Africa Water and Sanitation Local Authorities Network
  • Africa has 9% of global freshwater resources, but 15% of the global population.
  • 26% of Africa's population (244 million) has a piped water connection on their premises.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for over a third of the world's 884 million people who still do not get their drinking water from improved sources.
  • Almost 20% of Sub-Saharan Africa relies on a water source that is more than 30 minutes away from the household.

News

  • Launch of the LoCS4Africa Highlight report and video
    News

    We are proud to release the LoCS4Africa 2017 Highlights report and Congress video

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    We are proud to release the LoCS4Africa 2017 Highlights report and Congress video. The report is packed full of photos, and features strategic Congress outcomes and key initiatives, a centrespread on the Ekurhuleni Declaration on Water and Sanitation for Cities, a range of quotes from delegates and a summary of the AfriAlliance Launch Conference.

    Download the report here and watch the video here.

  • AfriAlliance and VIA Water sign MoU to increase cooperation
    News

    Breaking news from the AfriAlliance project, which ICLEI Africa is proud to be a partner in, connecting networks on water and climate change. Today, AfriAlliance and VIA Water met to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU signals a commitment by both initiatives to increased collaboration on innovation in the African water sector. AfriAlliance and VIA Water are pleased to release the following joint news item.

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    Today, AfriAlliance and VIA Water met to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU signals a commitment by both initiatives to increased collaboration on innovation in the African water sector. AfriAlliance and VIA Water are pleased to release the following joint news item.

    Africa is one of the regions most in need of innovative solutions for water problems. The water sector is facing enormous challenges due to climate change and population growth. However, a lack of water-related skills and institutional fragmentation are a major obstacle in Africa to address these challenges. AfriAlliance and VIA Water both are knowledge platforms promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing to generate concerted action for water innovation.    

    The major thrust of the newly signed MoU is to promote mutually beneficial cooperation between AfriAlliance and VIA Water in the field of water innovation in Africa. To achieve the MoU’s objectives, both initiatives agreed to disseminate each other’s outputs, to share mutually beneficial contacts and information, and to contribute to or participate in each other’s events.

    The signing ceremony included AfriAlliance project director Dr. Uta Wehn and VIA Water programme manager Ms. Titia Wouters. The MoU represents an important milestone in the relationship between the two initiatives, which are both hosted by the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. 

    Ms. Titia Wouters: “Although we operate at different scales, VIA Water and AfriAlliance share many common goals and ambitions and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the African water sector."

    Dr. Uta Wehn: “I look forward to a fruitful relationship whereby AfriAlliance can offer the VIA Water innovators the opportunity to showcase their innovation at one of our Innovation Bridge or Road Show events.”

    Find out more about VIA Water: www.viawater.nl. Or connect with them on Facebook and Twitter!

     

  • Winners announced!
    News

    We are proud to announce the three winners of our SURe Water 4 Africa project Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) Competition: Bulawayo, Lusaka and Walvis Bay.

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    We are proud to announce the three winners of our SURe Water 4 Africa project Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) Competition: Bulawayo, Lusaka and Walvis Bay.

    As winners of the competition, these three cities were awarded the opportunity to jointly develop a CBA of their city with the assistance of leading industry experts. The analysis will focus on the costs and benefits of adapting to or neglecting to adapt to climate change. 
    The SURe Water 4 Africa project aims to improve integration and planning for urban water and sanitation in the context of climate change, through the development of local action plans, and also to investigate the costs and benefits of implementing such adaptation options at the local level. As such a key output of the project is the development of three Cost Benefit Analyses (CBA).

    The CBA includes a cost-benefit analysis of action, i.e. an analysis of the cost of adapting to climate change; a cost-benefit analysis of inaction: i.e. an analysis of the cost of not adapting to climate change; and a prioritisation analysis of proposed adaptation actions. The CBA covers institutional capacity, hard and soft infrastructure, and community initiatives.

    The six proposals received from the SUReWater 4 Africa cities were of an extremely high standard, and the panel which was tasked with choosing three winners had the unenviable task of identifying which three cities best showcased their commitments to sustainable and climate resilient development. Ultimately, the cities of Bulawayo, Walvis Bay and Lusaka were selected to undertake the CBA. Watch this space for more exciting developments as the study gets underway.

  • African Utility Week in Cape Town
    News

    African Utility Week in Cape Town to showcase home-grown solutions as well as business opportunities in continent’s energy & water market

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    African Utility Week in Cape Town to showcase home-grown solutions as well as business opportunities in continent’s energy & water market

    The award-winning African Utility Week, taking place from 16-18 May in Cape Town, will showcase how the continent is coming up with innovative, home-grown solutions to its energy and water challenges and how these are creating exciting and lucrative opportunities for utilities and industry suppliers alike.

    Experts from respected partners in the industry such as the World Bank, KPMG, Power Africa, Huawei, GE, Shell, SAP and leading African utilities will head up the more than 7000 power and water professionals from more than 80 countries, including 30 African nations, who will gather for African Utility Week. But this year also kick-starts a specific focus on a new trend in the industry: namely smaller, community scale off-grid projects that are starting to make a real difference in the development of the continent.

    Cleaner, more affordable energy generation options
    “The power and energy landscape in Africa is undergoing significant change” says Evan Schiff, African Utility Week event director, adding that current trends include “the availability of private investment for power and energy projects, the fast development of energy storage, renewable energy is becoming cheaper, gas that is an increasingly attractive  mode of power generation in Africa, and that in the next 10 years, nuclear will become an increasingly important mode of base-load power generation.”

    The investment, trade and development opportunities in the sub-Saharan African electricity sector are estimated at $835 billion of capital investment, $490 billion for generation capacity and $345 billion for infrastructure. 

    Community scale projects are another important emerging trend in the sector. “Utility-scale developments are decreasing,” says Ahmed Jaffer, Chairman of KPMG in South Africa and the Head of Power and Utilities, “while we see a lot more of community-sized generation projects. Businesses and communities are also showing interest in becoming less dependent on the national grids. In rural Africa, especially, the economics of expanding the national grids do not make sense; hence there is a significant trend towards mini-grids and other off-grid solutions.” 

    Speaker highlights at African Utility Week include:
    •    Lionel Zinsou, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Benin, member of the West African Energy Leaders Group and investment banker. 
    •    Matshela Koko, Acting CEO, Eskom, South Africa.
    •    Lazarus Angbazo, President and CEO of GE Energy Connections SSA. 
    •    James Stewart, Global Head of Major Projects (Power and Utilities), KPMG. 
    •    Bob Lockhart, Vice President of Cyber Security of the Utilities Technology Council.
    •    Subha Nagarajan, Managing Director for Africa, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), USA. 
    •    Ambassador Tebogo Seokolo, Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
    •    Lucio Monari, Sector Manager for Africa Energy Group, World Bank.

    Real world doers share their expertise
    The 17th annual African Utility Week is the leading conference and trade exhibition for African power, energy and water professionals who will have the opportunity to meet over 300 suppliers of services and technology to the industry. The expo includes a record number of country pavilions, including from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, South Africa, China, Czech Republic, Taiwan and India. Along with multiple side events and numerous networking functions the event also boasts a five track conference with over 300 expert speakers.

    The conference programme will once again address the latest challenges, developments and opportunities in the power and water sectors: ranging from generation, T&D, metering, technology and water. 

    The African Utility Week expo offers an extensive technical workshop programme that are CPD accredited, free to attend, hands-on presentations that take place in defined spaces on the exhibition floor. They discuss practical, day-to-day technical topics, best practices and product solutions that businesses, large power users and utilities can implement in their daily operations.

    Industry support
    Apart from KPMG’s diamond sponsorship, industry stalwarts EPG, GE, Huawei, Landis+Gyr, Lucy Electric, Ontec and Shell are platinum sponsors while Aberdare Cables, Conlog, Oracle Utilities, SAP, SBS Tanks and Vodacom have already confirmed their gold sponsorships.


    Dates for African Utility Week and Energy Revolution Africa:
    Conference and expo: 16-18 May 2017
    Awards gala dinner:  17 May 2016
    Site visits: 19 May 2016
    Location: CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa

    Interviews with expert speakers: http://www.african-utility-week.com/expertinterviews 
    Website: http://www.african-utility-week.com    
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/AfricaUtilities #AUW2017   
    Linkedin: African Power Forum

  • AfriAlliance Newsletter out now
    News

    In March, AfriAlliance reached an important milestone: the official inaugural launch conference at the Local Climate Solutions for Africa: Water & Climate Congress.

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    AfriAlliance Newsletter out now

    In March, AfriAlliance reached an important milestone: the official inaugural launch conference at the Local Climate Solutions for Africa: Water & Climate Congress.

    Read the full newsletter here in English and French.

  • ICLEI Africa co-hosts successful LoCS4Africa 2017: Water & Climate Congress
    News

    ICLEI Africa co-hosts successful LoCS4Africa 2017: Water & Climate Congress with City of Ekurhuleni

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    ICLEI Africa co-hosts successful LoCS4Africa 2017: Water & Climate Congress with City of Ekurhuleni

    From the 22nd to the 24th of March 2017, delegates gathered in the City of Ekurhuleni to explore the challenges surrounding water and sanitation in African cities.

    See daily digests of day 1day 2 and day 3 or contact locs4africa@iclei.org for more information.

  • Terms of Reference for Project Mid-Term Evaluation
    News

    ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability-Africa is seeking a service provider to undertake a Mid Term Evaluation for one of their flagship water and sanitation projects. The project entitled ‘Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions (SURe Water 4 Africa)’ is a five year European Commission funded project.

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    Terms of Reference for Project Mid-Term Evaluation

    ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability-Africa is seeking a service provider to undertake a Mid Term Evaluation for one of their flagship water and sanitation projects. The project entitled ‘Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions (SURe Water 4 Africa)’ is a five year European Commission funded project. The project commenced in December 2012 and will be concluding in June 2017. The aim of the project is to contribute to sustainable climate change (CC) resilient urban water planning mechanisms and action based on international benchmarking within local authorities (LAs) and ensuring multiplier effects to the region. It focuses on the nexus of climate change and water, in particular droughts and floods, while identifying and implementing priority adaptation measures to assist the most vulnerable sectors in the participating local authorities.

    Scope of Works
    The Mid Term Evaluation is a specific deliverable of the project that aims to assess project methodology, results and determine project impact at the local authority level. The Mid Term Evaluation must be undertaken by an independent external project evaluator.


    Objectives of the Mid Term Review

    • Review progress towards set project objectives and thematic relevance
    • Assess value of the water and sanitation risk assessments and asset inventories to ILAs
    • Review the value of the Downscaled Climate Systems Analysis reports to ILAs
    • Review the draft Local Action Plans against the stated project objectives for each of the project cities
    • Review value and relevance of the Finance Mechanisms Papers developed for each of the project cities to assess access to and availability of funding
    • Review the relevance and effectiveness of the GIS mapping for project cities
    • Review the value and relevance of the Resilient Africa Online Tool as a vehicle to promote integrated urban and resilience planning for ILAs
    • Effectiveness of the project methodology and participatory action research approach

    Read full Terms of Reference here.

     

  • Terms of Reference for Cost-Benefit Analysis of Climate Change Adaptation Measures
    News

    ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability-Africa seeks applications from suitably qualified service providers to undertake a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) for the climate change adaptation component of their flagship water and sanitation project. The project entitled ‘Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions (SURe Water 4 Africa)’ is a five year European Commission funded project.

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    ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability-Africa seeks applications from suitably qualified service providers to undertake a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) for the climate change adaptation component of their flagship water and sanitation project. The project entitled ‘Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions (SURe Water 4 Africa)’ is a five year European Commission funded project. The project commenced in December 2012 and will be concluding in June 2017.


