Introducing Justine Olweny : a Ugandan WASH entrepreneur and resource centre founder

My name is Justine Olweny, and this is my story:

Where I came from:

Being born to a water engineer and a teacher in a town in Northern Uganda strategically molded me for who I am today. At 12 years old I was practicing and solving problems using a Pentium II computer desktop. I undertook vocational study (Certificate – Degree) and gained a BSc. in Information Systems and Technology (Dev’t & Integration). At this time, I founded Youth Against Poverty (a community based organisation) and wrote an article on ‘Youth Successes in Northern Uganda’. As an ICT freelancer I was able to market my work and landed a couple of opportunities one of which was Geophysical Survey using Vertical Electrical Sounding with Water4.org.

Continue reading “Introducing Justine Olweny : a Ugandan WASH entrepreneur and resource centre founder”

Ops Talks: Total Cost of Services

re-blogged with thanks from Water for Good

sub·si·dy

A sum of money granted by the state or a public body to help an industry or business keep the price of a commodity or service low

— Oxford English Dictionary

Rural Water Services ARE Subsidized

Even the United States has subsidies for rural water services. This doesn’t make something unsustainable. However, it does create a critical need for clarity of the total cost of the services, how it is funded, and how it will continue to be funded. There also needs to be a good definition of what the costs are (CapEx vs OpEx vs CapManEx). Thankfully our friends at IRC have laid this out here.

African Water and Sanitation Academy (AWASA): The International Resource Centre (IREC) of NWSC, Kampala, Uganda ; your Hub for Africa

AfWA RELEASE

As part of the implementation of its Business Plan 2018-2022, the African Water Association (AfWA), will be structuring the coordination of all its training activities in the framework of the operationalization of the African Water and Sanitation Academy (AWASA). This will involve setting up a coordination hub headquartered at the International Resource Center (IREC) of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) in Kampala- Uganda, from which training shall be deployed in different Operational training centers managed by its members in the regions such as:

  • Rabat-Morocco, at ONEE’s International Institute for Electricity and Potable Water
  • Ouagadougou-Burkina Faso, at ONEA’s Training Center for Water Works; the National Office for Water and Sanitation
  • Kampala-Uganda, at International Resource Center (IREC) of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC)

Other centers are in the process of being identified.
To initiate the process of creating AWASA, AfWA Executive Board made the resolution, during the ordinary session held on July 19, 2018 in Kampala- Uganda, to set up a Working Committee led by Professor Hamanth KASAN, President of AfWA Programs Committee. This committee is expected to develop and coordinate all procedures to provide AWASA with an updated Business Plan, identify all partners including universities, centers of excellence in the water and sanitation sector in Africa and in the world, development partners/donors, African water organizations, etc. in order to ensure that AWASA Director’s recruitment process is initiated by December 2018, ensuring the start of AWASA activities by January 2019.

photo credit: NWSC/AfWA

UN-Water report: SDG6 on Water and Sanitation will not be achieved by 2030 at current rates of progress

UN-Water has released a new report on Water and Sanitation ahead of the High-level Political Forum for Sustanainable Development (HLPF) which presents, for each target, the latest data available for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 global indicators. The report seeks to inform discussions among Member States during the HLPF (9 July -18 July 2018) in New York. The HLPF Forum will review progress especially on G6, G7, G11, G12, G15 and G17; you can see the Official Programme here.

The key message of this report is that the world will miss the SDG6 targets by 2030 at current rates of progress. It also highlights that only 50 percent of countries have comparable baseline estimates for most SDG 6 global indicators, making it difficult to track progress. It is essential to “harmonize methods and standards”, and establish a common understanding of how to assess Means of Implementation (MoI) across SDG 6. In addition to this report, UN-Water has also set up a webpage with examples of countries sharing their experiences.

RWSN had provided some comments on the draft report which was made available by UN-Water earlier this year. By and large these comments still hold – you can find out about what we said here and our take on how the report addresses sustainability of services, accountability, self-supply, capacity development, water and energy, groundwater and public participation.

