UPGro Science: Participatory, community-led approaches, such as Transition Management, can provide new and collaborative ways of using and managing urban groundwater [S13]

Investigations of water supply and water use informal settlements around Kampala, Uganda, Arusha, Tanzania, and Dodowa, Ghana found high dependency on groundwater beneath each city. Residents got much of their water from unmonitored, unregulated self-supply sources, such as domestic wells, shallow tubewells and springs. Multiple socio-economic, technical and political barriers to gaining access to a municipal piped water supply were identified and presented back to residents in the study areas.

Experiments with a participatory process called Transition Management was then used to mobilise low-income residents to make improvements to their WASH and waste management and have a voice with city authorities. Although a long process, with several barriers to overcome such as low trust and low initial engagement by institutional actors, using such approaches was found to empower communities to take ownership of the issues affecting them and be able to communicate their needs to city authorities. Transition Management has shown to enhance social learning, empower communities to develop solutions, and build trust between stakeholders.

References and further information
  1. Nastar et al  (2019): A case for urban liveability from below: exploring the politics of water and land access for greater liveability in Kampala, Uganda, Local Environment
  2. Silvestri, et al (2018) Applying Transition Management for Improving Sustainability of WASH Services in Informal Settlements in Sub-Saharan Africa – An Exploration. Sustainability
  3. Nastar,et al. (2018). The emancipatory promise of participatory water governance for the urban poor: Reflections on the transition management approach in the cities of Dodowa, Ghana and Arusha, Tanzania. African Studies.
  4. Grönwall, J. (2016) “Self-supply and accountability: to govern or not to govern groundwater for the (peri-) urban poor in Accra, Ghana” J. Environ Earth Sci
  5. Twinomucunguzi et al (2020) Reducing Groundwater Contamination from On-Site Sanitation in Peri-Urban Sub-Saharan Africa: Reviewing Transition Management Attributes towards Implementation of Water Safety Plans, Sustainability
  6. Whaley, L.,Cleaver, F., Mwathunga, E. (2021) Flesh and bones: Working with the grain to improve community management of water, World Development, Volume 138, February 2021, 105286


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