    The aim of the project is to contribute to sustainable climate change (CC) resilient urban water planning mechanisms and action based on international benchmarking within local authorities (LAs) and ensuring multiplier effects to the region. It focuses on the nexus of climate change and water, in particular droughts and floods, while identifying and implementing priority adaptation
    measures to assist the most vulnerable sectors in the participating local authorities. Having identified potential adaptation measures for each of the SUReWater cities of Francistown (Botswana), Blantyre (Malawi), Walvis Bay (Namibia), Nelson Mandela Bay (South Africa), Lusaka
    (Zambia) and Bulawayo (Zimbabwe); these local adaptation options require prioritisation and further evaluation by means of a CBA.

     

    Read full terms of reference here.

     

  • Genius of SPACE (Systems for People’s Access to a Clean Environment) Project, Langrug, Franschhoek, South Africa
    News

    Decreasing Berg River water pollution and reducing solid waste pollution are the main goals for the Genius of SPACE Project in the Langrug informal settlement near Franschhoek. The project is an initiative of the Western Cape Government Departments of Human Settlements, Economic Opportunities and Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. The project aims to uplift and improve the area’s socio-economic development, through the provision of a cleaner environment and more dignified conditions for the members of the community, with the support of Stellenbosch Municipality.

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    Genius of SPACE (Systems for People’s Access to a Clean Environment) Project, Langrug, Franschhoek, South Africa

     space2.jpg

    Decreasing Berg River water pollution and reducing solid waste pollution are the main goals for the Genius of SPACE Project in the Langrug informal settlement near Franschhoek. The project is an initiative of the Western Cape Government Departments of Human Settlements, Economic Opportunities and Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. The project aims to uplift and improve the area’s socio-economic development, through the provision of a cleaner environment and more dignified conditions for the members of the community, with the support of Stellenbosch Municipality. 

    The lack of sufficient basic infrastructure services (such as water, electricity and piped sanitation) causes residents to be exposed to contaminated domestic grey water. This greywater comes from household cooking, washing, bathing and also sewage which flows in the streets and the environment of the settlement. The contamination of stormwater poses a significant risk to the Berg River, with potential to seriously impact on health risks to the human and other residents of the surrounding ecosystem. 

    After the first phase of scoping for how biomimicry could be applied to the Berg River Improvement Plan, the project then focussed on developing a dynamic model for the upgrading of informal settlements, using biomimicry methodology. The context had to be understood and the key issues of water, wastewater, stormwater and solid waste management were explored by the team. This took place through site visits and direct engagement with the community. Then the team started to design solutions such as living drainage channels for stormwater, interconnected tree gardens and wetlands for sub-surface greywater treatment, and the use of ecomachines (ecological water systems containing all 5 kingdoms of organisms) for treating stormwater. 

    After the design phase which lasted between 2013 and 2015, the implementation phase started in September 2015. Construction of the greywater prototype began in January 2016. The aim is to learn as much as possible in the operation and implementation phases. Learning by doing is an important part of the project, given the innovative approach being adopted. This learning includes monitoring and research by postgraduate students of Stellenbosch University (funded by the Department of Science & Technology and the Water Research Commission). 

    Besides co-designing and implementing social, technical and green infrastructure, the project focuses on the goals of engaging the community, providing an opportunity for high impact investment, infrastructure innovation, reduction of source pollution, improvement of health, development of ongoing community micro-enterprises and providing research opportunities. 

     It is the objective and intention of the project to be able to demonstrate the benefits and opportunities for green infrastructure to increase environmental protection, improve liveability of settlements and begin to address the need for greater resilience capacity in further urban development upgrades and planning. The consultant team of the project consists of the following companies and organisations: 

    • BiomimicrySA
    • Greenhouse Systems Development
    • In/formal South (now called Actuality)
    • Isidima Design and Development
    • Maluti GSM
    • WaterLove Projects
    • CORC; and
    • John Todd Ecological Design

     

  • AfriAlliance Action Groups Online Survey - Have your say!
    News

    The AfriAlliance project (Network of European and African networks on water and climate) will launch this summer a call for nominations for working groups ("Action Groups") on 5 themes: · Integrated management of water resources, · Food security / agriculture, · Development of human resource capacity, · Adaptation / mitigation of climate change, · Data collection To prepare for this call, we have released an online survey to better understand the barriers and opportunities. Online survey closed Sunday, July 3, please participate and have your say!

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    Objet : URGENT: AfriAlliance Questionnaire

     Message bilingue / Bilingual message: Français (en bleu) / English (in black)

     Dear Madam, Dear Sir,

    The AfriAlliance project (Network of European and African networks on water and climate) will launch this summer a call for nominations for working groups ("Action Groups") on 5 themes:

     · Integrated management of water resources,

    · Food security / agriculture,

    · Development of human resource capacity,

    · Adaptation / mitigation of climate change,

    · Data collection for monitoring, analysis and forecasting of water resources and climate.

    To prepare for this call, we would first understand the motivations and barriers that lead people to decide whether to participate in a working group. To this end, we invite you to complete a short questionnaire and disseminate it to your contacts and on your social media accounts (e.g. LinkedIn, Viadeo): goo.gl/p2MLxx

    This questionnaire will be available for only one week, from Monday, June 27 until Sunday, July 3, and fill it takes about 10 minutes.

    Please note that the answers will be used for research purposes only. They will be used anonymously, without identifying the authors.

    Thanks for your attention and have a good day.

    Regards,

    AWASLA Secretariat 

     

     Madame, Monsieur,

     Le projet AfriAlliance (réseau des réseaux européens et africains sur l’eau et le climat) lancera cet été un appel à candidatures pour des groupes de travail (« Action Groups ») sur 5 thématiques :

      · Gestion intégrée des ressources en eau,

     · Sécurité alimentaire / Agriculture,

     · Développement des capacités des ressources humaines,

     · Adaptation aux/atténuation des changements climatiques,

     · Collecte des données de surveillance, prévision et analyse des ressources en eau et du climat.

     Afin de préparer cet appel, nous souhaitons au préalable comprendre les motivations et les obstacles qui amènent des gens à décider de participer ou non à un groupe de travail. A cet effet, nous vous invitons à remplir un bref questionnaire (en anglais) et à le diffuser auprès de vos contacts et sur vos comptes de réseaux professionnels (e.g. LinkedIn, Viadeo) : goo.gl/p2MLxx

     Le questionnaire sera accessible pendant seulement une semaine, du Lundi 27 Juin jusqu’au Dimanche 3 Juillet, et le remplir prend environ 10 minutes.

     Veuillez noter que les réponses seront utilisées à des fins de recherche uniquement. Elles seront utilisées de manière anonyme, sans en identifier les auteurs.

     Je vous remercie de votre attention et dans l’attente de votre réponse, je vous souhaite une bonne journée !

     Bien cordialement,

    AWASLA Secretariat

  • LOCS4Africa 2017: Water & Climate Congress - Save the Date
    News

    The Local Climate Solutions for Africa (LOCS4Africa) Congress series is Africa’s leading platform on local climate action for cities and other sub-national governments across the Continent. It connects business and industry, investors, scientists, technical experts, development partners, national governments and civil society with Africa’s cities and urban networks. LOCS4Africa offers opportunity for direct engagement and strategic discussions around current local solutions and emerging trends relating to urban resilience and low-carbon development in Africa.

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    SAVE THE DATE: 20-23 March 2017, South Africa

    The Local Climate Solutions for Africa (LOCS4Africa) Congress series is Africa’s leading platform on local climate action for cities and other sub-national governments across the Continent. 

    It connects business and industry, investors, scientists, technical experts, development partners, national governments and civil society with Africa’s cities and urban networks. LOCS4Africa offers opportunity for direct engagement and strategic discussions around current local solutions and emerging trends relating to urban resilience and low-carbon development in Africa. 

    It is a well-established pan-African bi-annual congress, each with a strategic theme critical to urban sustainable development, in line with emerging global trends. The congress places strong emphasis on local leadership and innovative approaches to sustainable development in Africa’s urban context. 
    Focus on Cities: Water & Climate

    LOCS4Africa 2017 will explore critical links between climate change and urban water and sanitation in Africa’s cities. Globally, only 2% of our planets’ water is freshwater, which is fundamental to both human and urban development. 
    Water is THE critical challenge for many of our local governments. African cities, as diverse as large metro’s to small towns, are increasingly experiencing challenges of water security, drought and flooding. As such, there has never been a more relevant time for a pan-African congress to move “from dialogue to action” providing on the ground solutions, unpacking emerging trends and unlocking financial mechanisms.

    LOCS4Africa will:

    • Connect Africa’s cities with local to global water and climate solutions
    • Reimagine development within a rapidly urbanizing landscape 
    • Unpack water and climate opportunities for African cities arising from the Paris Agreement, the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals 

    Contact Us

    Email: tarryn.quayle@iclei.org or thea.buckle@iclei.org 
    Tel: +27 (021) 202 0403

    Download the Save the Date here.

  • ICLEI Africa is hiring!
    News

    Professional Officer: Urban Development - Policy and Governance (initial 2-year contract position). ICLEI Africa seeks to hire an urban development expert to join our dynamic team of professionals in the fields of urban sustainability. Closing date is 21st April 2016.

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    ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability is a global association of over 1000 cities and other sub-national government members who are committed to sustainable development. We provide technical services, capacity building and cutting- edge urban solutions to our member cities. ICLEI’s African Head Office is based in Cape Town, serving Members across Sub-Saharan Africa. (www.iclei.org)

    ICLEI Africa invites suitably qualified individuals to apply for the position below, for appointment as soon as possible, for appointment by 1 June 2016:

    Professional Officer: Urban Development - Policy and Governance (initial 2-year contract position)
    ICLEI Africa seeks to hire an urban development expert to join our dynamic team of professionals in the fields of urban sustainability. The individual must have a strong background and keen interest in urban policy development and implementation in Africa coupled with proven relevant experience in:

    (a) Development, implementation and mainstreaming of urban sustainability policy, strategy and action plans related to one or more of the following fields:

    water and sanitation • planning • biodiversity and ecosystem services • transport • inclusive economic development • sustainable urban infrastructure • energy and climate change • financing for development • resource economics

    (b) Project design, implementation and management with proven experience of working in, and leading, multi-disciplinary project teams

    (c) Business development, finance mechanisms and strategic partnerships
    Requirements:

    • A Relevant Master’s degree, or equivalent recognized qualification
    • Minimum of 5 years relevant post-graduate working experience, at least 3 of which at project management level
    • Exceptional leadership, communication, writing, presentation & analytical skills
    • Valid code B driver’s license
    • South African resident/ valid work permit
    • Must have a passion for, and willingness to, travel extensively locally and internationally
    • Knowledge of the African geo-political context
    • Proficiency in French, Swahili or another African language will be an added advantage

    Please forward a comprehensive CV and covering (motivating) letter, including a certified copy of your ID to Peter Tyldesley (peter.tyldesley@iclei.org) by 16h00 on the 21st of April 2016. Please provide proof of current employment, remuneration package, available starting date and three references in your application. No late applications will be considered. 

    A market-related and competitive annual remuneration package (TCOE based) will be offered to successful candidates, taking into consideration qualifications and experience.

    Kindly note: Applicants who have not been contacted within 60 working days after the closing date this advertisement, should regard their applications as unsuccessful.

  • Durban’s water program is setting global standards
    News

    The eThekwini Municipality Water and Sanitation Department, Durban’s water and waste management provider, avoided huge and expensive equipment associated with centralized water and sanitation systems by deploying a decentralized strategy through partnerships, baseline research, and using less expensive tools.

