news in brief

KenyaKenya
Advocating for Sanitation at the Kenya Water Week

L-R) Prof. Tibaijuka (Head of WSSCC Delegation, Hon. Wamalwa (Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Water & Irrigation and Mr. Reynders (Belgium Deputy Prime Minister), Prof. Segor (Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water & Irrigation)L-R) Prof. Tibaijuka (Head of WSSCC Delegation, Hon. Wamalwa (Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Water & Irrigation and Mr. Reynders (Belgium Deputy Prime Minister), Prof. Segor (Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water & Irrigation)

The first Kenya Water Week was held in Nairobi from 20-25 November 2016, with the theme “From Aid to Trade”. WSSCC and its partners in Kenya participated in the week-long event demonstrating that not only water but also sanitation and hygiene are essential components in improving health, safety and dignity.

The head of the WSSCC delegation, Prof. Anna Tibaijuka, a current member of parliament in Tanzania, previous Chair of WSSCC and former Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, advocated during the opening session to make sanitation visible at the event. She gave a prominent place to sanitation and hygiene, referring to the unprecedented opportunity of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 6.2 and stressed on the need to focus on people in vulnerable situations, such as women and girls.

MozambiqueMozambique
Africa’s biggest hydropower plant may soon run out of water

Running low. (EPA/Andre Kosters)Running low. (EPA/Andre Kosters)

Drought in southern Africa is threatening electricity generation at Africa’s biggest hydropower plant, the Cahora Bassa dam in Mozambique. Water levels at the reservoir are dangerously low. Cahora Bassa was only 34% full as of the end of November, according to the National Water Directorate.

Pedro Couto, head of the plant, was quoted in November 2016 that a lack of rain over the last two years had “resulted in an unprecedented reduction in the Cahora Bassa reservoir,” according to reports.

Data from the dam’s operator, Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), show that the dam’s water level is only 17 meters (55 feet) above the minimum operating level. If next year’s rainy season does not deliver higher rainfall, the situation could get worse. Southern Africa is experiencing its worst drought in almost four decades, reducing water flows in the Zambezi river system where three major hydro dams, including the Cahora Bassa, supply electricity to the region.

NamibiaNamibia
Outapi’s Wastewater Ponds Produce Fodder Crops

Freeman Ngulu — Wastewater Engineering Research Group at the Institute IWAR of Technische Universität of Darmstadt is researching ways on how to increase the capacity of Outapi’s 4-step pond system to treat wastewater.

The TU Darmstadt, under the joint project EpoNa since September, is upgrading wastewater ponds to generate irrigation water, while also researching wastewater stabilization pond systems for deployment elsewhere in Africa.

In parallel with upgrading the ponds, the Hochschule Geisenheim University will carry out tests to find the most suitable low-cost irrigation technique, as well as testing different crops and cultivation methods for suitability.

According to Jochen Sinn, the project engineer, if the concept proves effective, the entire plant can be converted, and the town as operator will be able to start extensive, all year round irrigation of fodder crops with wastewater sooner rather than later.

NigeriaNigeria
Lagos faces ‘unacceptable’ water and sanitation crisis, UN expert warns

In Lagos, Nigeria, residents navigate the polluted waters of Makoko, a fishing community mostly made up of structures on stilts above Lagos Lagoon, as smog spreads throughout the canals. Photo: UNICEF/Tanya BindraIn Lagos, Nigeria, residents navigate the polluted waters of Makoko, a fishing community mostly made up of structures on stilts above Lagos Lagoon, as smog spreads throughout the canals. Photo: UNICEF/Tanya Bindra

A United Nations human rights expert today called on the Nigerian Government to increase funding for water and sanitation in next year’s budget to address the needs of 21 million residents of Lagos, the country’s largest city, which continues to grow while access to basic services dwindles. Léo Heller, Special Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation, commented on the budget, shortly after it was presented by the State Governor to the Lagos House of Assembly, stating that the Government reports show high deficits in the sector, “representing clearly unacceptable conditions for millions of the megacity’s residents.”

According to Mr. Heller, the annual budget discussion is a chance for the city to take action in providing water and sanitation to the people. He also expressed concerns over the high numbers of vulnerable people. “There is no question that the city’s water and sanitation sector has deteriorated to this point because of the way it has been managed for many years.”

SenegalSenegal
World Water Council elects the City of Dakar and country of Senegal as hosts of 2021 Forum

Senegal

On Saturday 26 November in Marseille, France, the World Water Council elected the capital city of Dakar and the country of Senegal to host the 9th World Water Forum in 2021.

The selection followed a rigorous evaluation process. The candidature of Dakar was unanimously approved by vote conducted during the 60th meeting of the Board of Governors.

The 9th World Water Forum theme will be “Water Security for Peace and Development.” “I am glad to see the World Water Forum coming back to Africa after the very first Forum in Marrakesh in 1997. The 2021 edition will be a first in the sub-Saharan region, where collective and innovative solutions to water and sanitation challenges are greatly needed,” stated the President of the World Water Council, Benedito Braga.

 

                           


            

Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2