Patel Center Tests New Water Solutions in Africa
Jun 13, 2012
posted in: Center
Patel Center and the World Bank Group begins pilot project in African cities after co-authoring a book.
“The Future of Water in African Cities” is the bold title of a new book co-authored by the World Bank Group and the Patel College of Global Sustainability (PSGS) based on the findings of a study of four African cities.
PSGS along with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), the Uganda National Water and Sewage Corporation (NWSC) and PANAFCON Ltd Development Consultant (PANAFCON) were commissioned to study four cities in Africa (Arua and Mbale in Uganda, Nairobi in Kenya and Douala in Cameroon) to test their theories on Integrated UrbanWater Management after submitting a report to the World Bank in 2011. After the project was completed in April 2012, the PSGS group had a one-week intensive book writing session with the World Bank Group members.
“The book will help shape the funding/investment strategy of the World Bank in the water sector in African cities,” said senior research member Kebreab Ghebremichael. “It was positively received after an external review at the World Bank decision meeting in May 2012.”
An important recommendation of the May 2012 decision meeting was to go ahead with the concepts and findings of the flagship report and pilot test projects in three countries: Uganda, Kenya and Guinea.
More on Integrated Urban Water Management
Integrated Urban Water Management is a strategy that seeks to manage the urban water cycle holistically so that resources are used more efficiently, for the economic and social benefit of cities and for the benefit of the environment.
“The concept of IUWM has been around for decades, but with very few records of its implementation. So this project gave us a golden opportunity to test the concept and capture all the benefits of IUWM in managing water systems in developing countries efficiently,” said Seneshaw Tsegaye of the PSGS research team.
Currently, two members of the PSGS research team are from African countries and for them, the project holds a personal connection as well. “I am an Ethiopian and I know what challenges we have in managing water efficiently in many of our cities,” said Tsegaye, “but the discussions I’ve had with local stakeholders and the residents in Uganda have given me more insight, and confirmed the fact that our continent has the greatest opportunity to move in a sustainable direction and become a great example for the whole world.”
“Africa is more than- just a great place to work,” continued Tsegaye. “Many new towns/cities are emerging in Africa and there is a huge opportunity to do things differently in those towns/cities. The fact that emerging cities do not have that much mature infrastructure, offers the opportunity to identify efficient development trajectories at earliest stage of urban growth and enable to leapfrog to a more sustainable future and livable city easily.”