Posts tagged ‘water journalists africa’

October 12, 2016

Ethiopia: CCDA-VI in Africa to Discuss the Implications of Implementing the Paris Agreement

Water Journalists Africa
October 12, 2016

The Sixth Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA–VI), the continent’s premier climate change conference will take place here from 18-20 October, bringing together diverse stakeholders to understand the implications, nuances, challenges and opportunities of implementing the Paris Agreement.

The main theme of the Sixth Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA–VI), organized under the auspices of the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) programme, will be “The Paris Agreement on climate change: What next for Africa?”

The Paris Agreement on climate change, set to come into effect before the end of the year, aims to limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue more ambitious efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in this century.

Scientists believe that a warmer Earth is pushing clouds upward and poleward

Scientists believe that a warmer Earth is pushing clouds upward and poleward

Implementation of the Paris Agreement has significant implications for Africa as the continent that will be most severely impacted by the adverse impacts of weather variability and climate change. The continent is already experiencing climate-induced impacts, such as frequent and prolonged droughts and floods, as well as environmental degradation that make livelihoods difficult for rural and urban communities. Increasing migration on the continent is both triggered and amplified by climate change.

Reviewing the Paris Agreement allows for a contextual analysis of what was at stake for Africa and what the Agreement offers, prior to COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco 7-18 November 2016, thereby contributing to strategic orientation for African countries in moving forward with the implementation of the Agreement.

The basis of the Paris Agreement is the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) submitted by all parties in the lead up to COP21as their national contributions to limiting global greenhouse gas emissions. INDCs became Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) subsequent to COP21.

James Murombedzi, Africa Climate Policy Centre, Officer –in-Charge says “The Paris Agreement heralds bold steps towards decarbonizing the global economy and reducing dependency on fossil fuels. However, there are contentious nuances of the agreement that must be unpacked in the context of Africa’s development priorities, particularly in regard to the means of implementation which were binding provisions of the Kyoto Protocol and currently only non-binding decisions in the Paris Agreement.”

To better articulate the specific objectives and capture the implications of implementing the Paris Agreement for inclusive and sustainable development in Africa, the Conference will be organized under the following sub-themes:
• Unpacking the Paris Agreement and emerging challenges and opportunities for Africa;
• Integration of the Paris Agreement into Africa’s development agenda and other global governance frameworks;
• Linking African initiatives to the implementation of the Paris Agreement;
• Emerging challenges from climate change.

CCDA-VI is expected to be attended by policymakers and researchers, young people, civil society organizations, negotiators and the private sector, CCDA-VI will facilitate and enrich the sharing of lessons, key research findings, outreach and policy uptake, as well as stimulate investments.

May 26, 2016

‘Spirit of Paris’ Continues as Governments Get Down to Implementing their New Landmark Climate Change Agreement

Water Journalists Africa
May 26, 2016

The first UN climate change meeting since governments adopted the landmark Paris Agreement closed today amid a suite of positive outcomes that will support the treaty’s widely anticipated early entry into force and stronger, sustained action world-wide into the future.

One of the placards at COP21 in Paris creating awareness about the need for everybody to get on board and fight climate change

One of the placards at COP21 in Paris creating awareness about the need for everybody to get on board and fight climate change

The nearly two week meeting saw countries push ahead with implementing stronger climate action and constructing the global climate regime “rule book” in order to guarantee the treaty’s fairness, transparency and balance between nations.

While work towards the agreed flows of USD 100 billion per annum by 2020 continues, two of the key international funding arms—the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF)—underlined how they are supporting the Agreement.

The GCF told delegates that its board had set an aspirational goal of 2.5 billion USD in 2016 for both adaptation and mitigation programmes and projects. The GCF urged countries to submit ambitious proposals for funding as soon as possible.

The GEF announced that it had put together forward-looking work programmes for the funding of both mitigation and adaptation projects. On mitigation, 450 million USD is available for new projects while current projects to the value of 106 million USD are already being implemented. On adaptation, some 250 million USD is available for projects. The GEF will also assist the Moroccan Government to green COP22.

The session featured several events on ensuring early and adequate support for the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and their integration into national economic plans while ggovernments also began exploring how to directly link climate-friendly technology cooperation to the funding arrangements of both the GCF and the GEF.