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    The eThekwini Municipality Water and Sanitation Department, Durban’s water and waste management provider, avoided huge and expensive equipment associated with centralized water and sanitation systems by deploying a decentralized strategy through partnerships, baseline research, and using less expensive tools. The centerpiece of Durban’s program being the “community ablution block” public washroom. It consists of a marine cargo container refitted inside with running water, wash basins, toilets and showers. Durban has 2,500 ablution blocks installed in many of its nearly 500 informal settlements with sufficient public funding to build and install perhaps 80 more annually.

    Other innovations include; 85,000 urine-diverting toilets, standpipes, and water storage tanks installed in informal settlements across the municipality, a mobile sludge processing plant that sterilizes waste removed from toilets and yields usable compost, and an aggressive program to clean waste from pit latrines and then replace them. According to United Nations, approximately 2.4 Billion people rely on contaminated water and open pit latrines for water and sanitation practices in the developing world, a reality that Durban is set on changing for its citizens. Two years ago Durban was honored with the Stockholm Industry Water Award, one of the most prestigious prizes for water work in the public interest, showcasing how Durban’s water program is setting global standards and is a source of national pride in South Africa.

    At the local level working partnerships with ward leaders have been developed to recruit citizen support and improve programs. The locations of ablution blocks, for example, are decided by leadership groups within settlements. Another important partnership was formed between the city and the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pollution Research Group. Together a research center was established to test ideas, including a waste-to-compost program using black soldier fly larvae to hasten the conversion. A pilot plant, built with the help of BioCycle, a South African research and development company, is under construction at one of Durban’s 27 wastewater treatment plants.

    Furthermore, Durban is now testing in-home toilets that use no water, generate sufficient energy to power a light bulb, and produce safe nutrient-rich by-products that can be distributed or sold as soil amendments. The city’s willingness to innovate and experiment attracted the attention of Bill Gates, who, when visiting in 2009, made Durban one of four sites for his foundation’s Reinventing the Toilet program to prove the feasibility of water-free sanitation.

    “eThekwini Water and Sanitation, contrary to the more traditional belief, bucked the trend and quickly came to the conclusion that the traditional approach to sanitation in developing countries is not sustainable” — Carl E. Hensman, Program officer Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    National meteorologists projected that the severe drought, observed in Southern Africa in 2015, will persist until the end of 2016, lowering water levels in storage reservoirs prompting water use restrictions. In the face of such challenges and in light of the projected impacts of climate change it has never been more imperative to seek locally appropriate, sustainable and resilient solutions for water and sanitation service delivery.

    “We cannot continue to use clean potable water to flush our waste. We have to find a way to stop that. It’s got to happen. The new thinking is to look at waste as a resource and take away all the aspects of using water to flush waste away. If you take that away you have enough water for all of us.” - Teddy Gounden, the acting project manager for the municipality’s Water and Sanitation unit.

     

  • Climate Proofing Urban Water and Sanitation
    News

    Providing access to improved drinking water and basic sanitation is proven to drive development and promote health in cities and communities. However, improving urban water and sanitation systems is a complex challenge for utilities and local governments with factors such as climate change, rapid urbanisation, aging and poorly maintained infrastructure, limited institutional capacity, and a high dependency on natural resources all contributing to limiting development at the local level.

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    Providing access to improved drinking water and basic sanitation is proven to drive development and promote health in cities and communities. However, improving urban water and sanitation systems is a complex challenge for utilities and local governments with factors such as climate change, rapid urbanisation, aging and poorly maintained infrastructure, limited institutional capacity, and a high dependency on natural resources all contributing to limiting development at the local level. Resilience, therefore, needs to be integrated into drinking-water and sanitation service delivery to cope with present and future climate variability.

    In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, access to clean water and sanitation presents major challenges, in particular, for the urban poor. In addition to access challenges poor services can also result in the spread of  illness,  including  cholera,  malaria,  and  diarrhoea, particularly  during  times of flooding, which  could become more severe or frequent in future due to climate change. In response these challenges Dar es Salaam has developed a number of good initiatives aimed at improving urban areas in the city:

    • City authorities have rehabilitated of storm water drainage in the city centre and sewerage systems to help them withstand heavy flooding and improve resilience to climatic events
    • Property formalisation in Dar es Salaam - The  government  is  implementing  a  project  to  identify  all  properties in informal settlements to  issue land/property licenses or  Right of Occupancy  in an attempt to curb  further densification in  those areas and  to improve security of  tenure, which could be used as collateral for economic empowerment.

    Formalisation of slums will be provide a foundation to regulate these settlements and ultimately allow  provision  of  infrastructure  including  drainage  channels  for  storm  water,  piped  water  supply,  refuse  collection services using municipal and private vehicles, sanitation (pit and septic tank emptying services), secure tenure (loans), improvi- ng housing conditions and reducing overcrowding in unplanned settlements. 

     

  • Hydrosolidarity – working together towards a water secure future
    News

    Population growth and expansion of industries both result in increasing water demand. Recent droughts experienced in several parts of the world including countries in Sub-Saharan Africa further exacerbate the shortfall between water availability and demand. This will impact largely on water access of poor and marginalised people in low-income countries. Urban regions will be affected the most as according to current rates of urbanisation, the urban population on the continent is projected to double by 2030.

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    Population growth and expansion of industries both result in increasing water demand. Recent droughts experienced in several parts of the world including countries in Sub-Saharan Africa further exacerbate the shortfall between water availability and demand. This will impact largely on water access of poor and marginalised people in low-income countries. Urban regions will be affected the most as according to current rates of urbanisation, the urban population on the continent is projected to double by 2030. Access to safe drinking water will thus continue to be a problem in cities across Africa.

    Access to water is a cross-cutting issue that affects a number of local government sectors and is infused in social, economic, political and ecological processes. Threats of reduced access in the future make it imperative for governments to put in place innovative systems to address the problem. Water governance and in particular, an integrated approach to planning for both water resources and water management is emerging as an important pathway to address the challenge. This practice brings together NGOs, traditional communities, businesses, the different spheres of government in partnerships to ensure that water is managed effectively. Increasingly, there is a lot of emphasis on an integrated approach to management of water at the local level as that is the sphere of government closest to the people and often mandated to deliver portable water to local residents. It is also at this level where it is easier to engage and raise awareness of communities to the importance of efficient water use and in the process positively influence behaviour.

    For a practical example of a project focussing on sustainable and integrated approaches to urban water management please click here

  • Sanitation Challenges for the urban poor
    News

    Cities are often struggling with insufficient infrastructure, low water supply and sanitation coverage particularly in growing urban informal settlements in developing countries. In Africa, large cities such as Kigali, Rwanda; Nairobi, Kenya and Lusaka in Zambia for example, all face challenges in achieving sustainable sanitation in informal settlements over and above the traditional constraints due to the lack of available financial resources to roll out improved service delivery.

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    Cities are often struggling with insufficient infrastructure, low water supply and sanitation coverage particularly in growing urban informal settlements in developing countries. In Africa, large cities such as Kigali, Rwanda; Nairobi, Kenya and Lusaka in Zambia for example, all face challenges in achieving sustainable sanitation in informal settlements over and above the traditional constraints due to the lack of available financial resources to roll out improved service delivery. Key challenges observed in such cities' urban poor communities include:

    • High population densities and the resulting congestion of informal housing  contributes to the lack of space for latrines or treatment system installation;
    • Location of informal settlements, with many of the urban poor settlements being located on marginal lands such as flood plains and marshy areas, or in close proximity to landfill sites or grave yards. The aforementioned locations further exacerbate the challenges in providing access to sanitation services as construction of latrines in these soil conditions and locations can be challenging due to the instability of the soil and the difficulty of digging into rocks inter alia;
    • Responsibility for sanitation provides a major barrier in many urban poor areas, as many residents are tenants who do not have the right or the incentive to install latrines on the property;
    • Pollution is a major constraint for sanitation in informal settlements e.g. a full pit has the potential to pollute local groundwater reserves, particularly in areas with high water tables. Cross contamination of this nature has the potential to contaminate potable drinking water and cause illness within the community from water-borne diseases

    Given the challenges outlined above that have been observed in a few informal settlements in Africa there is a great need for affordable, sustainable, less space consuming technologies which are tailored to providing improved and sustainable sanitation in informal settlements.  

    Photo kindly provided by Dr Alison Parker

  • Innovative Solutions for access to sanitation in Ghana
    News

    Access to improved sanitation remains a global challenge, particularly in developing countries. In Kumasi, Ghana’s second city access to acceptable sanitation facilities is extremely low for the 2 million people who reside in the city. Those most severely affected are resident in low income areas, which are often densely populated and unplanned settlements where an estimated 60% of the population makes daily use of public toilet blocks.

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    Access to improved sanitation remains a global challenge, particularly in developing countries. In Kumasi, Ghana’s second city access to acceptable sanitation facilities is extremely low for the 2 million people who reside in the city. Those most severely affected are resident in low-income areas, which are often densely populated and unplanned settlements where an estimated 60% of the population makes daily use of public toilet blocks.
    In response to the local sanitation challenges Clean Team Ghana partnered with Unilever, WSUP, and the Stone Family Foundation to develop a sanitation model for the low-income areas of Kumasi. The model focuses on providing in-home sanitation solutions to improve access to basic sanitation. Unilever and WSUP already had a significant presence in the region and the habit of paying for sanitation was long established in Ghana which provided an excellent basis for the initiative. Joined by design firm IDEO, the team travelled to Kumasi in November 2010 to gain a better understanding of the sanitation market and further develop the business model.
    The clean team rents branded portable toilets to low-income households and provides a waste collection service 2-3 times per week. The waste is transported to a processing facility and then taken to the municipal treatment site. The services provided include reliable collections and low-odour toilets, delivered by enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. The team aims to grow the business model in the future to provide opportunities to convert the waste into energy and organic fertiliser to sell to commercial farms in the region providing valuable economic returns.
    To date, the Clean Team has installed toilets in 20 communities, created 39 jobs, installed 664 toilets with over 4500 users who are content with the service and the project model.

     

  • Smart Cities Reusing Wastewater
    News

    Climate change projections show that most African countries will suffer from the detrimental impacts as a result of climate change in the future. Some of these impacts include prolonged drought due to low rainfall, water scarcity due drying water sources and periods heavy rainfall that can result in flash flooding events among other impacts. Therefore, there is an increasing trend at both national and sub national levels to promote more efficient use of water resources, both in urban and rural environments. Reusing effluent water is one mechanism that can be adopted by cities.

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    Climate change projections show that most African countries will suffer from the detrimental impacts as a result of climate change in the future. Some of these impacts include prolonged drought due to low rainfall, water scarcity due drying water sources and periods heavy rainfall that can result in flash flooding events among other impacts. Therefore, there is an increasing trend at both national and sub-national levels to promote more efficient use of water resources, both in urban and rural environments. Reusing effluent water is one mechanism that can be used to achieve greater efficiencies in the use of water resources while providing benefits for the broader environment.

    Effluent water is defined as wastewater - treated or untreated - that flows out of a treatment plant, sewer, or industrial outfall. Using wastewater for irrigation is often viewed as a positive means of recycling water due to the large potential volumes of water that can be reused. Recycled water can have the advantage of being a constant, reliable water source and reduces the amount of water extracted from the environment.

    The City of Cape Town has proven success in the use of effluent water within the city’s boundaries. The city uses effluent water for irrigation and industrial purposes not for drinking purposes and this mode of reuse is considered essential to conserving water, with the city viewing it as a key element in its water security strategy for the region.

    The City of Cape Town is currently recycling over 6% of the effluent that passes through its treatment works, for irrigation and industrial purposes. Initially, the city aimed at treating and reusing 4.75% of all effluent, however, the end result surpassed. On a daily basis, the city is now providing approximately 3 300m³ of reused water, reducing the cost of potable water and conserving the limited supply. At present, there are more than 160 treated effluent consumers in the city which include schools, sports clubs, farms, factories and commercial developments with large water features. The City also irrigates parks and flower beds along Cape Town’s Integrated Rapid Transport system. With the growing water shortages and current drought in Southern Africa, cities increasingly need to adopt new and innovate mechanisms to promote effective water management and conservation of fundamentally important potable water resources.

