Call for papers – Special Issue, African Rainfall Variability: Science and Society

Colleagues,

Prof Aondover Tarhule and I will serve as Guest Editors on a special issue of the open access journal Atmosphere (http://www.mdpi.com/journal/atmosphere) on the above timely and exciting topic.

Please find additional information on the call for papers here http://www.mdpi.com/journal/atmosphere/special_issues/precipitation_Africa_Society

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2018

We invite you to consider submitting your current, previously unpublished work to this special edition.

Special Issue Information

The Sahel-Soudano zone that spans North Africa, from Senegal to Ethiopia, has experienced pronounced climatic variability (and conflicts) for millennia. This home to 250 million people—one quarter of Africa’s population—is a fragile transition zone in environmental and human terms. From south-to-north, rainfall decreases from around 30 inches per year on average to essentially nothing. Back-to-back contrasting rain years (deficits in 2011, floods in 2012) left over 18 million people in the West African Sahel threatened by food shortages between 2012 and 2013, highlighting yet again the strong the dependence between livelihoods on rainfall in the region. Ironically (tragically, even), the stakeholders within the Sahel have less access to, and therefore use less, instrumental rainfall information for planning and management than almost anywhere else in the world. Furthermore, short-term weather and seasonal climate forecasting have limited skill for West Africa. Whilst many of the National Hydrological and Meteorological agencies are making impressive efforts to produce tailored climate forecasts for their stakeholders, most appear to be country specific.

Recognizing these constraints, this Special Issue presents the latest understanding of African rainfall variability and on-going efforts to translate this into useable information through knowledge co-production and dissemination, to assure content relevance and accuracy for intended purposes. Stakeholders must establish practical innovations to anticipate impending crises and work collaboratively across the region to share information and strengthen supporting infrastructure. Within this framework, timely access to user-relevant climate information, access to relevant and reliable forecasts, and the ability of stakeholders to act on that information through effective strategic partnerships will prove the difference between coping proactively with emerging climate challenges and perpetuating the cycle of climate triggers and crisis.

Prof. Rosalind Cornforth

Prof. Aondover Tarhule

Guest Editors

New publication: “Advances in Groundwater Governance”

A major new publication has been released on the vital topic of groundwater governance, which addresses some of the major questions being faced worldwide on how is such a vital common resource managed for the benefit of all.
The issue of unlocking the potential of groundwater for the poor is explored in the chapter on groundwater governance for poverty eradication, social equity and health, by UPGro Knowledge Broker, Sean Furey, from Skat Foundation:

Groundwater use and its governance should serve a purpose that is well defined and has a broadly accepted mandate, without it, there is a risk that benefits will accrue to existing elites only for their own benefits.

Access to safe, affordable water is a recognised Human Right and a Sustainable Development Goal because it is critical for the health and wellbeing of every person in the world. Groundwater represents 96% of all liquid freshwater in the world and so any discussion about groundwater is also a discussion about human rights, development, health and social equity.

Groundwater is used in many different ways, many uncontrolled and unmonitored and this can cause substantial problems – even causing cities to sink below sea level. Recent recommendations on improving groundwater governance may not be adequately aligned with the Human Right to Water or giving sufficient priority to poverty alleviation.

However, groundwater use unlocks the potential of human ingenuity, cooperation and enterprise that can build the foundations for health, resilient livelihoods in the face of growing global uncertainties.

The three areas identified for further focus are:

  • increase understanding of the links between groundwater use and poverty;
  • improve understanding and management of private ‘self supply’ groundwater sources;
  • improve the training and professionalisation around groundwater technology innovation and scaling up.

“Advances in Groundwater Governance” is available  from CRC Press

New UPGro paper: “Risk Factors associated with rural water supply: A 30-year retrospective study of handpumps on the south coast of Kenya”

2018 promises to be really interesting one as the UPGro (Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor) reaches maturity. There is already a lot published since 2014 (https://upgro.org/publications-papers/peer-reviewed-journal-papers/) and here is a new one, which will be of interest to RWSN members – as it has been written by active RWSN members:

“Risk Factors associated with rural water supply: A 30-year retrospective study of handpumps on the south coast of Kenya”

By Tim Foster, Juliet Willetts, Mike Lane, Patrick Thomson, Jacob Katuva, Rob Hope

