Archive for July, 2013

July 20, 2013

Ivory Coast: Plans for Holding the 2013 High-Level Forum on Water and Sanitation for All Underway

WaterSan Perspective Reporter
July 20, 2013

Up to 800 participants are expected in Abidjan from 21 to 23 November 2013 for the 2013 High-Level Forum on Water and Sanitation for All

“To promote vibrant and effective South-South cooperation to accelerate access to hygiene, sanitation, and drinking water for all in Africa,” is the theme of the Forum.

Originally set up by the Pan-African Intergovernmental Agency for Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA) (http://www.wsafrica.org), this year’s forum is being organised in association with the Government of Ivory Coast.

Water and Sanitation for Africa Logo

Water and Sanitation for Africa Logo

This is the third forum; the first two were held in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and Dakar in Senegal. Its objective is to provide a platform for various decision-makers and stakeholders involved in this sector in Africa to exchange information and exert their influence, thus encouraging decisions and concrete action in support of WASH in Africa.

The 2013 Forum has three main objectives: (i) to find the best way to take advantage of South-South partnerships for the development of business opportunities in terms of financial cooperation for the implementation of priority projects beyond the reach of national budgets in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector (WASH); (ii) to develop strategic alliances and partnerships to strengthen the technical and institutional capacities of southern countries in the WASH sector; (iii) to stimulate the sharing of experiences and know-how between southern countries in the WASH sector.

The third High-Level Forum on Water and Sanitation for All in Africa is of interest to all stakeholders and senior officials in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene sector in Africa. They include African heads of state, ministers responsible for water and sanitation issues in Africa, African finance ministers, as well as technical and financial partners from the North and South, mainly consisting of export-import banks, researchers, investors, NGOs, and integration and development organisations.

The institution, which has 32 member countries, has been working in Africa for 25 years to develop solutions to address the problems of water and sanitation on the continent. Its mission is based on the establishment of integrated systems combining the optimization of technical and scientific approaches with innovative funding mechanisms.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

July 20, 2013

Kenya: Residents Oppose Increment of Water Tariff In Eldoret

Caleb Kemboi
July 20, 2013

Residents of Eldoret in Kenya are up in arms following a decision by a water company in the town to increase its tariffs.

The locals termed the reasons advanced by Eldoret Water and Sanitation Company (ELDOWAS) to increase it water tariffs unfounded.

In a effort to remedy the situation, the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry Uasin Gishu county branch chairman Charles Mose have asked (ELDOWAS) to rescind its decision of hiking the tariffs.

Clean water shortage affects the lives of individuals and the vitality of entire communities

Clean water shortage affects the lives of individuals and the vitality of entire communities

Mose said it was wrong for the company to increase tariffs and yet it was not giving quality and effective services to the water consumers in the town and its environs.

According to the new rates announced by the company management, water consumers will pay an additional Sh 8 per cubic meter with effect from this month.

Mose said the reasons given by the company over its decision to hike the tariffs were not justified owing to constant water shortages being experienced by consumers in the area.

He said the firm continues to levy standing charges to consumers even when they have not received the commodity in their tapes for one week, a situation he observed has forced them to improvise other ways of getting water.

“We will not allow the company to arbitrary increase the water tariffs at will without consulting all stakeholders in the sector as the move will hurt the investors and consumers alike,” he said.

But the company chief executive officer Reuben Tuwei defended their move to hike the commodity’s tariffs and asked consumers and the business community to cooperate on the matter.

He said the cost of maintaining equipment used in the generation and distribution of water to the consumers has rises drastically in the recent past, a move that has forced them to increase the tariffs.

“We have no option but to increase the water tariffs if the consumers expect us to offer quality and efficient services to them,” stated Tuwei in Eldoret town.

He assured consumers that there would be no more cases of acute shortage of the commodity as being experienced in several estates in the town and its environs.

Pupils collecting water in Uganda. In every society, water , health and education are closely inter-related

Pupils collecting water in Uganda. In every society, water , health and education are closely inter-related

ELDOWAS last changed its water tariffs in 2010 and have been anticipating in taking up delopment loans to enable it build more dams to increase production in the region.

Currently the town has been facing acute water shortage due to increased population that now stands at close to 600,000 people.

Chebara dam in Elgeyo Marakwet County which is the only source of water for the town has a production of 36,400 cubic meters per day contrary to the town’s demand of 46,000 cubic meters.

Lake Victoria North Water Services Board is said to be in plan to help the company build Kipkaren dam near Eldoret airport to produce about 10,000 cubic metres daily to address the shortage.

Elegerini dam near Kapataget will also be rehabilated to produce 9000 cubic metres since at the moment it serves as a storage facility.

July 15, 2013

Kenya: Eco Lodge Recognized for Outstanding Conservation Efforts

Mary Mwendwa
July 15, 2013

Top world’s travel magazine has rated a Kenyan lodge among the “top 25 Best Eco lodges in the world”.