     

     

  • Floodwater Harvesting: Turns disaster into a sustainable resource
    News

    Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital was hit by another devastating flood in June 2015. Health experts warned that this would lead to contaminated groundwater as it had done in the past, and creating large areas of standing water which attracts breeding mosquitoes. This would lead to the number of illness and deaths resulting from cholera and malaria to increase dramatically. This time, however, the government took action and Douala was prepared when the heavy rains hit. A new project in the city is aimed at installing rainwater harvesting systems helping communities adapt to recurrent flooding

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    Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital was hit by another devastating flood in June 2015. Health experts warned that this would lead to contaminated groundwater as it had done in the past, and creating large areas of standing water which attracts breeding mosquitoes. This would lead to the number of illness and deaths resulting from cholera and malaria to increase dramatically. This time, however, the government took action and Douala was prepared when the heavy rains hit. A new project in the city is aimed at installing rainwater harvesting systems helping communities adapt to recurrent flooding events.

    “The idea is simple: catch and store clean water for people to use whenever flooding makes groundwater unsafe” – Thomson Reuters Foundation

    After the floods in June 2015, the government put USD $185 million into Douala's Urban Development Programme for the Emergency Rehabilitation and Constriction of Infrastructure fund. The first phase of the rainwater harvesting project, which is due to be completed at the end of October 2015 will enable communities to collect water which is then treated and connected households via a connected plumbing system.

    "Natural disasters have gotten our authorities to think about saving water and saving the health of their citizens," said Jackson Abwe, a teacher in Makepe, one of the neighbourhoods involved in the project.

    The project is encouraging households to set up their own collection tanks and in this way promote the health and safety of all citizens of Douala. The urban poor cannot afford potable water and wealthier residents depend heavily on groundwater which is contaminated with sewage after flooding. The severe health risk is due to approximately 3 million, or 60%, of Douala’s population being dependant on wells built close to pit latrines. The close proximity of ground water and pit latrines means that during flooding events sewage is washed into the wells contaminating the groundwater resources at scale.

    "The project will help strengthen the adaptive capacity of the beneficiary communities, reduce the risks faced from the effects of climate change like floods, and in turn, influence the policy to promote sustainable management of water resources," said Augustine Njamshi, executive director of the Bio-Resource and Development Centre in Cameroon.

    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation 

  • Climate change adaptation is a key to achieving developmental agendas
    News

    Climate change will threaten all aspects of the development agenda globally, particularly in developing countries where growing demand from population growth, agricultural expansion and industrialization is resulting in water becoming increasingly scarce. These factors provide major challenges for cities to meet the demands of growing communities while providing adequate and well maintained services at the local level.

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    Climate change will threaten all aspects of the development agenda globally, particularly in developing countries where growing demand from population growth, agricultural expansion and industrialization is resulting in water becoming increasingly scarce. These factors provide major challenges for cities to meet the demands of growing communities while providing adequate and well-maintained services at the local level. Adaptation measures to climate change undertaken now will, therefore, improve flexibility and have net benefits for water resources (irrigation, water reuse, aquifer and groundwater management inter alia).

    Initiatives necessary for the enhancement of adaptive capacity are essentially equivalent to those promoting sustainable development. Climate adaptation and equity goals can be jointly pursued by initiatives that promote the welfare of the poorest members of society for example, by improving food security, facilitating access to safe water and health care and providing shelter and access to other resources.

    Water is projected to be the main channel through which the impacts of climate change will be felt by people, ecosystems and economies. Extending and securing access to water and sanitation services plays a key role in poverty reduction. Households benefit from a range of health, educational, nutritional and broader livelihood impacts, households and economies benefit through greater resilience to climate change.

    Failure to ensure that water and sanitation services are resilient will have major public health consequences if water quality deteriorates, water availability becomes less certain and sanitation systems cause environmental contamination. Indeed, not taking climate change into account, alongside other pressures on services, could result in a reversal of progress against future targets and the loss of hard-won public health and poverty alleviation gains.

  • AWASLA celebrates hand washing at Africities 2015
    News

    On 1 December The ‘Africa Water and Sanitation Local Authorities’ (AWASLA) Network together with ICLEI Africa hosted a handwashing event at Africities 2015. The event aims to contribute to the overall objective of the AWASLA Network, which is to seek a paradigm shift for more sustainable, resilient and equitable urban water and sanitation practices in Africa.

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    On 1 December The ‘Africa Water and Sanitation Local Authorities’ (AWASLA) Network together with ICLEI Africa hosted a handwashing event at Africities 2015. The event aims to contribute to the overall objective of the AWASLA Network, which is to seek a paradigm shift for more sustainable, resilient and equitable urban water and sanitation practices in Africa.

    During the event local government representatives, subnational government leaders and key stakeholders were invited to show their support for hand washing by placing a hand print on a white banner and through their leadership setting the stage for all African local governments to become more aware of the benefits of good hygiene practice through hand washing.

    In light of the current drought Southern Africa is facing, the greywater from the event was used to irrigate seedlings promoting the importance of responsible water use, especially from a climate change context. Good hygiene and responsible sustainable water use is a priority for all African citizens particularly given that climate change is projected to have the most severe impact on the African continent. Some of the participants in the event included: Mayor George Nyendwa (Lusaka City Council, Zambia), Tyrone Shongwe (City of Johannesburg) and Meriam Molala (Mogalakwena Local Municipality).

    AWASLA provides a unique platform enabling local governments to exchange knowledge and good practice, consider emerging challenges and innovations and explore collaborative action. For more information on AWASLA and its activities please visit www.awasla.org. 

  • Senegal: One man’s waste is another’s treasure
    News

    In Dakar, 1.2 million people have no access to sewer lines instead the household have pit latrines that need to be emptied once they are full. The Gates Foundation together with Janicki Bioenergy, an engineering firm based north of Seattle, has set out to change these statistics with a pilot study that has just become operational in Senegal. The use of water borne sanitation is often impractical for poor countries and in particular for urban poor communities as they require massive infrastructure which are costly to implement and maintain.

    read more...

    Today there are still more than 2 billion people worldwide who do not have access to proper sanitation and drinking water. Annually more than 700 000 children die due to contaminated food and or water. In developing countries half of the patients in hospital, are there due to illness related to poor access to improved drinking water and safe sanitation.

    In Dakar, 1.2 million people have no access to sewer lines instead the household has pits that need to be emptied once they are full. The Gates Foundation together with Janicki Bioenergy, an engineering firm based north of Seattle, has set out to change these statistics with a pilot study that has just become operational in Senegal. The use of water borne sanitation is often impractical for poor countries and in particular for urban poor communities as they require massive infrastructure which are costly to implement and maintain. This led to the Gates Foundation putting out a call for a new solution a few years ago and the Omniprocessor was born. Janicki, the developers of the Omniprocessor, have set up their plant in Dakar but the company invested a great deal in researching the best methods for connecting with the community and picking a convenient location. In the past the trend has been to upgrade and or build extensive sewage systems in urban poor areas, but this project is built around realistic solutions for an ever growing urban poor community through sustainable innovations that are aimed at reaching renewable goals. The Omniprocessor is unique due to the fact that, unlike other waste treatment plants, it makes use of a steam engine which makes it cheaper to run. In addition, the energy produced by the burning process is enough to keep the engine running and have some surplus left over. This means that the plant is entirely self-sufficient with a little surplus and the ability to add energy into the grid. Another critical advantage of the Omniprocessor is that it turns sewage into potable drinking water. Bill Gates visited a plant earlier this year and had a sip of water. “I watched the piles of faeces go up the conveyer belt and drop into a large bin. They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated. A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result: a glass of delicious drinking water,” said Bill Gates. Omniprocessor is revolutionary in its income-generating potential, which the foundation hopes will attract private sector entrepreneurs to a field that until now only governments have been able to bankroll. The hope is that it will turn the business of sewage processing from a cost centre into a profits centre, with operators charging for the electricity and water produced by the machine.


    Read more here: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/senegal-turns-to-sewage-in-bid-to-meet-renewable-goals-2015-10-23/article_comments:1

     

     

  • Greywater recycling in households: Lilongwe, Malawi
    News

    To reduce the detrimental effects of improper greywater disposal and to promoting greywater recycling, GIZ Malawi & the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Malawi implemented a low-cost greywater treatment project for low-income households in 2010 in the city of Lilongwe. The project was implemented in residential areas that lack appropriate sanitation and wastewater systems. The project further enabled a decentralized approach to improved service delivery providing on-site, affordable and low-cost solutions.

    read more...

    In poor urban settlements in sub-Saharan Africa there is a common practice of disposing of untreated greywater into watercourses or any available empty space. These practices present a number of potential risks including the transmission of water-related diseases and contamination of local water sources. To reduce the detrimental effects of improper greywater disposal and to promoting greywater recycling, GIZ Malawi & the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Malawi implemented a low-cost greywater treatment project for low-income households in 2010 in the city of Lilongwe. The project was implemented in residential areas that lack appropriate sanitation and wastewater systems. The project further enabled a decentralized approach to improved service delivery providing on-site, affordable and low-cost solutions.

    The project aimed to encourage residents in the selected project area to recycle greywater and to reuse it for irrigation of domestic gardens, which commonly provide support for households through subsistence agriculture. Since most of the households have a garden, it can help increase yields improve food security and provide income generation. It was estimated that a single household of 5 individuals would produce up to 100 litres of waste water per day.

    The project aimed to identify affordable and effective domestic greywater treatment options that would be suitable for both, upgrading of existing households and installation in future low-cost housing in the area. The system has been tailor made for use in areas without a proper sewer systems and where septic tanks are not an option, either due to economic or environmental reasons.

    The applied technology involves a simple manual collection of greywater then which is then put through the following process: 1)Greywater is poured into a sieve which is placed inside a funnel, functioning as primary filter on top of the grease trap and thereby pre-treating the water by removing big solid particles with the help of the sieve. 2) Oils and fats contained in the water are trapped in the container acting as grease trap by floating on the surface of the water, 3) while water from the bottom of the container is led through the pipes of the reed bed. 4) The water is distributed evenly over the surface area of the reed bed with percolated PVC pipes. 5) The water is treated through infiltration through a small scale reed bed with different layers being gravel on top of sand), separated by a mesh. 6) It is advantageous to elevate the system so that the treatment unit might be connected to a gravity-fed irrigation system however this is not necessary for proper functioning of the system.

    In addition to the household benefits of the project it can also provide communities with a business model for artisans such as plumbers, welders, and small scale construction companies, generating employment opportunities and local revenue. 

  • South African “Water shedding” – Drought Mitigation vs Adaptation
    News

    Southern Africa is experiencing one of the worst droughts in recorded history. While El Nino means more rain in certain areas it has had the opposite effect in the already drier parts of Southern Africa. Climate change has emphasised the impact of El Nino, with Local Authorities struggling to maintain a consistent flow of water to its residents. To date five provinces have been declared drought disaster zones in South Africa; North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Free State.

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    Southern Africa is experiencing one of the worst droughts in recorded history.  While El Nino means more rain in certain areas it has had the opposite effect in the already drier parts of Southern Africa. Climate change has emphasised the impact of El Nino, with Local Authorities struggling to maintain a consistent flow of water to its residents. To date five provinces have been declared drought disaster zones in South Africa; North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Free State. Due to the lack of rain, municipalities has resorted to restricting water use and cutting the supply water for several hours on certain days – coined water shedding.