So, what does the final report say? It compiles data and information available on the SDG6 Targets, including:

  • Target 6.1: Achieve access  to  safe  and  affordable  drinking  water: There are still 844 million people who lack access to basic water services, and 2.1 billion people who lack water that is accessible, available when needed and free from contamination. The report highlights that extending access to safe drinking water for all is a “huge challenge” that will not be achieved if there is no increase in “investment from governments and other sources” and a “strengthening in institutional arrangements” for managing and regulating drinking water.
  • Target 6.2: Achieve access to sanitation and hygiene and end open defecation: There are still 2.3 billion people who lack access to basic sanitation services, and 4.5 billion people who lack safely managed sanitation services. Only 27 per cent of the population in least developed countries has access to soap and water for handwashing. Extending universal access to sanitation and hygiene won’t be achieved if there is not an increase in “investment and a strengthening of the capacity of local and national authorities” for managing and regulating sanitation systems.
  • Target 6.3: Improve water quality, wastewater treatment and safe reuse: Freshwater pollution is prevalent and increasing in many parts of Latin America, Africa and Asia. The lack of water quality monitoring in many parts of the world does not allow for an exact global estimate of water pollution.
  • Target 6.4: Increase water-use efficiency and ensure freshwater supplies: Nowadays more than 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress. The agriculture sector is the largest user of freshwater; it uses 70 per cent of global water withdrawals. In the report, some techniques to save water have been presented like “increasing productivity of food crops”, “improving water management practices and technologies”, “growing fewer water intensive crops in water scarce regions”, “reducing food loss and waste”, and “importing food grown from water rich countries”.
  • Target 6.5: Implement integrated   water   resources   management   (IWRM)   including    transboundary    cooperation: While all countries have at least started implementing various aspects of IWRM, only modest progress has been made in terms of implementing a fully integrated approach. The average national proportion of transboundary basins covered by an operational arrangement is only 59 per cent.
  • Target 6.6: Protect and restore water-related ecosystems: current baseline data of the indicator “do not allow for a proper picture of the state of freshwater ecosystems”, which is why further detailed data including “quantitative, geospatial and qualitative” data are necessary.

The report also looks at the targets related to the means of implementation of SDG6:

  • Target 6.a: Expand international cooperation and capacity-building: 80 per cent of Member States have insufficient finance to meet national WASH targets. The current indicator based on ODA (Official Development Assistance) does not reflect all elements of the target. That is why it is necessary to complement with additional information relating to “capacity development, human resources and other elements”.
  • Target 6.b: Support stakeholder participation: In order to empower marginalized groups and sustainable service delivery, “local communities have to participate in water and sanitation management”. But even if the current indicator monitors the existence of policies and procedures for local community participation, it does not show if “the participation is genuine or meaningful”. This links to the recent report published by our partners End Water Poverty,  Coalition Eau, Watershed Empowering Citizens Consortium, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and with the support of Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), on accountability mechanisms for SDG6, and which was the focus of a recent RWSN webinar in English and Spanish.

In conclusion, the UN-Water report focuses on the enablers of the SDG6, highlighting that:

  • “Inequalities must be eliminated”. It is important to have data in order to identify disadvantage and provide services to groups like women, children, poor, indigenous people and rural communities.  You can find some recent RWSN webinars on Making Water Work for Women, and Making Rights Real for rural communities here.
  • “Private financing, promoting blended finance and microfinance” should be developed in order to optimize domestic and public finance. You can see a recent RWSN webinar on “grown up” finance for rural water here.

Photo credit: World Bank

Getting to the heart of climate resilient WASH

by Dr John Butterworth, IRC WASH Ethiopia – re-posted with permission

Climate resilient WASH is about new ways of working across the traditional humanitarian and development sectors. We went to one of the harshest spots in Ethiopia, and surely in the world, to find out more.

Photo: An existing water point in Afdera, Afar

Continue reading “Getting to the heart of climate resilient WASH”

Declining groundwater levels in Malawi impacting rural water supplies

RWSN member, Muthi Nhlema, has challenged the government of Malawi over how groundwater is used for rural water supplies: 30% of water points are not working across the country and he points to declining groundwater levels being a major factor. Mr Nhlema therefore challenged the wisdom of further drilling and groundwater development, if the use of the water resource is unsustainable.