Key Points

  • This paper build on previous handpump & water point functionality work done by RWSN, the UPGro Gro For GooD and UPGro Hidden Crisis projects and recent analysis by the University of North Carolina
  • Research focuses on 337 Afridev handpumps installed in Kwale County, Kenya, under a SIDA financed programme between 1983-1995 that were identified and mapped in 2013 (out of 559 recorded installations by the programme in that area).
  • 64% were still working after 25+ years
  • They conclude that risk of failure increases most significantly in relation to:
    • Salinity of the groundwater
    • Depth of the static groundwater level
    • When the water comes from an unconsolidated sand aquifers
    • Distance to spare parts suppliers

You can read and download the paper here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717337324

and https://upgro.org/consortium/gro-for-good/

Supplementary info and water point data:

And in case you missed it – this is another recent paper that is readable and useful, albeit more for urban/peri-urban areas and small towns:

Grönwall, J. & Oduro-Kwarteng, Groundwater as a strategic resource for improved resilience: a case study from peri-urban Accra S. Environ Earth Sci (2018) 77: 6. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-017-7181-9

 

Figure: Kaplan-Meier estimates of the survival functions for Afridev handpumps in Kwale.

“Groundwater helping rural communities cope with drought in Nile Basin” The New Times, Rwanda

A news report from Rwanda quotes UPGro and REACH researcher, Prof. Sefu Kebede, from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, who highlighted the importance of groundwater to the flow in the River Nile, and the societies and economies from Rwanda to Egypt who depend on it.

Vote for Roads for Water!

Following an UPGro Catalyst Grant, over the last three years much work has gone into making use of roads for water management. Roads have in many areas an enormous impact on hydrology. Now often negative with roads causing erosion and sedimentation, or creating floods and water logging, this can be turned around to making roads instruments for water harvesting.

Under the RoadsforWater initiative see also www.roadsforwater.org  this approach is introduced in ten countries already contributing to improved water security for more than 2 Million people – hoping to get much higher still. With a global investment in roads amounting to more than 1 Trillion dollar, ‘adding’ water management to road development and maintenance can have an enormous impact.

 We now have very good news and a request to make:

RoadsforWater is among the 11 finalists of the 2017 – Resilience Award! We invite you to vote for this powerful initiative before Monday (15th Jan) Midnight (US Eastern Standard Time)? 

Here is the link: https://goo.gl/R8wbsW – (it is number five on the list).

Thank you for supporting this RWSN-UPGro fostered collaboration. Please also take some time to visit www.roadsforwater.org to find about more about this really interesting and successful initiative.

UNICEF to commission remote sensing prospection of groundwater in Ethiopia

UNICEF Ethiopia plans in 2018 to map the groundwater potential of 41 woredas (administrative divisions) within EU’s Resilience Building programme (RESET II). The methodology used in 2016/17 can be found in the links below:

 The mapping and geophysical prospection ToR has been tendered here:

https://www.ungm.org/Public/Notice/66814

(Please note that this work is not connected to UPGro and its partners and funders, and we cannot respond to queries about this work).

New UPGro paper calls for city planners and utilities in Africa to diversify water supply solutions

A UPGro paper has been published by Dr Jenny Grönwall (SIWI) and Dr Sampson Oduro-Kwarteng (KNUST) of the T-GroUP project, entitled “Groundwater as a strategic resource for improved resilience: a case study from peri-urban Accra”

Water insecurity is a growing concern globally, especially for developing countries, where a range of factors including urbanization are putting pressure on water provisioning systems.

The role of groundwater and aquifers in buffering the effects of climate variability is increasingly acknowledged, but it can only be fully realized with a more robust understanding of groundwater as a resource, and how use of it and dependency on it differ.

Accra, in Ghana, and its hinterland is a good example of an African city with chronic water shortages, where groundwater resources offer opportunities to improve resilience against recurring droughts and general water insecurity.

Based on a mixed-methods study of a peri-urban township, it was found that for end users, particularly poor urban households, resilience is an every-day matter of ensuring access from different sources, for different purposes, while attention to drinking water safety is falling behind.

Planners and decision makers should take their cue from how households have developed coping mechanisms by diversifying, and move away from the focus on large infrastructure and centralized water supply solutions.

Conjunctive use, managed aquifer recharge, and suitable treatment measures are vital to make groundwater a strategic resource on the urban agenda.

Download and read the open paper here

photo: Dr Grönwall

UPGro Ambassador leads “Groundwater in IWRM” training in Mali

re-posted from Cap-Net newsletter

A Training Workshop on Groundwater Management within IWRM in River Basin Context was held from 21 to 25 November 2017 in Ségou, Mali.  It was organised in collaboration with the Country Coordination of Natural Resources Users in the Niger Basin (CNU-Mali), Regional Coordination of Natural Resources Users in the Niger Basin (CRU-BN) and Africa Groundwater Network (AGW-Net). The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Moustapha DIENE Hydrogeologist at University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (Senegal), AGW-Net Manager and Prof. Amadou Zanga Traoré, retired Professor in Hydrogeology, from ENI (School of Engineers in Bamako, Mali).