    "Our dams are running dry and there is little water and we all have to help each other," Khojane Madiba (Moqhaka Local Municipality spokesperson)

    Minister Nomvula Mokonyane earlier this month said the drought currently affected some 173 of the 1 628 water supply schemes nationally, serving approximately 2.7 million households.

    “It is of utmost importance that we change lifestyle habits in times of crisis to ensure our future generations inherit a country with a sustainable and safe water supply," – Lester Goldman (WISA Chief Executive)

    Neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe and Botswana have been hit equally hard by the current drought with water shedding measures having been implemented for quite some time. Reports on low water levels in Lake Kariba, the Zambezi River and Lake Ngami has been seen across social media platforms for the past couple of months. With severe dry conditions getting worse every day and the hopes of a substantial rainy season unlikely to be realised, efforts are afoot to save as much water as possible. Stronger awareness for resource conservation has never been more critical as water availability will only become more constrained. Local Authorities currently need to mitigate the impacts of climate change and it is not coming cheap. 

    “The Department of Water and Sanitation has taken the following measures to mitigate against the impact of the current drought: R352.6m initially and an additional R96.6m set aside to intensify and mitigate the effects of drought in KZN alone” - Minister Nomvula Mokonyane

    Plans have now been announced that an 180km long, R4.5 billion, pipeline will be built from the Gariep Dam to the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality in the Free State. This type of initiative is not new since the Orange River, originating in Lesotho, has been utilised to bring relief to a vast diversity of areas in South Africa for decades. Gauteng Province receives water from the Orange River basin via the Lesotho Highlands Hydro water scheme and the Eastern Cape via the Sundays River Transfer scheme to name a few. The mighty Orange River might again be called to serve yet another area beyond the reach of its wide natural network, and in doing so possibly limit the severity of water shedding for most southern parts of the Free State.

    The current drought conditions emphasises not only mitigation but adaptation from Government and Local Authorities for a climate resilient future. Water is a scarce resource which should be conserved by all citizens.

    Further Reading: http://www.infrastructurene.ws/2015/11/16/r2-billion-water-pipeline-planned-for-free-state/, http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Well-run-out-of-water-soon-20151104 and http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/free-state-water-shortage-intensifies-20151111

     

     

  • Cities are becoming increasingly water insecure
    News

    The world’s cities are facing unprecedented challenges in securing water supplies. With more than half of humanity now living in urban areas together with the increasing rate of urbanisation and climate change pressures, investing in ecological infrastructure has never been more important for cities to ensure they have reliable and potable water sources in the future. This is according to a new report by the Nature Conservancy in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the International Water Association.

    read more...

    The world’s cities are facing unprecedented challenges in securing water supplies. With more than half of humanity now living in urban areas together with the increasing rate of urbanisation and climate change pressures, investing in ecological infrastructure has never been more important for cities to ensure they have reliable and potable water sources in the future. This is according to a new report by the Nature Conservancy in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the International Water Association.

    To help determine where watershed conservation can help secure water for cities, the authors estimated the effectiveness of some common conservation strategies: land protection, reforestation, riparian restoration, agricultural best practices and forest fuel reduction. For each strategy, they evaluated how effectively it reduces sedimentation and nutrient pollution in more than 2 000 catchments that serve 500 cities.

    Water quality benefits can be achieved by targeting conservation on a small fraction of the area within source catchments. For example, implementing agricultural best practices on just 0.2% of the area where large cities get their water could reduce sediment pollution by 10%.

    The report concludes by saying cities shape the landscape and water management should extend to include the watersheds for water security in future.

    “They shape the landscape, and in doing so end up defining a route of development for both themselves and their neighbours in rural areas. Water managers should extend their definition of water infrastructure to include the entire river systems and watersheds that their cities depend on, and incorporate investment in those watersheds as part of their normal toolkit of securing water for people.”

    To find out more, download the report at http://water.nature.org/waterblueprint

  • Reducing none revenue water – cities taking the lead
    News

    South Africa’s non-revenue water currently stands at an estimated 36.8%, with volumetric losses of approximately 1 580 million m³ per annum, according to the 2012 state of non-revenue water. This trend is seen not just in South Africa, but globally in our cities with the world average percentage non-revenue water standing at 36.2%. South Africa like its neighbouring countries is currently facing a major drought threatening the supply of water at a municipal level. Therefore, South Africa urgently needs to address such losses, particularly as it is currently ranked as the 30th driest country

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    South Africa’s non-revenue water currently stands at an estimated 36.8%, with volumetric losses of approximately 1 580 million m³ per annum, according to the 2012 state of non-revenue water. This trend is seen not just in South Africa, but globally in our cities with the world average percentage non-revenue water standing at 36.2%. South Africa like its neighbouring countries is currently facing a major drought threatening the supply of water at a municipal level. Therefore, South Africa urgently needs to address such losses, particularly when it is currently ranked as the 30th driest country in the world in order to secure sustainable water resources into the future.

    Non-revenue water (NRW) is water that has been produced and yet cannot be billed or charged for. The loss can be the result of leakage or overflow that is sometimes referred to as physical losses, theft of water or inaccurate metering which are referred to as apparent losses. Non-Revenue Water is the product of factors such as poor planning, limited financial resources to implement the necessary operation and maintenance programmes, poor infrastructure asset maintenance and lack of capacity. It is clear that there is a need for urgent action to address the issues coupled with a strong political will to reduce non-revenue water.


    EThekwini Municipality is losing about 237 million litres of water a day. According to the auditor general's report for the 2013/2014 financial year, these losses sum up to R602.6 million. This was due to a surge of illegal water connections, extensive vandalism and theft of infrastructure, burst water pipes in some residential areas and high density of migration etc.


    The municipality of eThekwini municipality has been leading the way in adopting a number of interventions to reduce non- revenue water:
    • Supporting projects and educational initiatives such as ‘war on leaks’ which are aimed at educating communities on water saving and reporting water leaks.
    • Increasing employment with 55 people having been employed to detect water leakages. Using a GPS to map the exact location of the leak enables maintenance teams to immediately attend to where a leakage has been identified.
    • The Water and Sanitation Unit has made positive progress with interventions like the installation of new Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV), removing illegal connections, metering unmetered properties, maintaining existing PRV’s and conducting active leak detections.
    • The asbestos cement pipe replacement is aimed at replacing ageing water pipes was and is part of the municipality’s water management strategy.
    • EThekwini is in line with its non-revenue water business plan in implementing a number of water loss interventions.
    • In the 2013/2014 financial year, 64 pressure reducing valves were installed and 120 installations had been planned for the 2014/2015 year.
    • The leak detection and repair strategy with a total of 16 plumbers in formal and informal areas has proved successful; with 15 567 leaks repaired from the 6 716km of reticulation surveyed.


    Cities can, therefore, make large improvements to non-revenue water losses and thus improve the resilience of existing water resources for future generations.

  • Water conservation: Save Water, Save Life Campaign
    News

    There is growing recognition globally that water resources are under severe threat and effective measures needs to be made to conserve water for the current and future needs. Water conservation calls for the reduction in waste, the care and protection of water resources and the efficient and effective use of water in urban and rural municipal settings.

    read more...

    There is growing recognition globally that water resources are under severe threat and effective measures need to be made to conserve water for the current and future needs. Water conservation calls for the reduction in waste, the care and protection of water resources and the efficient and effective use of water in urban and rural municipal settings.


    Municipalities contribute to water losses through poorly maintained infrastructure within their water reticulation networks and improper asset management. Water loss does not only result in reduced amount of water supply, however, it also results in reducing the capability of water treatment works, reduces access to water for residents and impacts negatively on the capacity and proper functioning of sewage works.


    In spite of the challenges mentioned above, municipalities are increasingly focusing on efforts to reduce water losses and non-revenue water within their jurisdiction. Municipalities are employing various methods to increase their levels of water conservation, with methods including media campaigns (including print, radio and TV), development of promotional materials (leaflets etc), establishment of partnerships with corporate major water users, extending awareness campaigns to focus on areas with high water losses and usage, and the design and implementation of innovative programmes to enhance behaviour change.


    The City of Johannesburg runs annual campaigns under different themes aiming to raise awareness about water conservation. In 2009, the city initiated the ‘save water, save life’ campaign as part of National Water Week. The campaign was designed to persuade people to protect and conserve water. The focus of the 2009 campaign was on reinforcing a culture of conserving water and using it sparingly. Water Week gives the city an opportunity to draw attention to water-related issues in South Africa and to impress upon all citizens the key role they play in protecting and conserving our water resources.


    Learning from the example of cities such as Johannesburg and in light of the severe drought conditions prevailing in Southern Africa at present there is great scope for effective and positive water change campaigns, promoting water development and allowing cities to reimagine their ‘water future’.

     

     

  • SURe Water 4 Africa City Exchange
    News

    The first technical Southern Africa Regional Workshop for cities and local governments on the Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC) convened under the auspices of the Local Climate Solutions for Africa Initiative was hosted in Durban, South Africa, 14-16 October 2015. The workshop hosted by ICLEI Africa and eThekwini Municipality provided a fitting platform to host the first City to City Exchange meeting for the cities participating in the European Commission funded ‘Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions’ project.

    read more...

    The first technical Southern Africa Regional Workshop for cities and local governments on the Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC) convened under the auspices of the Local Climate Solutions for Africa Initiative was hosted in Durban, South Africa, 14-16 October 2015. The workshop hosted by ICLEI Africa and eThekwini Municipality provided a fitting platform to host the first City to City Exchange meeting for the cities participating in the European Commission funded ‘Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions’ project.

    The ‘SURe Water 4 Africa’ project aims to improved local planning mechanisms for water and sanitation service delivery, taking cognisance of climate change, in particular flooding and drought, in six African countries. 

    The inaugural city to city exchange for the project provided the project cities and National Associations of Local Governments with a forum through which they shared their experiences of the SURe Water project - with a particular focus on sharing experiences of their participation in Risk and Vulnerability Mapping exercise - which is a key deliverable of the project.  During the meeting, the cities had an opportunity to view risk maps that have been developed for each project local government. The maps indicate location of water and sanitation infrastructure within the jurisdiction of the respective local authority and further highlight the infrastructure’s projected impacts of climate change, with a particular focus on flooding and drought. The meeting also provided participating project cities with an opportunity to discuss and monitor their progress on delivery of outputs for the projects to date. Representatives from the project cities appreciated the face to face dialogue and opportunity to exchange experiences with other cities in Southern Africa as this also built their resolve to improve both sustainability and resilience in their respective cities.

    In attendance were five project cities namely; Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; Blantyre, Malawi; Walvis Bay, Namibia; Lusaka, Zambia and Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, South Africa. Furthermore, the meeting provided a platform for the cities to directly engage with two National Associations of Local Government active in the project, Malawi Association of Local Authorities (MALGA) and the Urban Councils of Zimbabwe (UCAZ).

    For more information on the project please see http://www.awasla.org/surewater-home or email tarryn.quayle@iclei.org

  • Importance of awareness for behaviour change
    News

    Globally water and sanitation programmes have focused on building more latrines to reduce open defecation, health-related illness and child malnutrition. However, the big question is do infrastructural based interventions for water and sanitation trigger human behavioural change in terms of reduction in open defecation practices and health related illness caused by unimproved water and sanitation facilities.

    read more...

    Globally water and sanitation programmes have focused on building more latrines to reduce open defecation, health-related illness and child malnutrition. However, the big question is do infrastructural based interventions for water and sanitation trigger human behavioural change in terms of reduction in open defecation practices and health-related illness caused by unimproved water and sanitation facilities.

    Installation of latrines and educational programmes do not guarantee behaviour change in the community at a household level. The value of handwashing and latrine use entirely depends on the beneficiaries, they have a choice of choosing to change their behaviours or to continue doing business as usual.