Segolene Royal, President of the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference and French Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, praised the ‘Esprit de Paris’ evident throughout the nearly two weeks of the ‘Bonn session’.

“Countries with different levels of development and from different regions and often differing views on many issues, found a common vision in Paris. That work and that vision has continued, and continued positively here in Bonn, as countries look towards the next major milestone event in Marrakesh in November,” she said.

The substantive work across three technical bodies, as well as the constituted bodies under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), includes developing rules for accounting financial resources, overall reporting and transparency arrangements and how science should inform the implementation of the agreement.

Climate change as a result of global warming continues to cause havoc in various parts of the world, drying up farmlands that livestock used to depend on.

Climate change as a result of global warming continues to cause havoc in various parts of the world, drying up farmlands that livestock used to depend on.

It also includes technical work to improve the delivery of capacity building and technology cooperation and to evolve a credible regime covering loss and damage from climate change.

The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to limit an average global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius with a preference for holding this to a safer 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures. Scientific data shows that around one degree of this rise has already occurred.

The agreement’s goals therefore require an early peak in global emissions followed by a very rapid reduction, which must go hand in hand with a significant strengthening of social and economic resilience to climate change.

April 18, 2016

Ethiopia: Civil Society Groups Root for Decentralised Renewable Energy Initiatives in Africa

Water Journalists Africa and PACJA
April 18, 2016

African Civil Society Organisations have called for the need to decentralize renewable energy and make it people centered.

The CSOs echoed their voices today at the sidelines of the sixth special session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) holding in Cairo, Egypt.

In his remarks during the presentations on Post-Paris conversations on climate change, renewable energy, energy transformation and access in Africa, Mithika Mwenda who represents millions of African farmers, women and youth groups under the umbrella of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance urged African governments to work towards ensuring that energy is decentralized and not concentrated on urban areas only.

Participants at the CSO workshop on climate change and renewable energy

Participants at the CSO workshop on climate change and renewable energy

Mithika added that initiatives such as the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) need to consider how local communities can benefit from energy instead of focusing on big corporations whose profit-oriented actions favour the urban areas.

Reinforcing the same line of thinking, Augustine Njamnshi from Cameroon stated that “there is need to invest in decentralized production and use of renewable energy and to make it community-driven if we are serious about transforming people’s lives with energy.”

Civil society actors from across Africa also stressed the need to correct the erroneous impression that energy only means lighting up people’s homes. It is for this reason that the CSOs agreed that there is need for AREI and indeed other renewable energy initiatives on the continent to look at energy in a much broader context.

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, representing Mbororo pastoralists in Chad and co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, said there is need to look at energy as veritable means to food security, job creation, poverty reduction among other several key social-economic developments that come with availability and accessibility to energy.

“The most urgent need for someone in rural area is food, lighting up the home only comes as a secondary need. We therefore need to take into account how energy can bring food to Africans and that is energy for agricultural production. Energy is more than just lighting up homes,” she said.

Dr Ahmed Hegazi, head of Water Engineering and Renewable Energy Unit at the Nuclear Research Center in Egypt added that energy is a catalyst for development without which there can never be development.

The CSOs’ meeting resolutions will be shared with the African Ministerial Conference of Environment (AMCEN) which opened today and is expected to end on 19th April 2016.

The nagging issue at both the CSOs’ meeting and AMCEN is the issue of renewable energy and how it can transform people’s lives in a continent that is reeling under perennial energy gap.

Statistics from the African Development Bank (AfDB) show that over 640 million Africans have no access to electricity. Africa is known for its darkness, not for its light. Also, over 700 million Africans have no access to clean cooking energy. The bank further reveals that Africa loses 600,000 people every year through indoor pollution as a result of relying on charcoal, kerosene and fuel wood.

Dr. Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment of Egypt and President of AMCEN believes that “It is of paramount importance that this AMCEN session addresses the way forward for swift implementation of the African Renewable Energy Initiative as well as the African Adaptation Initiative.

April 2, 2013

A Committee to Fuel Access to Water Supply and Sanitation in Africa Launched

Water Journalists Africa, a network of journalists in Africa who report on water and sanitation will represent the media on this committee.

