On 27 and 28 February, the University of Bath, KWR, UNESCO Division of Water Science and the International Water Association (IWA) are organising a workshop on water security in sub-Saharan African cities in Kampala (Uganda). At this workshop, the results of the assessments of urban water management using the City Blueprint Approach will be presented. Trends and Pressures analyses and baseline assessments on water management of six African cities was done. In one city a Governance Capacity Analysis will be performed. The workshop offers other African cities to learn from the approach. It will be the starting point for developing a city-to-city learning programme on water security and water governance. The baseline assessments will also provide input for developing roadmaps towards water security in the six cities involved.

Water security in Africa

Africa’s population is growing unprecedentedly. Population projections indicate more than doubling to 2.5 billion in 2050 and further growth to 4.3 billion in 2100. Most of this growth will be absorbed in cities and urban areas, posing a huge challenge on water security, especially in urban areas. Action to improve water availability at a quality fit for purpose and protection of life, property and ecosystems are becoming extremely urgent and more important than ever.

In this project, a baseline assessment of 6 cities in Africa – Kampala, Harare, Yaoundé, Abuja, Bangui and Libreville – has been done using the City Blueprint Assessment. Stef Koop and Kees van Leeuwen have been working with representatives of the UNESCO IHP Focal Points and local young experts to collect data on trends and pressures and water management. In Libreville also a governance capacity analysis will be conducted.

Workshop Kampala

Jan Hofman of the University of Bath and KWR took the initiative to organise the workshop in Kampala, as a follow-up project from Kees van Leeuwen’s appointment as Global Chair in Bath (2018-19). The workshop will take place back to back with the 20th International Congress and Exhibition of the African Water Association.

On the first day, the workshop will start with two very important keynote speakers setting the scene for the discussion. The first guest will be Mr Callist Tindimugaya from the Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda. The second speaker is Kala Vairavamoorthy, the Executive Director of IWA. After the keynotes, young experts of UNESCO will present their findings of the baseline assessment in the six cities. Also, representatives of the cities are invited to the workshop, and other African cities can join to learn from the approach. In this way, a network of cities in Africa will develop, and effective knowledge sharing can be established to tackle the water challenges of Africa.

The second day of the workshop will focus on developing roadmaps for a pro-active approach for water security. On the longer-term, these roadmaps will be used to support the cities in developing bankable projects that will help them to improve water security and water governance. These projects will also help to sustain the African cities water security network.

More information

Jan Hofman (j.a.h.hofman@bath.ac.uk), Stef Koop (stef.koop@kwrwater.nl), Maud Berthelot (m.berthelot@unesco.org)