    Increasingly knowledge development and behavioural change projects are focusing on small doable actions, which are behaviours that, when practiced regularly and correctly, will lead to personal and public health improvement. The change brought about by such programmes is intended to last beyond the programmes lifespan and become embedded in individuals within the community, leading to improvements for the community as a whole.

    The Small Doable Action is an approach that is used to influence and improving practices of individuals and households. Rather than promoting the ideal Water Sanitation and Hygiene Practices - WASH (e.g., build and use a flush toilet or insist that all family members wash hands at all five critical junctions using running water and soap), Small Doable Actions (SDAs) are behaviours that are considered feasible to perform in resource-constrained settings, from the householder point of view, and effective at for personal and public health improvement.

    Prior to piloting an infrastructural based water and sanitation project it is advisable to incorporate the steps below in the early stages of the project planning to negotiate Small Doable Actions to change the business as usual thinking at the community level:
    • Assess current practices
    • Validate current good practice
    • Identify and negotiate new improved behaviours (SDAs)
    • Elicit commitment
    • Follow up and do additional problem solving to promote sustained practice if necessary

  • eThekwini Municipality wins Municipality of the year
    News

    The eThekwini Municipality received the Municipality of the year award during the Africa Utility Week Industry Awards held in Cape Town, South Africa.

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    Durban_photo_spet 2015_2.jpg

    Dhevan Governder, senior Manager for Commercial eThekwini Municipality;
    Bhavna Soni, Deputy Head Water and Sanitation Engineering, eThekwini Municipality.

    This was in recognition of the municipality’s exceptional water and sanitation service delivery project, which has seen the lives of 500,000 residents in informal settlements improved through the establishment of communal ablution blocks (CABs). After identifying the need for additional ablution facilities in the informal settlements, the municipality designed communal blocks which are in the form of modified shipping containers. Each of the containers has two showers, each with a door for privacy, two flushing toilets with doors, two hand basins and a small locked storeroom for cleaning materials. Four basins are attached to the outside of the containers for washing clothes. The CABs are connected to the municipal sewerage and water systems. There are lighting facilities attached to the containers for security purposes, particularly for evening hours.

    Upon awarding the prize, the judges described the CABs as “an excellent project that improved the lives of 500,000 residents of informal settlements. The award is very well deserved as the municipality solved problems and created jobs”. For more information on the initiative please visit the eThekwini Municipality website

  • Water for Development
    News

    World Water Week (WWW) in Stockholm is an annual global event for discussing water issues, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the conference brings together practitioners, governments, NGOs and communities active in the water sector. The theme for World Water Week 2015 is ‘Water for Development’, with water playing a fundamental part of a socio-economic development, poverty reduction and sustainable development this is the forum to discuss how we develop and sustain our resources into the future.

    read more...

    World Water Week (WWW) in Stockholm is an annual global event for discussing water issues, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the conference brings together practitioners, governments, NGOs and communities active in the water sector. The theme for World Water Week 2015 is ‘Water for Development’, with water playing a fundamental part of a socio-economic development, poverty reduction and sustainable development this is the forum to discuss how we develop and sustain our resources into the future. Access to water remains a challenging issue in many developing economies. ‘of the 159 million people relying on water directly from surface waters (rivers, lakes etc) 7 out of 10 live in sub-Saharan Africa’. Cities are often and increasingly forced to rely on water sources that are further from the city and more expensive to deliver from source to tap. Source protection, addressing water allocation issues, and improved wastewater management need to be part of any solution of the WWW 2015’.

    Week management of water supply and water resource management is an obstacle to water access and furthermore factors such as corruption often hamper access to water. Indeed, according to World Bank, 40% of water sector finances are lost to dishonest practices. Achieving universal access and sustainable use of water resources must, therefore, address corruption as a major obstacle to management. ‘Even as millions of people do not have access to water, the resource itself is at risk of depletion due to poor management’.

    Accountability, therefore, needs to be part of SDGs framework to address issues of water from a human rights perspective as water is a core human right that needs to be fully enforced. To ensure resilient cities' there is a need to empower people in the implementation of SDGs and enhance city networks in order to tap into the power of people to drive behavioural change as cities are the implementing actors of the SDGs.

     

     

  • Meeting Sanitation MDG target a challenge says new report
    News

    According to a recent joint report between UNICEF and the World Health Organization, 2.4 billion people still do not have access to a toilet.

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    Sadly this means that even with increased access to improved sanitation facilities – the definition being a separation of human waste in the living environment – the Millennium Development goal of 77% has not been reached (right now the target is on 68%). That means since 1990 2.1 billion people have gained better access to improved sanitation facilities but falls sort of some 700 million people.


    These figures at face value do not appear too far short of their goal. However, if you look at the global average at a macro level you will see that the gap between some countries is enormous. For example only 6.7% of the people of South Sudan have access to toilets which stands in stark contrast to other countries that have 100%, countries like Andorra, Israel and Greenland. With this in mind new Sustainable Development Goals and targets are being set for 2030 and will be decided by the UN General Assembly in September 2015.


    Sanjay Wijesejera, head of the UNICER’s global water, sanitation and hygiene programmes said “If we are to reach universal access to sanitation by 2030, we need to ensure the poorest start making progress right away”.


    See below for a more detailed look which countries have the least access to toilets.

     

  • Advanced sanitation and hygiene initiatives
    News

    The Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) was established by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and rewards funds to promote behaviour change activities (especially among the vulnerable and marginalised) in communities to access safe sanitation and adopt good hygiene practices.

    read more...

    GSF promotes public participation and stakeholder engagement in order to address the severe deficiencies in access to sanitation and hygiene within each target country.

    GSF recently released a report that shows how they have supported governments and their implementation partners in 13 countries to improve access to decent sanitation facilities. Through their processes, GSF assisted more than 20,500 communities to end open defecation. Several countries benefitted from the scheme including some from Africa namely: Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Uganda.

    To read more on the process on how GSF led a “People-centred, nationally-led programme that empowered 7 million people to end open defecation” initiative among other large scale interventions in the sanitation and hygiene sector, please click here.

  • Policymaker Resource: Water- Innovation for Green Growth
    News

    Green growth focuses on promoting economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services to sustain human welfare.

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    According to the 2011 OECD Green Growth Strategy, green growth policies and strategies can unlock opportunities for economic growth particularly in emerging economies. Effective water management has been identified as a crucial catalyst for promoting green growth. According to the Secretary General for OECD Ange Gurria, “Investing in water security will drive sustainable growth. These investments must be well-planned, fit in with broader development agendas, benefit local communities and the environment, and be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances”.

    Drawing on their recent work on policies to support green growth and on water economics and governance, OECD prepared a policy perspectives brochure. The brochure lays out opportunities to manage and invest in water, identifying key policy options that local, sub national and national governments can use to assist the transition towards greener growth. To access the brochure, please click here.

  • “Water for Life” Best Practices Award
    News

    The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in South Africa partnered with the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) in implementing an Eco-Schools Water Project.

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    The project was developed and rolled out under the auspices of the “Water for Life” Best Practices Award. The annual “Water for Life” Best Practices Award aims to acknowledge and promote efforts to meet international commitments made on water and related issues by 2015. The award recognises outstanding projects that are working to ensure sustainable long-term management of water resources and to help achieve the water and sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.  The theme of the awards for this year was “Water and Sustainable Development”. 

    The project’s main objective is to strengthen water and sanitation education in South Africa through implementation of the international Eco-School Programme’s 7 step framework for Education for Sustainable Development learning and change. These steps guide schools through a learning process which promotes water conservation and sanitation education, as well as engaging learners in enquiry-based learning methods which empower them to better understand their local water context and to take action to improve this.  The project encourages citizen engagement and participatory learning and promotes stewardship in management of water especially in disadvantaged communities.

    The “Water for life” Best Practices award is managed by the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015/UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and the UN World Water Assessment Programme. 

    To read more on the project please click here.

  • National and local governments agree to work together on water action
    News

    The "Daegu-Gyeongbuk Water Action for Sustainable Cities and Regions” was signed by 26 local and provincial governments at the 4th Local and Regional Authorities Conference held at the 7th World Water Forum in South Korea acknowledging the importance of local governments and their role in water issues.

    read more...

    The document acknowledged the importance of local governments’ roles in resolving water issues at the national and global levels. It also called for collaboration with central governments to work on water challenges more effectively.

    Ninety-five local and provincial governments’ representatives attended the conference, which is part of the political process program at the 7th World Water Forum. The document announced by the local governments group focused on two themes: building on strategies at the municipal level, and asking national governments to allow local governments to help create enabling environments.


    Among many strategies set out by the document, the most imminent issue was how to take advantage of the announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals, which will be selected in December, and increase the awareness of water challenges on the global stage. The conferees pledged to cooperate with their national governments to make sure that happens.


    After the SDGs are selected, the local governments pledged their best efforts to achieve the goals by the 2030 deadline through close consultations and cooperation with national officials. They also promised to promote further development by creating an alliance with other parties related to water industries.


    The group also stressed the need for locally feasible solutions, a reference to the principles included in the “Istanbul Water Consensus,” the outcome document of the Local and Regional Authorities Conference at the 5th World Water Forum in Turkey in 2009.


    The water action document said local government officials would strengthen existing water laws and work closely with other management sectors such as urban planning. It also contains a pledge to do more to work with relevant stakeholders, including small water plant operators and especially to work with people in vulnerable positions: those affected most severely by poor water
    management or who are living in informal settlements.

    To read the full article download the newspaper article here.

  • Lusaka City Council prioritises local action for flooding
    News

    Lusaka City Council in partnership with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability - Africa recently held a workshop under the auspices of the Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions (SURe Water 4 Africa: Developing LOCs) project.

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    The workshop series provides a platform for the city to receive feedback on the research around Risk and Vulnerability as well as the Climate Analysis that was carried out in 2014. The city also had a chance to reflect on the progress made in delivery of the objectives set for the project. The city also managed to initiate a process of identifying people to sit on a multi-stakeholder platform that would assist in strategically providing locally appropriate guidance in formulating the Local Plan of Action. The Local Plan of Action will eventually contribute towards building resilience of the city to lower impacts of flooding. It was also envisaged that the multi-stakeholder forum would grow and support the practice even after the SURe water project has been concluded in 2017. 


    In delivering his opening remarks to the workshop, the Mayor of Lusaka City Council Cllr George Nyendwa made reference to the challenges of floods that the city experiences and how that hinders delivery of basic services, such as water and sanitation within the city. He mentioned that the challenge had become a perennial issue and continued to threaten the health and well-being of it’s the citizens.

    Having gone through these challenges year in and year out, it is now time for us to find a lasting solution on how best we can prevent this problem of floods through meaningfully engaging with the SURe Water project" highlighted Mayor George Nyendwa. 

    The workshop took place over three days. Day one and day two were set aside for ICLEI Africa to engage the political and technical personnel from the different municipal departments. Also present were key stakeholders from relevant national departments, utility and organisations providing funding to water and sanitation projects in Lusaka City Council. Day three was set aside for engagement with community members from Kanyama Compound, Ward 10. The project will focus in depth on the community as well as establish a local plan of action that will contribute towards building the resilience of the community of Kanyama to adverse impacts of flooding, particularly in the way they access water and sanitation services. 

    The SURe water 4 Africa: Developing LoCS project is currently in its 27th month of the 54 months of implementation and is being part financed by the European Commission.

  • Integrated Urban Water Management key to addressing droughts in Bulawayo City Council
    News

    As one of the six cities participating in the Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions (SURe Water 4 Africa: Developing LoCS) project, Bulawayo City Council in partnership with ICLEI Africa held a workshop in the last week of February 2015.

    read more...