Fredrick Mugira in Tunis
March 27, 2013

The Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) for the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) has been launched in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.

The committee launched on March 27, 2013 has a lead role to play in advocacy and promotion of resource mobilization for the Rural Water and Sanitation programs, facilitation of regional and international awareness, inter-governmental coordination, knowledge sharing and peer review and promotion of national and regional monitoring and reporting among others functions.

The committee consists of 18 members

The committee consists of 18 members

RWSSI was initiated in 2003 by the African Development Bank with an overall goal of universal access to water supply and sanitation services for the rural populations by 2025 and an immediate target of 80 percent coverage by 2015.

Over 150 experts representing all countries in Africa, as well as RWSSI stakeholders that attended the meeting to launch this committee resolved to have up to 18 members on it.

Participants during the meeting

Participants during the meeting

The committee consists of one representative from African Development Bank, one from African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), five regional representatives from AMCOW -Technical Advisory Committee countries, five other representatives from the ministries of finance/planning in AMCOW -Technical Advisory Committee countries and one from AMCOW secretariat.

Other representatives on this committee include one representative for UN agencies (UN-Water Africa), one representative for donors, one representative for NGOs in Africa, one representative for CSOs in Africa and one representative for the media in Africa. The media will be represented by Water Journalists Africa, a network of journalists in Africa who report on water and sanitation. They are the journalists who bring you water and sanitation stories from across Africa that you read in WaterSan Perspective e-paper.

The meeting resolved that the final structure for the Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) should be in place within three months. The first RCC meeting shall also have to be convened within 6 months from the date on of the committee launch.

The committee was officially launched by Christian G. Herbert, Liberia’s Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services.

Mr Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation Department, African Development Bank (AfDB), (left); Hon Christian Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Liberia and Mr Bai Mass Tall, the executive secretary of AMCOW (Photo by Babatope Babalopi)

Mr Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation Department, African Development Bank (AfDB), (left); Hon Christian Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Liberia and Mr Bai Mass Tall, the executive secretary of AMCOW (Photo by Babatope Babalopi)

He highlighted the importance of sustained access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation in effective development of African countries. Christian called for support from governments and increased funding for rural water supply and sanitation in Africa.

In his remarks during the same function, Francois Kruger, the Executive Director, AfDB noted that with no water, there can hardly be any economic development stressing that access to water supply and sanitation are crucial for all.

He petitioned African governments to always have water supply on top of their agendas.

Earlier during deliberations, the participants equated the act of most African governments allocating lots of funds to the health sector and neglecting the water and sanitation sectors to, “treating symptoms instead of causes.” They stressed that most diseases in Africa would be no more by now if the water and sanitation sectors were prioritized and funded well by governments.

Globally, improving water, sanitation and hygiene has the potential to prevent about 10 per cent of the disease burden.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

June 24, 2011

Uganda: Pictures to Tell the Dilemma; Adah and Shakira’s Story

Fredrick Mugira
June 24, 2011

Adah and Shakira are all girls aged below 15. They live in Kakatunda Parish in Bukinda Sub County of the mountainous district of Kabale in south western Uganda.

The two girls collect water for their families from a shallow well at least twice a day. They collect water of questionable quality from unprotected surface water source at a great distance from their homes.

Apart from deterring them from collecting sufficient quantities, it wastes their time so sometimes they have to skip school.

This problem is significantly worse during the dry season, when the water table drops, and rivers and shallow wells dry up.

Adah and Shakira's shallow well. It is situated in Ibasyo village, Kakatunda Parish in Bukinda Sub County, about a kilometer from their homes. The water's quality is questionable and the well is unprotected.

This unprotected shallow well often collapses and fills up with soil due to soil erosion which is common in the hilly Kabale district

The girls arrive at the well; they weigh in the mind with thoroughness and care. Do we collect the water or leave it. They also know its quality is questionable.

All the dirt from the hills usually flows into this well. Surprisingly some people in this village do not know that something is wrong. After all, their grandparents had been drinking from these wells and they survived.

Take it or leave it. The girls risk and collect the water. After all they have no option.

