Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe with a population of 2 million. It has seen an exponential popualtion growth in the past few years which has not been matched by infrastructure development. The city faces perennial shortage of water as supply dams are constantly under threat of running dry. Waterborne diseases such as cholera are a regular threat, highlighting the need for a complete rehabilitation of water-works and sewer systems. The City, however, has implemented a water demand strategy, water re-use strategy and water conservation and sector upgrade projects. Further investment into the water sector is desperately needed. The Mzingwane catchment from where it draws its water is subject to recurrent droughts and dry spells. Climate Change is expected to exert even greater pressure on water supplies.
Francistown is the second largest city in Botswana and is situated in the North East district. It has a population of 150,000 and is rapidly expanding. It is an industrial and transport hub, and has seen rapid growth in recent years. Francistown is the second largest administration centre in Botswana and also serves as the headquarters for most of the central government ministries and departments. In Botswana water demand and supply is managed by national government with the Water Utilities Council (WUC) supplying water to urban centres and mining areas. There are two rivers which form the dominant geographical features in Francistown, the Tati and Ntshe river channels. Rainfall is very low and erratic and droughts are common in Botswana and thus climate change introduces increased vulnerability to the area.
Blantyre (Malawi), a centre of finance and commerce, is the country’s second largest city. Blantyre has an estimated 728,285 inhabitants with over 65% of that population residing in informal settlements. The City gets most of its water from the Ndirande – Mundi catchment area and the Shire River, with the Blantyre Water Board being responsible for water supply. Due to the increased demand water shortages are common and often lead to disease outbreaks during times of drought. Water shortages also occur during flood events, when water pipes burst and dams silt. Both droughts and floods already significantly curtail access to safe water sources.
photo by : Brain Snelson
Nelson Mandela Bay
Nelson Mandela Bay is one of the six metropolitan municipalities in South Africa. It has an estimated population of over 1.5 million people. The municipality comprises of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage town and surrounding rural areas. The Municipality has experienced severe droughts in all the catchment areas of the dams supplying the municipality from 2008 until early 2011. As a result, in March 2010 the Municipality’s Council declared the Nelson Mandela Bay a local drought disaster area in terms of the country’s Disaster Management Act (Act 57 of 2002). In order to adjust to the drought conditions, the municipality had to change some of the municipality by-laws to promote the use of rainwater harvesting tanks which seeks to reduce users’ total reliance on the municipal water supply.
Walvis Bay is an economic hub on the coast of Namibia, being based at the heart of the Benguela Upwelling coastal system, its main source of income is associated with its port activities (through the servicing of international based oils rigs and other fishery related vessels, import and export of goods and services to surrounding countries and one of the largest offshore and inshore fisheries on the Southern African coast). In recent history, Walvis Bay has seen an increase in the intensity and frequency of storm surges, which are proving to manifest themselves through (not exclusively) sand/wind storms, flash flooding events and sea storm surges. Each of these aspects are proving to have a direct impact upon services and infrastructure (energy provision, water quality and quantity, fisheries (factories and harbour time) and transport (local and international) and of course local tourism. Walvis Bay has demonstrated itself to be a leader in climate related activities within the Namibian Nation and also within the greater Global south as a fast executing and decisive local government.
Lusaka is located in the Lusaka Province in Zambia. The city and other towns in Zambia emerged due to development of copper mines in the Katanga region. It is the fastest growing city in Zambia largely due to new developments attributed to its status as the capital city, providing administrative functions to the entire country. The Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company established in 1988 and currently majority owned by Lusaka City Council supplies potable water to four district areas. The company mainly draws water from the Kafue River but other sources include water drawn from shallow wells and boreholes around the city, with smaller amounts withdrawn from the Zambezi and Chongwe River. Due to projected climate change severe floods, cold spells and extreme temperatures are projected to become more frequent and intense. Floods in particular pose a severe threat to the urban poor of which dysentery and cholera have been some of the negative impacts experienced as a result of the floods. Therefore it is evident that the challenges emanating from severe weather will always be an immense task and will compromise both local and national development.
This project is co-financed as part of the European Commission funded ACCESSanitation and SURe Water 4 Africa projects.
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