     

    The workshop served as a platform during which the ICLEI Africa gave feedback to the city on the Climate Systems and Risk and Vulnerability assessments that were made on the city during the data collecting phase of the SURe Water 4 Africa: Developing LoCS project in 2014. The active interaction and debates during the workshop also aided in ground truthing the collected information.  In welcoming the outputs from the assessments, the city officials reiterated the need for Bulawayo City Council to build upon the baseline of climatic and socio economic data collected during the project’s data collecting phase. Having such a repository of data would be critical to enable decision and policy makers to refer to it in developing policies and strategies that would adequately address the challenges that the city faces within the context of climate change. Such a coherent approach would simultaneously contribute towards building resilience of the city’s infrastructure and service delivery to impacts of extreme weather conditions such as droughts.

    The workshop was held from 24 – 26 February 2015. The technical officials within the city’s key departments of Engineering, Civil Protection Unit, Office of the Town Clerk and the Bulawayo Residents’ Association actively participated in the first two days while leaders from the different community groups in Pumula attended the workshop on the 26th.

    The SURe Water 4 Africa Developing LoCS project is being implemented selected local authorities within six countries in southern Africa and it is receiving funding from the European Commission. 

  • Nelson Mandela Bay plans urban water resilience
    News

    Nelson Mandela Bay (NMDB) is one of eight Metropolitan Municipalities in South Africa and as a growing metro has to deal with the usual teething pains of backlogs in service delivery and a growing informal settlement.

    read more...

    In line with proactively planning for a resilient urban future, NMBM is one of the 6 cities actively participating in the Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions (SURe water 4 Africa: Developing LoCS) project.

    As one of the key activities, representatives from the municipality’s key departments recently attended a workshop on the project. The workshop served as a platform for ICLEI Africa to report back on the climate analysis and vulnerability assessments that were carried out for the water and sanitation infrastructure and services for the municipality. There was an in-depth focus on the assessment for Ward 20, Veeplaas. These assessments were carried out in 2014. Schalk Potgieter, the Director: Strategic Planning and Policy Formulation in the Human Settlements within the metro, welcomed the findings and raised the importance of the municipality replicating the risk and vulnerability assessment across communities in the metro. He said that such an exercise would enable the metro to make data-driven decisions in planning for the future. 

    The municipality also received training on the use of the ResilientAfrica Online tool. This tool was designed by local governments in Africa for use by local governments in Africa in identifying locally appropriate adaptation options to consider when planning for the future. The highly interactive tool “walks” local governments through a process of identifying, prioritising and assessing viable adaptation options that should be included in strategic plans towards building resilience to climate change in the 21 Century. This comprehensive tool enables cities to also formulate local action plans to support in the process. In this project, these local action plans will be referred to as the SURe Water Frameworks. 

    Day 3 of the workshop was set aside for community engagement. Participants were from Veeplaas, KwaMagxhaki and Kwazakele, 3 of the several communities within the metro. Community members actively participated in the workshop. Through the facilitated discussions, community members managed to propose adaptation options that they are keen to have the city consider in preparing the Local Plan of Action or SURe Water Frameworks that will emerge as one of the main outputs for the project. 

    SURe Water 4 Africa Developing LoCS project is targeting local authorities in 6 countries in southern Africa namely Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It was initiated in December 2012 and is set to conclude in June 2017. The project is received funding from the European Commission.

  • Informal settlements in Kisumu set to benefit from an innovative sanitation value chain initiative
    News

    Informal settlements in Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya will benefit from participating in a project entitled “Innovative sanitation value chain for un-sewered urban poor”.

    read more...

    Sanitation Value Chain.jpg

    The project will introduce and demonstrate viable sanitation service delivery for un-sewered urban poor, who are currently residing in Manyatta, one of the informal settlements of Kisumu.

    The model adopted in the project design is set to promote a closed loop system in the management of water and sanitation. A waste factory will be established and this will collect faeces, urine, organic and non-organic waste from the informal settlements. These will be used to generate electricity that will be fed back to the informal settlement. In addition, the factory will produce fertiliser that the residents will be able to buy and use to boost their agriculture produce. Other specific objectives for the project include:

    -          Increase hygiene awareness and sanitation coverage

    -          Establish a private company for faecal sludge and urine collection and transport

    -          Upscale project outcomes to all informal settlements in Kisumu

    -          Disseminate to 20 other cities and 50 water service providers in Kenya

    Approximately 48 000 households are set to benefit out of the 60 000 inhabitants living in the informal settlement of Manyatta.

    Africa Water Facility will contribute € 1.2 million of the total project cost valued at € 2 152 000, while the consortium of recipient partners that include Cordaid will contribute the balance. To access the original article published on the project please visit the website of Cordaid.

    Photo credit: Cordaid

  • Blantyre City Council committed to building resilience to effects of extreme weather events and climate change
    News

    Blantyre is Malawi’s second largest city and is also commonly referred to as the commercial capital of the country.

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    With a growing population of around 700 000, a figure representing a 5.1 % share of the national population, Blantyre City is under growing pressure to provide adequate socioeconomic services for its residents. However, climate change is set to exacerbate the challenges that the city faces in its efforts towards achieving sustainable development - unless the city proactively puts in place plans that support climate compatible development.

    Blantyre City Council is one of the six cities participating in the Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions (SURe water 4 Africa: Developing LoCS) project. The project is being funded by the European Commission and aims to contribute towards sustainable climate resilient urban water mechanisms and planning at the local level. Recently, the ICLEI Africa SURe Water team was in Blantyre to run a series of capacity building and knowledge sharing workshops. In his welcoming remarks, Sylvester Mntini emphasised the value of the project to the city as they are trying to understand the shifting weather patterns which in turn have left the residence experiencing extreme impacts of droughts during the prolonged dry periods, and extreme floods during the short rainy periods.

    During the workshop, the SURe Water team gave feedback on the downscaled climate systems analysis that was made for Blantyre earlier in the year by CSAG. In addition, the team shared key findings from the Risk Mapping and Vulnerability Assessment of the city’s water and sanitation infrastructure following an exercise that was carried out by WAMTechnology earlier in 2014. The interactive session also sought to validate findings in the reports that WAMTechnology had presented to ICLEI Africa.

    To support the city’s interest in proactively planning for climate compatible development, ICLEI Africa trained workshop participants on the use of the ResilientAfrica Online tool. This tool was designed by local governments in Africa for use by local governments in Africa in identifying locally appropriate adaptation options to consider when planning for the future. The highly interactive tool “walks” local governments through a process of identifying, prioritising and assessing viable adaptation options that should be included in strategic plans towards building resilience to climate change in the 21 Century. This comprehensive tool enables cities to also formulate local action plans to support in the process. In this project, these local action plans will be referred to as the SURe Water Frameworks.
    Community members from South Lunzo, one of the communities in Blantyre engaged the SURe Water team on Day 3 of the workshop. Following feedback from the Climate Systems Analysis and the Risk and Vulnerability assessments, community members split into working groups in which they discussed adaptation options that they implement in the event of either extreme drought or flooding. Still in those groups, they discussed and prioritised adaptation options that they would require assistance either from the local council, development aid agencies or the private sector in order to successfully implement. All the information was captured and will be conveyed back to Blantyre City Council through the SURe Water team, working closely with representatives from Blantyre City Council who attended the workshop.

    The team concluded the trip with a visit to the recently elected Deputy Mayor Cllr Wild Ndipo. He reiterated Blantyre City Council’s interest in participating in the project and stated his great interest on the local frameworks to assist the city adapt to impact of flooding and or drought that would emerge from the project.

  • Making the climate-water link in Africa
    News

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    Making the climate-water link in Africa: Announcing an exciting new project entitled "Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa - Developing Local Climate Solutions"


    ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability - Africa is pleased to announce an exciting new addition towards strengthening our Integrated Urban Water Management efforts in Africa, whilst allowing for cross-cutting climate thematic linkages.

    The European Commission funded project, 'Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions' (SURe Water 4 Africa: Developing LoCS for short), will be implemented by ICLEI Africa over a 5 year period in partnership with the Desert Research Foundation, Walvis Bay Municipality and Urban Councils of Zimbabwe. The project aims to address the challenge of efficient urban water management in the context of a changing climate in Africa.

    SURe Water 4 Africa: Developing LoCS will engage local authorities in six southern African countries (Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe), with the overall objective to contribute to sustainable climate change resilient urban water planning mechanisms and actions in local authorities. It will have an important focus on the nexus of climate change and water, in particular droughts and floods, while identifying and implementing priority adaptation measures to assist the most vulnerable sectors within these urban centres. For more, contact iclei-africa@iclei.org.

  • Turning to the media to improve knowledge exchange
    News

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    In developing countries, restricted access to information hinders the provision of water and sanitation services to the urban poor as it prevents feedback between service providers and end-users, as well as experience sharing between all parties.

    The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Working Group is an international network seeking to bridge this information gap by encouraging collaboration between local citizens, the media and civil society organisations, and so positively leverage regional policy decisions

    With information platforms, end-users can inform the service providers of issues such as water or sewage leaks, poor water quality (e.g. odour or taste), the need for additional communal taps, and which pit latrines require emptying. Equally, service providers can inform end-users of tariff increases, or the need to avoid certain areas if diseases such as cholera have broken out.

    Supported by active civil society organisations, communities in West Africa are increasingly looking to media platforms to express their needs, exchange knowledge and good practice, and encourage governments to honour their commitments.

    The West Africa WASH Journalists Network is an umbrella network of national WASH media networks from 14 countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

    The Network's primary objectives are to ensure that the needs of the poor are addressed at the national, regional and international level, to ensure the collection of credible information for the WASH network from a broad range of sources, and to ensure that the most compelling reports are used to raise awareness among end-users and service providers.

    According to Tim Kasten from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), "We need to have more regular interactive dialogue with the media... [and] give them the information they need to report on what we want the public to understand."

    "That's how we change behaviour. Because once the public understands through the media what the problems are they're better able to influence their policy makers and decision makers."

    The WASH news Africa website is available at: http://washafrica.wordpress.com/

  • The City of Tshwane’s Hydropower Project
    News

    Global economic development is heavily dependent on energy. However, energy shortages, environmental concerns from carbon dioxide and dust emissions, and the difficulties in dealing with nuclear waste are focusing attention on renewable energy sources.

    read more...

    Global economic development is heavily dependent on energy. However, energy shortages, environmental concerns from carbon dioxide and dust emissions, and the difficulties in dealing with nuclear waste are focusing attention on renewable energy sources.

    Hydropower accounts for only a fraction of global energy production (3%), with Africa being the least developed continent in this sector. Current estimates suggest that only 6% of the estimated potential has been tapped into. Even so, many urban and rural local governments in Africa do not even have access to electricity or the supply is sporadic.

    The City of Tshwane, an ICLEI member, is the first South African local municipality to generate and use hydropower. The project was launched in November 2011 by the University of Pretoria and funded by the Water Research Commission (WRC).

    According the WRC’s report, “the emphasis was on the potential power generation by retrofitting hydropower generation facilities at existing dams and utilising the untapped energy on the supply side of storage reservoirs in water distribution systems where the excess heads are normally dissipated across control valves.”

    The first ‘Pressure Hydropower System’ has been installed at the Pierre van Ryneveld reservoir in the south eastern part of the city and when operational is expected to generate 16 Kilowatts of electricity per hour.

    Mr Jay Bhagwan of the WRC notes that “if this was expanded on a wide scale to large pressurised transfer pipes and reticulation systems, a significant amount of clean energy can be generated to complement the municipalities and country’s needs”.

    If this system were to be used throughout South Africa, an additional 26,000 Megawatts per hour could be added to the grid.

    In the broader African context, such initiatives could provide access to electricity thereby supporting local economic and infrastructural development.

    A copy of the WRC report entitled “A high level scoping investigation into the potential of energy saving and production /generation in the supply of water through pressurised conduits” (Report no .KV 238/10) can be downloaded from the WRC knowledge hub.

