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How African Cities Can Become Water-Wise

What are the main water, waste and climate change challenges facing my city? Have other cities faced similar challenges? How far is my city from becoming a blue city? Is the latest water data for my city collected and easily accessible for everyone? These are some of the questions that the Urban Blueprint project aims to answer using methods developed by the KWR Water Institute and the University of Bath, which UNESCO is implementing to help African Member States achieve water security.

The first phase of the project (2019-2020) evaluated the sustainability of water management in six African cities.

UNESCO is now collaborating with these two institutions to launch the second phase of the urban blueprint project in four other cities. The second phase will focus on: Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Nairobi (Kenya), Lagos (Nigeria) and Lusaka (Zambia). Six young experts were identified in these cities to collaborate with the head of the research department to conduct research.

UNESCO, KWR Institute of Water Resources and the University of Bath in Yaounde (Cameroon), Bangui (Central African Republic), Libreville (Gabon), Windhoek (Namibia), Abu in 2019-2020 Jia (Nigeria) and Harare (Zimbabwe). The first stage was very successful, thanks to the support of young professionals, most of whom are women, who have implemented this method locally and have more contributors. UNESCO has decided to expand this research in four other African cities to take advantage of this momentum and build a city-to-city network among all stakeholders of CBF in Africa.

The second phase will provide municipalities with science-based decision-making tools and help cultivate the capabilities of young professionals working in the urban water sector. The urban blueprint method includes three indicator evaluations: trend and pressure framework, The urban blueprint framework, and Water governance capacity framework.

TPF shows the main social, environmental and economic pressures related to water management, while CBF represents a comprehensive overview of the performance of urban water cycle management.

Finally, GCF showed how the city can improve its water governance. According to UNESCO’s priority for youth, CBF is managed by local young professionals who are responsible for data collection. At the start-up webinar, every local young professional showed strong interest and motivation in the project. We are happy to introduce them here. Young professionals in the Urban Blueprint Framework (CBF) Mr. Koffi Ouattara will evaluate the city of Abidjan. He is eager to discover problems related to water and sanitation resource management, and contribute to the sustainable development of the project with his environmental science and management background.

Mr. Seun Olajide, who has a background in urban and regional planning, will conduct CBF in Lagos. Throughout the evaluation process, he worked to solve specific Nigerian issues related to water. Ms. Ethel Mudenda Namafe, who is currently studying for a PhD in Integrated Water Resources Management, will implement CBF in Lusaka. She has shown a keen interest in evaluating current urban water management to improve and sustainable urban water management, which will transform Lusaka into a water-smart city.

Ms. Georgina Luti is pursuing a master’s degree in geology and will conduct CBF in Nairobi. She has shown a strong motivation to propose solutions to help improve the quality and management of Nairobi’s water and sanitation standards. Two master students from the University of Bath will also participate in the project as a joint effort with local students, but focused on GCF: Ms. Gulshen Unveren of Lagos GCF and Mr. Jesse Rabinowitz of Lusaka GCF.

UNESCO Headquarters and Field Offices are happy to welcome these energetic and motivated young professionals to join the project and will continue to fully support them to make the project a success. In the next step, young professionals will collect data through data platforms, stakeholder consultations, and interviews. These data will enable them to score 25 indicators and highlight areas where the focus should be on sustainable resource management. The second part of the project will include organizing a seminar with all local stakeholders (municipalities, water supply and sanitation operators, etc.) to present research results and formulate policy recommendations based on this.



with information from: https://www.miragenews.com/supporting-african-cities-in-becoming-water-wise-587039/

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