Eco lodge is Located in the Rift valley province of Kenya, known for the wildebeest migration. It is Kenya’s jewel of pride which has obtained an international recognition for its contribution towards conservation efforts in sustainable environment, rain fall formation and clean water.

What is so extraordinary is that all water from the shower systems at the lodge is recycled and used for watering indigenous trees around the camp.

Picture of elephants  close to Kenya’s Eco lodge

Picture of elephants close to Kenya’s Eco lodge

The facility works closely with schools and the community on various conservation projects. One being the water project and tree planting project at Olesere village. This has been made possible with water supply from the Koiyaki River which serves both the community and wildlife in the area.

Robert Oigo, the Head teacher Olesere primary schools talks of how the water project has been of great benefit to the school and the neighboring community. “Here we used to have a serious water problem, especially during the drought seasons, now we can run our school feeding programme effectively with enough water supplies,”Oigo says.

With a population of 377 pupils, the school has enough water for various uses including watering the school garden of vegetables.

The school also uses solar energy for power. Oigo speaks of the high level of cleanliness witnessed among his pupils. The area being a pastoralist community, exposure to dust and other wastes is common especially during the climax of the dry spell, but with availability of clean water they are able to manage.

By showcasing sustainable development through responsible tourism, Eagle view, Mara Naboisho was the only one selected in Kenya during the competition which placed them number three in Africa by National Geographical Magazine.

The selection process looked into how facilities had most authentic and sustainable lodges, that offer great service and comfort in spectacular location, support local communities, connect their guests to cultures on an authentic level, create impactful conservation initiatives , and increasingly place adventure at the center of the experience , capture the spirit of exploration and commitment to the environment.

Eagle View, Mara Naboisho exists as a result of community land that has been leased to Basecamp Explorers who manage the Mara Naboisho conservancy and in return pay the community for the land on a monthly basis. Naboisho means – coming together in Maasai language. The Maasai community has signed a 15 years lease of land, 25,000 acres piece which offers them income and at the same time conserving their wildlife.

According to Petronillah Gichimu, sales and Marketing Manager, Basecamp explorer, about 500 landowners were part of this project.

July 8, 2013

Former EAC General Secretary Wants Environmental Degradation Messages Repackaged

Chris Mugasha
July 8, 2013

“If soils lose water, it won’t suffer anything because it can do without it unlike mankind,” this is according to Amanya Mushega the former East African Community general secretary. Mushega is calling for a change in the concept of environmental destruction.

He said the issue of saying people are destroying environment is a mistake. He proposed that it should be re-packaged in manner that will enable people to realize that they are actually destroying humanity.

“We should shift the focus from destroying the environment and look at it as destroying mankind,” Mushega said.

A woman with a Jerry Can struggling to locate where to fetch water from in the degraded Kikondera wetland in Buhweju district of Uganda. Picture by Chris Mugasha

A woman with a Jerry Can struggling to locate where to fetch water from in the degraded Kikondera wetland in Buhweju district of Uganda. Picture by Chris Mugasha

Mushega was officiating at the Bushenyi’s Rotary Club celebrations to mark 25 years of service and to install a new club president at Western Meridian hotel in Bushenyi town. Rotarian Deus Kamugisha a prominent lawyer was installed as the president taking over from Rotarian Sr. Ephrance Nuwamanya.

Mushega said efforts that can create a sustainable environment to cater for both present and future generations should be put in place to fight activities like polythene bags.

Some people in Uganda think it is not illegal to reclaim wetlands

Some people in Uganda think it is not illegal to reclaim wetlands

In Nuwamanya’s hand over speech, she reported that among the community service projects they are doing include; construction of roof catchment water tanks in schools, colleges, Rotary children’s peace park which was handed over to Rotary by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) where they plan to construct two swimming pools and a fish pond for training local community and institutions.

She also said they plan to implement a water and sanitation project valued at a cost of 46,000 US dollars

July 8, 2013

Uganda: Farmers Make Loses As Soils Run Out Of Water

Chris Mugasha. Pictures by Chris Mugasha
July 8, 2013

Hundreds of hectares of plantations of both food and cash crops in Kasese, Rubirizi and Kamwenge districts have been destroyed by drought leaving residents worried of a looming famine. The farmers are now calling on the government of Uganda to fund irrigation schemes in regions to help prevent farmers from making loses.

A garden of maize which has dried up due to drought

A garden of maize which has dried up due to drought

Farmers say the area is endowed with many rivers including River Nyamwamba which burst its banks recently but no efforts have yet been put in place to tap the waters. “There are rivers here in the district, but we are not tapping them due to lack of capacity as farmers,” said Adam Bwambale the Nyakatonzi Growers Cooperative Union secretary manager.

The most affected crops are maize, beans, millet, G.nuts, rice, cotton, coffee and sun flower among others.

Some few lucky farmers are likely to harvest little food for consumption but not for market as they had targeted, according to the Nyakatonzi Growers Cooperative Union treasurer Moses Nuwagaba.

This has come up as a result of climate change which has caused changes in seasons where by the drought started in May a month farmers expected rains.