Continue reading UPGro Ambassador leads “Groundwater in IWRM” training in Mali

UPGro researcher, Prof John M. Gathenya expands horizons with TU Dresden Fellowship

During 2017 UPGro Gro for GooD researcher, Prof John Gathenya, from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Nairobi (Kenya) was appointed  Senior Fellow at the School of Civil and  Environmental engineering of the Technical University (TU) Dresden.

Prof. Gathenya visited TU Dresden from 15-29 May and 29 October-11 November 2017. In the first visit, he was in a team of staff and PhD students from hisdepartment. He presented a case study on Sasumua Payments for ecosystem services project at the International Dresden Water, Soil and Waste Nexus Conference organized by UNU-FLORES and was also a panelist in one of the forums in the conference.   At the Institute of Soil Science and Site Ecology, Prof. Gathenya did presented in seminars and held meetings to advise PhD students.

During the second visit he participated in Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management – CIPSEM 72nd Soil & Land Resources International Course. He presented on Payments for Ecosystem services as a tool to catalyze adoption of sustainable land management.  He had meetings with some professors and university administration such Vice Rector for research and chair hydrosciences department.

Currently the institute of Soil Science and Site Ecology and his department area involved in a project on assessment of sediment deposits in reservoirs using multi-frequency echo-sounding techniques and some staff and PhD students are engaged and we hope to grow our collaboration by writing proposals to German and EU funding agencies. The Institute of Soil Science and Site Ecology has good experience setting and equipping field research sites for studies in soil and water management and Prof. Gathenya hopes to draw on this expertise in future especially in connection with our engagement with the Kenyan Upper Tana Water Fund Project.

Bienvenue dans l’équipe BRAVE, Grace! Introducing BRAVE’s New Communications Manager: Grace Labeodan

BRAVE is very pleased to introduce Grace Labeodon as its new Communications Manager.   Grace is originally from Liverpool (Northwest England) and has a background in law and communications.  She brings experience of working with NGOs, grassroots civil society groups and youth advocacy initiatives. Grace is passionate about the SDGs, child’s rights, and sustainable livelihoods.  As a dedicated development professional, she is committed to working in support of resilience strategies necessary for effective response to climate change and evolving resource management agendas. Grace is currently pursuing a Masters in Applied International Development at the University of Reading.

Grace is also a member of the Walker Institute’s Knowledge Management Team, which is responsible for delivering effective and relevant communications to researchers, partners and stakeholders across the Walker Institute’s portfolio.

Grace will assume all BRAVE communications responsibilities from December 1, including the BRAVE Website, Blog, Newsletter, and all Social Media.  Contact Grace if you wish to discuss how you or your organization can be featured across BRAVE or the Walker Institute’s Communications Platforms. grace.labeodan@reading.ac.uk

Welcome to the BRAVE Team, Grace!

BRAVE est très heureux de présenter Grace Labeodon comme son nouveau directeur des communications. Grace est originaire de Liverpool (nord-ouest de l’Angleterre) et a une formation en droit et en communication. Elle apporte son expérience de travail avec des ONG, des groupes de la société civile locale et des initiatives de défense de la jeunesse. Grace est passionnée par les ODD, les droits de l’enfant et les moyens de subsistance durables. En tant que professionnelle dévouée du développement, elle s’engage à soutenir les stratégies de résilience nécessaires à une réponse efficace au changement climatique et à l’évolution des programmes de gestion des ressources. Grace poursuit actuellement une maîtrise en développement international appliqué à l’Université de Reading.

Grace est également membre de l’équipe de gestion des connaissances de l’Institut Walker, chargée de fournir des communications efficaces et pertinentes aux chercheurs, aux partenaires et aux intervenants du portefeuille de l’Institut Walker.

Grace assumera toutes les responsabilités de communication de BRAVE à partir du 1er décembre, y compris le site Web BRAVE, le blog, le bulletin d’information et tous les médias sociaux. Contactez Grace si vous souhaitez discuter de la façon dont vous ou votre organisation pouvez être présenté à travers BRAVE ou les plates-formes de communication de l’Institut Walker.  grace.labeodan@reading.ac.uk

Bienvenue dans l’équipe BRAVE, Grace!