  • The City of Tshwane's Hydropower Project
    News

    read more...

    Global economic development is heavily dependent on energy. However, energy shortages, environmental concerns from carbon dioxide and dust emissions, and the difficulties in dealing with nuclear waste are focusing attention on renewable energy sources.

    Hydropower accounts for only a fraction of global energy production (3%), with Africa being the least developed continent in this sector. Current estimates suggest that only 6% of the estimated potential has been tapped into. Even so, many urban and rural local governments in Africa do not even have access to electricity or the supply is sporadic.

    The City of Tshwane, an ICLEI member, is the first South African local municipality to generate and use hydropower. The project was launched in November 2011 by the University of Pretoria and funded by the Water Research Commission (WRC).

    According the WRC's report, "the emphasis was on the potential power generation by retrofitting hydropower generation facilities at existing dams and utilising the untapped energy on the supply side of storage reservoirs in water distribution systems where the excess heads are normally dissipated across control valves."

    The first 'Pressure Hydropower System' has been installed at the Pierre van Ryneveld reservoir in the south eastern part of the city and when operational is expected to generate 16 Kilowatts of electricity per hour.

    Mr Jay Bhagwan of the WRC notes that "if this was expanded on a wide scale to large pressurised transfer pipes and reticulation systems, a significant amount of clean energy can be generated to complement the municipalities and country's needs".

    If this system were to be used throughout South Africa, an additional 26,000 Megawatts per hour could be added to the grid.

    In the broader African context, such initiatives could provide access to electricity thereby supporting local economic and infrastructural development.

    A copy of the WRC report entitled "A high level scoping investigation into the potential of energy saving and production /generation in the supply of water through pressurised conduits" (Report no .KV 238/10) can be downloaded from the WRC knowledge hub.

  • South Africa: Green and Blue Drop incentive-based regulation
    News

    In 2008, South Africa’s Department of Water Affairs initiated the blue and green drop incentive-based regulation systems to monitor and improve municipal drinking water quality and wastewater treatment management.

    read more...

    In 2008, South Africa’s Department of Water Affairs initiated the blue and green drop incentive-based regulation systems to monitor and improve municipal drinking water quality and wastewater treatment management.

    As the first of its kind, this annual certification programme grades municipalities against key performance areas, with municipal performance over 95% for water quality and 90% for wastewater management being awarded blue and green drop status respectively.

    Both reports are compiled by a range of specialists and show specific results for each performance area and compare it with the previous year (i.e. whether they have improved, remained the same or worsened).

    Contrary to public opinion, a lack of blue drop status does not mean that water is unfit for consumption, but rather that there is room for improvement. Blue and green drop status simply presents a benchmark of excellence.

    To date, the programme has not only raised the number of municipalities that test water quality from 40% to almost 100%, but is gradually raising the standard of fresh water quality and wastewater management.

    In addition, the number of supply systems awarded blue and green drop status in 2011 increased by more than 50% since 2010.

    By highlighting problem areas the reporting encourages accountability and transparency and enables national and provincial government to assist and take action where necessary.

  • South Africa: Green and Blue Drop incentive-based regulation
    News

    read more...

    In 2008, South Africa's Department of Water Affairs initiated the blue and green drop incentive-based regulation systems to monitor and improve municipal drinking water quality and wastewater treatment management.

    As the first of its kind, this annual certification programme grades municipalities against key performance areas, with municipal performance over 95% for water quality and 90% for wastewater management being awarded blue and green drop status respectively.

    Both reports are compiled by a range of specialists and show specific results for each performance area and compare it with the previous year (i.e. whether they have improved, remained the same or worsened).

    Contrary to public opinion, a lack of blue drop status does not mean that water is unfit for consumption, but rather that there is room for improvement. Blue and green drop status simply presents a benchmark of excellence.

    To date, the programme has not only raised the number of municipalities that test water quality from 40% to almost 100%, but is gradually raising the standard of fresh water quality and wastewater management.

    In addition, the number of supply systems awarded blue and green drop status in 2011 increased by more than 50% since 2010.

    By highlighting problem areas the reporting encourages accountability and transparency and enables national and provincial government to assist and take action where necessary.

  • ‘New Life toilets’ and micro financing provide sanitation to Nairobi’s informal settlements
    News

    In developing countries, local governments often have difficulty in addressing sanitation service delivery in informal settlements as it often falls outside their mandate.

    read more...

    In developing countries, local governments often have difficulty in addressing sanitation service delivery in informal settlements as it often falls outside their mandate.

    In Kenya, residents of Nairobi’s informal settlements often rely on ‘flying toilets’, where people defecate in plastic bags and then throw them outside, or risk the using the often unhygienic public toilets.

    Inadequate access to sanitation results in around 90% of the city’s sewage being dumped in rivers which raises major health and environmental concerns.

    In response, the start-up company Sanergy has come up with an innovative solution to the sanitation crisis.

    “We build low-cost sanitation facilities, [called Fresh Life toilets] which we franchise to people in the community and they run them as businesses,” says David Auerbach, a co-founder of Sanergy.

    Each toilet costs approximately $500 (USD) including installation, daily waste collection, training, marketing, branding and demolition insurance. The owner of each franchise must then provide toilet paper and hand washing facilities with soap, which are not available at public toilets.

    The waste collectors, known as the Fresh Life Frontline, remove the waste daily and transport it to a facility where it is converted into fertilizer.

    “I think this story with Sanergy is incredibly compelling, [because] you really hit so many points on the value chain of social value,” says Mac Parish of Kiva micro-financing non-profit organisation involved in the venture.

    “You’re providing sanitation in slums; you are providing employment in slums; you’re sustaining entrepreneurship within these areas; you’re then collecting the waste, turning it into fertilizer, creating organic fertilizer and, hopefully, in the future, creating energy from this waste as well.”

    Residents of the Mukuru informal settlement are excited about the project and can apply for an interest free loan from Kiva.

    “You see, people prefer to go to [the] Fresh Life toilet and they offer to pay five shillings rather than pay three shillings to go to the dirty toilet,” says Mercyline Atieno, who received a Kiva loan. 

    More information is available on the Sanergy website: http://saner.gy/

  • 'New Life toilets' and micro financing provide sanitation to Nairobi's informal settlements
    News

    read more...

    In developing countries, local governments often have difficulty in addressing sanitation service delivery in informal settlements as it often falls outside their mandate.

    In Kenya, residents of Nairobi's informal settlements often rely on 'flying toilets', where people defecate in plastic bags and then throw them outside, or risk the using the often unhygienic public toilets.

    Inadequate access to sanitation results in around 90% of the city's sewage being dumped in rivers which raises major health and environmental concerns.

    In response, the start-up company Sanergy has come up with an innovative solution to the sanitation crisis.

    "We build low-cost sanitation facilities, [called Fresh Life toilets] which we franchise to people in the community and they run them as businesses," says David Auerbach, a co-founder of Sanergy.

    Each toilet costs approximately $500 (USD) including installation, daily waste collection, training, marketing, branding and demolition insurance. The owner of each franchise must then provide toilet paper and hand washing facilities with soap, which are not available at public toilets.

    The waste collectors, known as the Fresh Life Frontline, remove the waste daily and transport it to a facility where it is converted into fertilizer.

    "I think this story with Sanergy is incredibly compelling, [because] you really hit so many points on the value chain of social value," says Mac Parish of Kiva micro-financing non-profit organisation involved in the venture.

    "You're providing sanitation in slums; you are providing employment in slums; you're sustaining entrepreneurship within these areas; you're then collecting the waste, turning it into fertilizer, creating organic fertilizer and, hopefully, in the future, creating energy from this waste as well."

    Residents of the Mukuru informal settlement are excited about the project and can apply for an interest free loan from Kiva.

    "You see, people prefer to go to [the] Fresh Life toilet and they offer to pay five shillings rather than pay three shillings to go to the dirty toilet," says Mercyline Atieno, who received a Kiva loan. 

    More information is available on the Sanergy website: http://saner.gy/

  • STEPs now offering "mini Toolboxes"
    News

    The SSWM Toolbox is an open-source capacity development tool for the local level, linking water management, sanitation and agriculture. It helps you to prioritise and understand your problems, to choose the solution that best meets your needs, to design the planning and implementation process, and to understand the background of it all. And the best part – it’s all for free and open source!

    read more...

    The SSWM Toolbox is an open-source capacity development tool for the local level, linking water management, sanitation and agriculture. It helps you to prioritise and understand your problems, to choose the solution that best meets your needs, to design the planning and implementation process, and to understand the background of it all. And the best part – it’s all for free and open source!

    sswm.bmpSpecific Topic Entry Pages (STEPs)
    Recently, several new chapters were added to the Toolbox, providing an entry point and information on a particular topic or group of users. These Specific Topic Entry Pages (STEPs) offer you tailor-made "mini SSWM Toolboxes" with a focus on a topic or region, compiling an overview on the relevant resources available and amended with background and specific content within the field of SSWM. Both the concepts presented within the STEP, as well as the linked information from the SSWM Toolbox, are complemented with further readings, awareness raising and training material, case study documentation, ready-made PowerPoint presentations and a glossary.

    Overview of STEPs:
    • The SSWM Course for Universities developed in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Life Science: STEP University

    • The Training-of-Trainers

    • The chapter on SSWM in Sub-Saharan Africa, developed in collaboration with GIZ Zambia, the Water and Sanitation Association of Zambia (WASAZA) and Cap-Net: STEP Sub-Saharan Africa

    • Business Development in SSWM, compiled in collaboration with the international centre for water management services (cewas) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI): STEP Business Development

    • The chapter on urban sanitation, developed in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, as part of the programme “Support to the National Urban Sanitation Policy in India”:STEP SNUSP

    These STEPs will continuously be updated and completed. From 2013, the SSWM Toolbox team is planning to cover 2 to 4 new topics annually, depending on the demand. Currently, the STEPs “emergency preparedness and response” and “sanitation systems” are amongst others being developed. You can find the toolbox here http://www.sswm.info

  • STEPs now offering "mini Toolboxes"
    News

    read more...

    The SSWM Toolbox is an open-source capacity development tool for the local level, linking water management, sanitation and agriculture. It helps you to prioritise and understand your problems, to choose the solution that best meets your needs, to design the planning and implementation process, and to understand the background of it all. And the best part - it's all for free and open source!

    sswm.bmpSpecific Topic Entry Pages (STEPs)
    Recently, several new chapters were added to the Toolbox, providing an entry point and information on a particular topic or group of users. These Specific Topic Entry Pages (STEPs) offer you tailor-made "mini SSWM Toolboxes" with a focus on a topic or region, compiling an overview on the relevant resources available and amended with background and specific content within the field of SSWM. Both the concepts presented within the STEP, as well as the linked information from the SSWM Toolbox, are complemented with further readings, awareness raising and training material, case study documentation, ready-made PowerPoint presentations and a glossary.

    Overview of STEPs:
    • The SSWM Course for Universities developed in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Life Science: STEP University

    • The Training-of-Trainers

    • The chapter on SSWM in Sub-Saharan Africa, developed in collaboration with GIZ Zambia, the Water and Sanitation Association of Zambia (WASAZA) and Cap-Net: STEP Sub-Saharan Africa

    • Business Development in SSWM, compiled in collaboration with the international centre for water management services (cewas) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI): STEP Business Development

    • The chapter on urban sanitation, developed in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, as part of the programme "Support to the National Urban Sanitation Policy in India":STEP SNUSP

    These STEPs will continuously be updated and completed. From 2013, the SSWM Toolbox team is planning to cover 2 to 4 new topics annually, depending on the demand. Currently, the STEPs "emergency preparedness and response" and "sanitation systems" are amongst others being developed. You can find the toolbox here http://www.sswm.info