It is such unsafe water that kills. In his message to the world during the 2010 World Water Day, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lamented that unsafe water kills more people than war plus all other forms of violence combined.

Adah takes home, the water she collected. She is not bothered about the quality of the water she is carrying

Like Adah, many children in Uganda spend hours each day collecting water instead of going to school.

Shakirah carries home the water. She used this water to wash her family’s plates and saucepans

Instead of going to schools, millions of children in rural parts of Uganda spend almost half a day collecting water for their families. Others spend weeks at home suffering from unsafe water-related illness or attending to their parents suffering from unsafe water- related illnesses.

Extension of safe water to such homes would help these children study uninterruptedly, live healthy and became prosperous in future.

April 6, 2011


By Joseph Ngome
Kisumu, Kenya.

KENYA, The disclosure that only four countries in Africa continent have managed to provide better sanitation to their citizens leaves a lot to be desired by all concerns. It’s a great concern because most of the countries on the continent have not reached the goal even to provide adequate quality water to their population.

Now, where do Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and South Africa that have been accredited to have achieved this feat leave other African states? This was a concern to the participants at the 2011 World Water Day celebrated in Cape Town, South Africa. And it remains a concern that needs some immediate solutions. Sanitation has been given a second deck in most countries notwithstanding the state of water provision in those countries. Some cities and towns have done very little to provide sanitation facilities in most of their institutions, Kenya is included.

Poor sanitation remains a big problem in most slums in urban centers in Africa

Kisumu city in Kenya, for instance, continue to grapple with provision of adequate water to meet the demand of 500,000 residents of the city and thus make sanitation provision a tall order to achieve.

The Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO), Managing Director, Eng. David Onyango says the city has since embraced the provision of sanitation to town dwellers although sewerage facilities have not received the deserving attention.

French Development Agencies (AFD) gave Kisumu City Council USD 25 million to rehabilitate the water and sewerage systems in the city by the year 2008, he said. The company received USD 562,500 for Phase I completed by 2008 that was to increase water supply and improve sewerage disposal in the city.

The balance of USD 18 million was to be increased by another USD 12.5 million bringing to total USD 37.5 million funds by AFD to Kisumu Municipal Council to complete the remaining phases that includes new pumps and sewerage plant improvement, Eng. Onyango says.
But to-date sanitation still remains a problem in Kisumu city as in other cities across the African continent.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) around 1.1 billion people globally do not have access to improved water supply sources whereas 2.4 billion people do not have access to any type of improved sanitation facility.

About 2 million people die every year due to diarrhoeal diseases; most of them are children less than 5 years of age. The most affected are the populations in developing countries, living in extreme conditions of poverty, normally peri-urban dwellers or rural inhabitants.

Among the main problems which are responsible for this situation are: lack of priority given to the sector, lack of financial resources, lack of sustainability of water supply and sanitation services, poor hygiene behaviours, and inadequate sanitation in public places including hospitals, health centres and schools. As it was found out in Kenya recently, most schools do not have pit latrines let alone toilets. Providing access to sufficient quantities of safe water, the provision of facilities for a sanitary disposal of excreta, and introducing sound hygiene behaviours are of capital importance to reduce the burden of disease caused by these risk factors, according to World health Organization (WHO).

African Development Bank says that these four countries have achieved some Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but most countries in the South of Sahara have no adequate water and sanitation.

But one fundamental question that comes to people’s mind is: can sanitation be made a human right as it has been done with water as a human right?” UN Habitat in conjunction with some financial institutions including The World Bank plans to provide those facilities in rural and urban and already a sum of USD 21 million shillings have been allocated to ADB to work with.

The Mayor of Cape Town city in South Africa says that a total of 24 million people visit the city annually and the city has the capacity to provide the basin necessities that make the residents of the city live with dignity!

During the 2011 World Water Day event in Cape Town, the Chairperson of African Ministers of Council of Water (AMCOW) said there is no life without water and that water is human right! Perhaps if that motto can be accommodated by all other states and then access to water can be a thing of the past.

However, the provision of water to the Informal sector in Cape Town city in South Africa looks bright according to the Chief Director of Water West Cape Province Mr. Rashid Khan. He said provision of water in South Africa is in three tiers where National Government, Local Government and Municipalities are involved.

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