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First Partnership Meeting of the Greater Kampala Integrated Flood Resilience Partnership

The Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area, Uganda’s economic powerhouse, is faced with destructive flash floods that pose severe socio-economic challenges to both businesses and residents of Greater Kampala.

Flooding in Industrial Area
Flooding in Kampala Central Industrial Area. Copyrihgt: KCCA/Joan Magayane

To mitigate and adapt to the current flooding challenges, government, private actors, and communities are coming together, to work collaboratively in the Greater Kampala Flood Resilience Partnership, under the Natural Resources Stewardship Programme in Uganda. This multi-stakeholder partnership brings together the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), private sector actors, civil society organisations and other government institutions with the goal to jointly develop and promote blue-green, innovative infrastructure and inclusive solutions for improved urban resilience towards flooding in Greater Kampala. More information on what the partnership aims to achieve.

First partnership meeting in Kampala and virtually

On the 1st of September 2021, the partners kicked-off the partnership in a first meeting, which was held partially online and in person at Royal Suites Hotel, Bugolobi, Kampala. The objective of the meeting was to initiate discussions on the partner interests, partnership opportunities and agreement on the next steps in formalizing the partnership.

First partnership meeting of the Integrated Flood Resilience Partnership Kampala
Attendees of the first partnership meeting of the Greater Kampala Integrated Flood Resilience Partnership at Royal Suites Hotel, Kampala. From upper left corner to bottom right corner: Mr James Kisekka (Team Leader RAIN foundation), Mr Peter Tumuhaise (Sanitation Engineer CWIS, KCCA ), Mr Benard Nsubuga (Technical Officer GIZ NatuReS), Mr. Andrew Onwang (Environment Officer, Britannia Allied Industries Limited), Mr Allan Nkurunziza (Programme Manager CWIS, KCCA), Elena Barth (Advisor, GIZ NatuReS) Mr David Cheptoek , (Senior Water Officer, MWE), Mr. Joseph Kyalimpa (Training and Projects Manager, UMA), Ms Vanessa Tyaba (Technical Advisor GIZ NatuReS)
Copyright: GIZ/Elena Barth

During the meeting, the private sector through Uganda Manufacturers Association and Britannia Allied Industries Limited gave some insight into the flash flood challenge affecting businesses, specifically manufacturing industries. For example, a study conducted in 2019 by UMA under the Water Security Action & Investment Plan Project on water security revealed that out of 469 companies surveyed in Greater Kampala, 47 mentioned that they experienced damaging floods more than twice in every rainy season. Concrete impacts on businesses include: overflowing water ending up in production areas, resulting in damages to production materials, collapse of building infrastructure and halt of production.

Addressing the flooding challenge through a catchment-based approach was presented by the Ministry of Water and Environment, where emphasis was made on consideration of hydrological boundaries (catchment) rather than city administrative boundaries. Innovative models and solutions for flood management were presented by a civil society partner, namely RAIN foundation. Those include blue-green infrastructure solutions such as rain gardens, permeable pavements and bioswales, and case studies of similar implementation in other parts of Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda.

New ideas and solutions for flood mitigation in Kampala

In a brainstorming session, the partners were split up according to sectors (public, private, and civil society) and discussed their strategic interest in the partnership and possible interventions for the following four thematic areas: (A) Policy (B) Blue-green infrastructure solutions and investment (C) Behavioural change & stakeholder empowerment (D) cross cutting thematic areas, or any other thematic area.

Man presenting on a whiteboard
Mr. Joseph Kyalimpa (Training and Projects Manager, UMA) presenting the outcomes of the brainstorm session on the private sector’s strategic interest in the partnership and possible interventions for the four thematic areas. Copyright: GIZ/Elena Barth

The responses across sectors were very similar in the thematic areas which indicated a good start for synergy and collaboration amongst actors.

Moving ahead, partners agreed on next steps in their partnership, such as: Formalizing the partnership and partners’ commitment by submitting a letter of intent; Supporting the preliminary scoping study; Submitting their preferred activities under the partnership for the Partnership Action Plan; To meet monthly during the inception period before the official launch slated for January 2022.

Other partners in attendance included representatives from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, ACTogether and Vivo Energy Uganda.

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Introducing low-cost technology to improve PET collection in Addis Ababa

Studies indicate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. To sustainably counter the negative impacts of plastic on our environment and health, action is needed on all levels, with major improvements to waste management and recycling practices being pivotal to counter the current trends.

In Addis Ababa, plastic accounts for 15% of the total waste. PET, used mainly for water and soda bottles, makes up 41% of the total plastic waste generated in the city. Plastic pollution is a common problem in the city, and drainage channels are often clogged with plastic, including many PET bottles, increasing the risk for floodings.

Collected PET plastic at one of the collector association’s working stations, near the new stadium in Addis Ababa
Copyright: GIZ

Improving the collection and recycling of used plastics can contribute to alleviating plastic pollution in the city. However, many factors impede the efficiency of plastic collection and recycling. Among them are high transportation costs of unbaled plastics, a lack of space for waste collectors to sort already collected waste, as well as no access to electricity, which would allow collectors to scale up their operations by using baling machines.