Read the full article: The Nation, 1 October 2017

What you always wanted to know about central and southern Africa’s climate – A beginner’s briefing in 15 minutes or less followed by discussion

Please join us for this Future Climate for Africa webinar by climate change expert Neil Hart.
Friday 17 March 2017, 11:00-12:00 (London, GMT); 13:00-14:00 (Johannesburg)

Register for the webinar here.

Climate modelling is a key tool in tackling the effects of climate change. Future Climate for Africa is a research programme that aims to generate fundamentally new climate science, and to ensure that this new science has an impact on human development across Africa. The UMFULA research team is using climate models to try and improve information about the future climate of central and southern Africa. Their aim is to provide decision-makers with the best possible scientific knowledge on how rainfall, temperatures and associated conditions like drought are likely to change in the region in the next 5-40 years. The researchers also seek to help decision-makers understand which aspects of the future climate are simply uncertain – and to explore the implications for investments in development planning and infrastructure that could endure for decades ahead.

This webinar by Neil Hart of the University of Oxford will explore in brief some of the research questions that the FCFA teams are pursuing in central and Southern Africa. This webinar is not for climate specialists but for anyone who is interested in how they could be using climate change information to make more climate-resilient development decisions.

Dr Hart will explain in brief and in layperson’s terms how climate models project as clear a view of the future climate as possible, but are often misunderstood or used incorrectly. He will debunk some common misunderstandings about climate models. The seminar will use illustrations from what we already understand about central and southern Africa and discuss the implications for making climate-informed decisions.

Dr Hart will cover the basics in 15 minute or less then open the discussion for participant questions and answers.

Read Dr Hart and his colleagues’ contribution to the report Africa’s climate.

Read the full Africa’s Climate report here: http://2016report.futureclimateafrica.org/

Registration now open for the 40th International WEDC Conference, 24-28 July 2017, Loughborough (UK)

Celebrate with us at our
40th International Conference!

Local Action with International Cooperation to Improve and Sustain Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Services

Loughborough University, UK

24-28 July 2017

The call for papers and other contributions is available here.

Our conference title reflects our vision and ambition – to learn from our shared experiences and achievements to support the sustainable delivery of WASH services through international cooperation.

The week includes three days to discuss and debate peer reviewed content, followed by two days of tailored capacity development workshops.

Our programme structure incorporates a variety of innovative presentation and learning formats, which readily enable networking and facilitate collective learning. Typically attracting participants from research, practice and policy communities across more than 40 countries, this is truly a unique international event.

Come and join us!

We are proud that more than 2,900 papers have been presented and published since the WEDC international conferences began in 1973. These provide an invaluable and unique resource for the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

Our open access database experiences over 19,000 downloads of papers every month.

Why attend the Conference?

The WEDC International Conference is a valued and respected platform which aims to support knowledge sharing, improve good practice and develop capacity for the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. We include topics related to WASH in the broadest sense.

The week typically includes peer-reviewed paper presentations and discussion, capacity development workshops, an exhibition, side events and an exciting social programme, all designed to maximise interaction and networking opportunities.

Further details will be available soon.

To register your interest in the conference click here to log in to My WEDC. If you don’t already have a My WEDC account, please click here to create one.

NEW! WEDC NOTES ON WASH FOR SMARTPHONES / FOUR NEW WEDC FILMS

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NEW!  WEDC MOBILE NOTES ON WASH for smartphones and tablets

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http://wedc.lu/washnotes

This collection of illustrated mobile notes on aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in low- and middle-income countries has been designed for people on the move.

Composed especially for smartphones and tablets, they can be read online or downloaded free of charge.

The link takes you to the list of currently available titles including the WHO Technical Notes on Drinking-water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Emergencies.

Bookmark the link on your phone as the list updates periodically when new notes are added to the collection.

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NEW! : WATER SAMPLING AND ANALYSIS – A series of four films

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http://wedc.lu/water-sampling

http://wedc.lu/measuring-the-turbidity-of-water

http://wedc.lu/measuring-chemical-concentrations-in-water

http://wedc.lu/membrane-filtration

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WEDC: Developing knowledge and capacity in water and sanitation

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For details of postgraduate opportunities, including distance learning options visit:

http://wedc.lboro.ac.uk/learn/index.html

Water, Engineering and Development Centre

School of Civil and Building Engineering

Loughborough University, UK