Tag: stewardship

Community Engagement for Flood Resilience Provides New Hope in Kampala’s Informal Settlements

In the informal settlements in the outskirts of Greater Kampala’s Central Business District, improper solid waste management results in the clogging of drainage systems. This, in addition to the seasonal downpours, whose intensification is attributed to climate change, have exposed already vulnerable communities to a high risk of seasonal urban flash flooding. This is intensified by the fact that Kampala’s informal settlements are situated in flood-prone low-lying areas.

Associated with the floods are huge socio-economic losses due to the damage of assets and goods, and disruption of business and work operations. Nakato Caroline, a small business owner and resident of Sembule A Zone in Nalukulongo, states that floods continuously disrupt her retail shop by destroying valuable merchandise and leaving her shop inaccessible to customers. This worsens the financial strain on her family. She cites the insufficient plastic waste management as a major contributor to the clogging of the channels and the consequent flooding in her community.

flooding Kampala

The game changer: collective action

To sustainably build the resilience of these communities to flooding, the Greater Kampala Integrated Flood Resilience Partnership, supported by the Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS), is spearheading community action for flood resilience in two flood hotspots in Kampala’s informal settlements of Kinawataka and Nalukolongo. This partnership is being championed by ACTogether Uganda and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) through a project dubbed Community Action for Flood Resilience.” ACTogether is a Ugandan Civil Society Organisation affiliated with Slum Dwellers International (SDI) which supports the National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda by facilitating processes that develop organizational capacity at the local level and promote pro-poor policy and practice in Uganda’s urban arena.

The “Community Action for Flood Resilience” project under the partnership empowers and builds the capacity of vulnerable communities to take the lead in the fight against floods. This is done through community-centered behavioural change activities to reduce the quantity of solid waste ending up in the drainage channels.

Through the project, 10 community members (5 from Kinawataka and 5 from Nalukulongo sub-catchments) were trained to become flood control champions, equipped with knowledge on the causes, effects, mitigation, and adaptation measures to the flooding challenges in their respective communities. The flood control champions are community members who were already spearheading awareness and dialogue sessions aimed at sensitizing their fellow community members on issues like malaria etc.  

flood champions
65 residents of Sembule A Zone in Nalukulongo, Rubaga Division, were sensitized on flood risks and mitigation measures by flood control champions trained under the partnership. Copyright: GIZ/Ebong Willy Bunga

Community initiative under a partnership approach

The actions of the trained flood control champions have had a cascading impact in these communities, particularly in terms of a positive mindset change towards communities’ capacities for flood resilience. They organized and conducted community dialogues called settlement forums, as well as community radio talk shows. Through these, the communities have been trained on urban flood risk and practical mitigation measures to enable them to control floods in their areas. Morever, they provided a platform for dialogue with other stakeholders and duty bearers, such as community leaders, on the flooding. These include causes, effects, and ways to collectively contribute to addressing them.

Through the settlement forums, community-led monthly clean-up exercises have been taken up in Kinawataka and Nalukolongo. These have instilled a sense of community and social responsibility among the members. The communities acknowledge their contribution towards flooding through improper solid waste management. In turn, they collect solid waste and desilt clogged secondary and tertiary drainage channels within their surroundings that would otherwise contribute to the flooding. This is further complementing the Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA) solid waste management and flood control efforts.

Kampala map
A map showing drainage channels, 588.79 meters long, cleaned up on 12th August 2022 in Kinawataka during a community clean-up activity. In this clean-up approximately 16 tons of solid waste, predominantly PET plastic, was collected from the channels. Copyright: GIZ

The flood control champions, officials, and community members speak out

As a follow-up to the actions led by the flood control champions and the communities, ACTogether organized community planning and review meetings. In these meetings, the flood champions, community leaders, government officials, and community members shared their experiences and lessons learned from the joint initiative. 

Nakato Leticia, one of the flood champions, expressed her excitement and gratitude for being a part of this partnership learning from experts’ proven ways to improve community flood resilience. In addition, she appreciated having a platform to disseminate this knowledge to members of her community.

However, the effects of the community-led clean-up efforts went much further: Nyanzi Bob, Head of the Solid Waste Management Unit at KCCA (Rubaga Division, in which also Nalukolongo is located), shared that they have also improved the relations between the Kampala Capital City Authority and the local communities. This only became possible by working together as partners for a common objective.

flooding Kampala

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Authors

Simon Peter Akena
Junior Advisor
GIZ-NatuReS
Willy Bunga
Junior Consultant
GIZ-NatuReS
Peter Mwambu
Project Manager
ACTogether Uganda

Invitation to the online event “Stewardship for Circular Economies”

The circular economy framework brings a new approach to waste and materials management, considering the whole life cycle of resources, while paying attention to sustainable production, supply and management of resources. Transitioning to a circular economy requires a collaborative effort from all sectors and can only succeed through coordination along supply chains and product cycles.

Stewardship has proven successful in promoting circular economies.

The Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) supports multi-stakeholder partnerships in introducing circular economy practices. These partnerships bring together empowered communities, government stakeholders and a strong and engaging private sector to work on eye-level and jointly develop solutions to protect natural resources and promote sustainable economic growth.

During the event, representatives from public, private sector and civil society will share experiences, discuss best practices and reflect on lessons learned from promoting circular economies under a stewardship approach.

Join on the 6th of October to get hands-on insights! The event will take place online via MS Teams. Click here to join!