Nuwagaba is also the secretary for Kyambura zone under Rukooma farming cooperative union in Rubirizi district where over 1000 hectares of maize, beans, millet and G.nuts have dried off.

Speaking to WaterSan Perspective, Nuwagaba says the issue of farmers depending on traditional science whereby they rely on predictions has left them in loses. He said, “farmers need information about climate change that is real to guide them.”

Nuwagaba said some times the meteological department officials need to change the approach and capture the information of each area instead of basing on data gathered from regions. “Things have changed so they should also change the approach because sometimes they say it will rain in a certain district but it doesn’t rain,” Nuwagaba said.

He said farmers are not yet even sure when they should prepare to plant. Nuwagaba however said, “rains will start early according to our observations because it disappeared early so it may come early.”
Nuwagaba noted that an area like Kasese which is fertile would require government to intensify irrigation schemes to help farmers.

He also said there is decline in cotton production which he attributed to price fluctuations, weather conditions, vermins, wild animals and poor methods of farming. He explained that since 2010 cotton production has been diminishing. “Farmers planted a lot of cotton basing on the shs3000 per kilogram which they received in the 2010 season but to our surprise the price has diminished to shs1200 per kilogram.”

Bwambale said they had received orders from international organizations like World Food Program to supply them with maize but adds saying they are not sure where they will hit the target. Bwambale further noted that as a result, they have land which is lying idle.

Sylvester Mudosi (right) a farmer looks  at an irrigation system supplying water to his garden. His farm is in Mubuku  in Kasese district.

Sylvester Mudosi (right) a farmer looks at an irrigation system supplying water to his garden. His farm is in Mubuku in Kasese district.

In the other side of Kasese where there is Mubuku irrigation scheme, crops are doing well as the vegetation is somehow green in some parts but fruit farmers are complaining of a break out of fruit diseases.

July 7, 2013

Cameroon: Water Insufficiency Hampers Food Production

Aaron Kaah Yancho
July 07, 1013

Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for all families in Cameroon Rural areas. Over the past years rapid urbanization has been placing a stress on the existing water sources and infrastructure in the country. Mounting pressures on these natural resources has also led to land and water degradation. Yet with the population growth, food crop production will need to increase by at least 60% to meet demand. Interpreting this subtext will mean more water will be needed to boast this sector.

The (International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015) presents an opportunity to promote a sustainable water management in Agriculture and to eradicate poverty and care for the earth.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

Statistics prove that irrigation farming systems which represent only 20% of the world’s farmland produces about 40% of the world food supply and 60% of cereals much more than rain fed agriculture.

The longer dry seasons in Cameroon (4 months in the coastal regions of Cameroon and 7 months in the Sudano Sahel regions) has been hampering rain fed Agriculture very severely.

In the Ngokentujia division of the North West Region of Cameron Rice production use to be a predominant food staple. The scarcity of water in this plain has made rice production very difficult. More than 80% of farmers in the area now lack a primary source of a staple and income.

Mary Nyagha Ngum is a subsistent farmer who today is not undermining the role that fresh water and rain had played in the cultivation of rice in the area.

“We didn’t think protecting the water sources upstream was important until now,” she remarks.

The overcutting of trees upland affected the water catchments that supplied fresh water for this farming. The creation of the Upper Noun Valley Development Authority (UNVDA) to reinvigorate rice farming and to development drought resistant species have not helped things. Water scarcity and the high temperatures have continued to mar the sector.

In the coastal Regions of Cameroon and some parts of the North West Region one in five farmers depended upon fishing farming for a direct livelihood. Today more than 70% of fish stocks are already depleted in these regions. This is already posing serious challenges to this main food source which was also providing employment opportunities.

“I now depend only on imported fish to have my meals well prepared,” Isaiah Ngufor a Fish Farmers in the region says.

Some needy farmers who cannot afford an income like Isaiah to buy this fish virtually feel cheated either by nature or circumstances. Water has become just these farmers’ biggest needs. The changing rainfall patterns and the stultifying effects of climate changes predict no good thing in the near future.

Along the Lake Chad river basin the overexploitation of water for irrigation by some development organizations has drained all wetlands upstream leaving the farmers downstream stressed.

“This has been posing a big challenge to the sustainability of farming in the area,” Micheal Nouh, a researcher working for Green Peace in the area remarks.

Dried up Part of Chad Lake Basin

Dried up Part of Chad Lake Basin

Along the coastal region of the country where most cocoa, rubber and banana plantations are located the inappropriate use of chemicals fertilizers in these farms has led to the pollution of streams and rivers habitat for endangered animals species like snails which are a high protein and money source for the local farmers.

Joe Nchemty, a member of one of the common initiative groups working to eradicate poverty in this community says the loss of these snail habitats has deprived the communities of their main traditional meals. “We are suffering,” Joe says.

Like everywhere in the world where water is actually needed to move agriculture, greater efforts are needed to help these farmers produce more food of better quality with less water. Only then can local governments be proud to be fighting poverty and caring for the earth.

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