in Dodoma, Kigoma and Moshi, where a 300m 3 version was delivered and
commissioned in less than 2 weeks.