You will have the chance to listen to and discuss with the following panelists:

Public sector:

  • Patience Nsereko, Principal Environment Officer NEMA, Uganda
  • Kasenga Hara, Senior Inspector, National Water Supply and Sanitation Council, Zambia
  • Takele Desissa, Addis Ababa Cleansing Management Agency, Ethiopia

Private Sector:

  • Naa Adjeley Kome-Mensah, Kubik, Ethiopia
  • Andy Bownds, EcoBrix, Uganda

CSO:

  • Ian Matimba, People’s Process on Housing and Poverty, Zambia

Agenda for the event:

Time (CET)Item
10:00 – 10:15Opening and welcome address
10:15 – 10:45Partner journeys and experiences
10:45 – 11:00Questions and discussion
11:00 – 11.30Local solutions to circular economy partnerships
11:30 – 11:45Questions and discussion
11:45 – 12:00Closing remarks

This event is part of the Urban October:

More infos will follow soon. Stay tuned! In the meantime, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter!

Urban Wetland Protection in Lusaka, Zambia

The Natural Valley Wetland is one of Lusaka’s last surviving urban wetlands. Located just ten kilometres from the city’s airport, it is next to both residential and commercially zoned areas including Natural Valley Ltd,  Zambia’s leading bottled water company. The wetland boasts extensive biodiversity, featuring a variety of flora and fauna, including birds such as the egret, blue heron, and Zambia’s national bird, the African fish eagle. 

Natural Valley Wetland
Copyright: GIZ

Due to its physical properties, the Natural Valley Wetland functions as a natural filter and purifier, improving the quality of water emanating from the city’s bombay drains, which flows through the major business and commercial districts of Lusaka before its discharge into the natural water system and percolation into groundwater reserves. By acting as a stormwater conduit and helping to purify wastewater, the wetland plays an important role in the water management of Lusaka.

However, the amount of plastic transported along the drain from the city represents a major challenge. Other threats include the seepage of lubricants and other hazardous liquid waste into the wetland through illegal dumping, more intense wet and dry periods due to climate change, cutting of trees, pilfering of plants, and poaching of native wildlife. By upsetting the natural lifecycle of the wetland’s ecosystem, whether through poaching or pollution, there is a great risk that the wetland will fail to thrive. Not only will this present a biodiversity loss for the area from the standpoint of preserving “green” spaces, but it will also negatively affect the wetland’s ability to keep rainwater during the rainy season, and filter groundwater as it percolates into the aquifer. The degradation poses a serious risk for the wetland’s provision of important ecosystem services.

Plastic waste in the Natural Valley Wetland
Copy right GIZ

In 2013, Natural Valley Ltd., constructed a dam with a capacity of 330,000 cubic metres on their land to better conserve the complex yet delicate state of the wetland, improve water retention during the rains and improve the zone’s capacity to prevent local flooding. The company, though concerned about the huge amounts of plastic waste that accumulates in the wetland, envisions a future where this waste becomes “plastic gold” serving as a resource to be recycled, supporting the improvement of the environment, and creating more prosperous communities

Plastic waste in the Natural Valley Wetland
Copyright: GIZ

NatuReS Zambia is working with Natural Valley and the Local Municipality Lusaka City Council under the LuWSI partnership to explore sustainable solutions to tackle the issues this urban wetland is facing. The goal is to reduce the flood risk, enhance environmental stewardship together with the surrounding communities, conserve the local biodiversity, promote micro-climate regulation, and inspire actors to collaborate in protecting the wider groundwater recharge area from contamination.

The marrying of public and business interests for the protection of groundwater is a vital ingredient in the collective stewardship of natural resources, especially in the conservation of one of Lusaka’s last urban wetlands. 

Strengthening Collaboration: LuWSI CEO Breakfast and partnership signing event in Lusaka

Water crises are one of the major global risks for the coming decade, ranked third to have the strongest impact on economies and societies alike (Global Risks Report, 2020). But what does this mean for businesses in Zambia?

Across much of the country, factories, mines, farms, and industries are noticing how water stress is hitting their bottom lines and jeopardizing their business models. Lusaka is particularly under threat as groundwater becomes more polluted and depleted, and plans are drawn up for the use of water from the Kafue River.

Responding to this, the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) hosted a CEO breakfast on Wednesday, November 24th. This event, supported by NatuReS Zambia and WWF Zambia, brought together industry representatives, the Mayor of Lusaka, Her Worship Ms Chilando Chitangala, and the Guest of Honour, Zambia’s Minister of Water, Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Mposha MP. They discussed how Lusaka’s water challenges can be addressed to the benefit of the city’s economy and its citizens. The Minister emphasized the importance of water security and the need to ensure the protection of the country’s natural resources.

Zambia's Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Mposha MP
Zambia’s Minister of Water, Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Mposha MP
Copyright: LuWSI

In the spirit of partnerships as promoted by LuWSI, WWF Zambia and GIZ Zambia’s Water and Energy Cluster signed a relationship agreement as part of the event. The agreement aims to strengthen the cooperation between WWF and GIZ on the protection of Zambia’s natural resources and the implementation of green principles, such as supporting LuWSI to protect and enhance water security in Zambia’s capital. It also offers new prospects for a distinctive relationship between the two parties on the following; 

● Water security: Develop a long term strategy for Lusaka’s water security.

● Private sector engagement: Identify and concretise areas of joint action through a clearly defined strategic plan.

● Project portfolio development: Facilitate the development of bankable projects, nature-based solutions, and city resilience initiatives.

Signing of the relationship agreement between WWF and GIZ
Signing of the relationship agreement between WWF and GIZ
Copyright: LuWSI

The signing of the relationship agreement comes at a time when there is an urgency for increased action towards natural resources management and stewardship, as Zambia’s natural assets are threatened by degradation and extinction. This brings a heightened need for collaborations such as these for collective and impactful action.

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