Manual baling machines to improve PET collection

To counter these challenges, NatuReS has partnered up with Irish Aid and the Addis Ababa Solid Waste Management Agency (SWMA) on a project to design and pilot manual baling machines. The aim is to improve PET collection. Baling PET significantly lowers the costs to transport plastic to processors. At the same time, waste collectors receive a 40% premium when selling baled PET. The manual baling machine, which is cheaper to procure and operate than its electric counterpart, will incentivize waste collectors to collect more PET, contributing to cleaner streets while creating additional employment opportunities in the plastic value chain.

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by Dr. Eshetu Lemma, General Manager of the Addis Ababa Solid Waste Management Agency, and James Njeru, NatuReS Country Coordinator Ethiopia (from left to right)
Copyright: GIZ

Social Accountability for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Lusaka, Zambia

WASH Forum in Lusaka’s George Compound hosted by LuWSI and Village Water Zambia

It is estimated that over 70% of people living in informal settlements in Lusaka continue to be disenfranchised when it comes to access to adequate WASH and solid waste management services. Although various interventions to tackle this problem have been implemented, the importance of cooperation within communities and with duty bearers in taking responsibility for these services cannot be underscored. Maintenance, appropriate use and awareness of WASH and solid waste services are key to improve the situation in the long run. In short, communities must develop social accountability for such services. This fosters good governance and ultimately improves WASH services for all.

Access to safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene services is important for the wellbeing of communities.
Copyright: GIZ/Jesper Anhede

To promote this cooperation, a virtual Water Sanitation and Hygiene Forum for social accountability took place on July 29th. The forum was hosted by the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) secretariat, in collaboration with Village Water Zambia (VWZ), a non-governmental organization operating in Zambia and member of LuWSI. VWZ strives to improve access to WASH services in George compound in Lusaka’s Matero Constituency, one of the city’s biggest informal settlements.

WASH Forum for social accountability in Lusaka’s George Compound

The purpose of the forum was twofold: First, to appraise issues around WASH services, solid waste management and drainage problems in George Compound. And second, to get insights into plans for improving the WASH status quo in George from the Members of Parliaments’ (MP) perspective. The forum culminated in a social contract, which was ratified by each of the prospective MPs as well as the people of George compound. In the contract, they assure their commitment to address these issues and implement the discussed plans, once they should be elected in the upcoming general elections.

As NatuReS, we believe in the power of partnership and collaboration for economic growth and mutual accountability to strengthen governance and sustain the wellbeing of vulnerable communities such as in Lusaka’s George Compound.

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Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia

Women as water stewards in Zambia

Income diversification for economic wellbeing and ecosystem preservation  

No single actor can improve water security on its own. While water shortages, flooding or degrading water quality affect everyone, solutions can only stem from joint action. Also, water security must envision not only the water source itself, but the whole ecosystem within a catchment. Cardinal to any solution is the role women play in the stewardship of water and other natural resources. This is because women not only take care of the water supply at their homes, do the cooking or the laundry. They are also strongly involved in economic activities like farming or production.  

Water stewardship beyond water supply and sanitation

The Chambeshi Water Security Partnership promotes the participation of women in water stewardship further than water supply and sanitation in their homes. Instead, the partnership supports women in participating more strongly in the governing of their natural resources. It enables them to progress in diverse economic activities such as beekeeping, aquaculture, agriculture, tree planting and selling seedlings.

Beekeeping instead of charcoal production

Diversified income opportunities make them less dependent on traditional practices like charcoal production, which damages the forest and the whole ecosystem, thereby affecting water quality and quantity in the catchment. Charcoal production, by damaging the ecosystem on which people make a living in the catchment, would also not sustainably generate income for the women in the long run. 

Sara Chisha and Joan Sampa set up a beehive in a forest within the Chambeshi Catchment.
Copyright: GIZ

Instead, Sara Chisha and Joan Sampa are now setting up beehives in the forest. Selling honey is a new economic activity for them as they previously made a living producing charcoal. By finding alternative sources of income that preserve the health of the forest, also their economic wellbeing is safeguarded.  

Sarah and Joan haven’t achieved this alone. Joint action from various actors of the Chambeshi Water Security Partnership, supported by NatuReS, set the scene for this change process. Activities carried out by the partnership include trainings of community members on beekeeping, financing of beekeeping equipment and the establishment of the Twatampako Women’s Club, created to support women in commercializing their products. 

Women maintaining furrows of the Milundu stream, which are used for the irrigation of various crops that sustain the people of Lukupa Village. The stream passes through three villages with a total population of 3908 inhabitants.
Copyright: GIZ

These activities highlight that women’s management of natural resources goes far beyond collection and use of water at their homes, revealing them as agents of change in the governance and protection of natural resources. 

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Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia