New UPGro YouTube Channel!

youtube

You can now find a wealth of interviews, presentations, field vlogs and more at the UPGro YouTube Channel.  Highlights include:

  • Interviews with key African groundwater researchers: listen to their perspective and experiences
  • Presentations from the Catalyst projects, originally given as RWSN-UPGro webinars, they are now edited for easier viewing and for use in teaching and training.
  • Interviews and presentations from numerous events where UPGro researchers have been presenting their work and the issues around groundwater in Africa.

Grofutures launches in Tanzania

Grofutures launch meeting

 

Under the heading “Using groundwater to reduce poverty” the GroFutures Team in Tanzania led by Japhet Kashaigili, Andrew Tarimo and Devotha Mosha hosted the GroFutures Inception Workshop in Iringa on March 31st 2016.  It was opened by the District Commissioner for Iringa, Hon. Richard Kasesela, and was attended by national, basin-level and local stakeholders (listed below) who discussed current groundwater use and management in the Great Ruaha Sub-Catchment of the Rufiji Basin and as well as both proposed and potential groundwater development pathways that might best reduce poverty.  The event was featured on national television news in Tanzania (see clip here) and leading newspapers.

Groundwater Inception Workshop in Tanzania (31st March 2016):

GroFutures Great Ruaha Inception Workshop featured on national television news (in Swahili)

The evening before the workshop, participants played The Groundwater Game in order to better familiarise with the kinds of groundwater development and management decisions that may be expected to arise as a result of groundwater use for poverty alleviation and improved food security.  Following the workshop, the GroFutures Team conducted a short field visit in the Great Ruaha Sub-Catchment to engage directly with local-level stakeholders and develop plans to establish the human and physical environments that will comprise the Great Ruaha Basin Groundwater Observatory.  The GroFutures Team also took time to visit the Site Observatory at the Makutapora Basin which was currently under rare, flood conditions associated with the 2015-16 El Niño Event.

GRB-inception-workshop-photos
GroFutures team participated at various activities in the Inception Workshop in Iringa, Tanzania (GroFutures)

The magic and mystery of groundwater data

To be effective, drinking water programmes relying on groundwater need good quality and well managed groundwater data. Unfortunately this is an overlooked, “techy domain”. The presentations and discussants on this webinar explain the typical problems of groundwater data collection, management and use. They draw on first hand examples of: groundwater data use in Uganda and the United Kingdom; groundwater databases in 15 African countries (Benin, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Zambia) and work on transboundary aquifers in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana) followed by of the current realities in Mozambique. There is need for training, quality assurance of data, and for groundwater data collection to become part of drilling contract management.
Presentations and reflections from Lawrence Brown from Hafren Water (UK), Helen Bonsor of the British Geological Survey – BGS (UK), Fabio Fussi of the University of Milano Bicocca, Italy and Andreas Antoniou of the International Groundwater Centre – IGRAC (the Netherlands). Reflections from Brighid O Dochartaigh, British Geological Survey – BGS (UK) and Samo Chirindja Farisse – Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique).

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Pour être efficients, les programmes d’approvisionnement en eau potable ayant recours aux eaux souterraines ont besoin de données sur les eaux souterraines de bonne qualité et bien gérées. Malheureusement il s’agit d’un domaine jugé trop technique et souvent négligé. Lors de ce webinar les présentateurs et commentateurs mettent en exergue les problèmes typiques concernant la collecte, la gestion et l’utilisation des données sur les eaux souterraines. Ils se basent sur des exemples personnels : utilisation des données des eaux souterraines en Ouganda et au Royaume Uni ; bases de données sur l’eau souterraine dans 15 pays africains (Bénin, Burundi, République Centrafricaine, Tchad, Guinée, Côte d’Ivoire, Libéria, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritanie, Niger, Sénégal, Sierra Leone, Togo et Zambie). Il y a des besoins en formation, en assurance qualité des données et en ce qui concerne la collecte des données sur les eaux souterraines la nécessité de devenir partie du contrat de forage.
Présentations et réflexions de Lawrence Brown de “Hafren Water” (UK), Helen Bonsor du “British Geological Survey” – BGS (UK), Fabio Fussi de l’Université de Milano Bicocca, Italie et Andreas Antoniou du Centre International sur les Eaux Souterraines – IGRAC (Pays-Bas). Commentaires de Brighid O Dochartaigh, “British Geological Survey” – BGS (UK).

Overcoming the Rural Water Supply Scandal of Handpump Corrosion

Handpump corrosion has been known about for over 30 years, the fact that it is a common problem in over 25 countries is a scandal and reflects badly on donors, implementers and governments.
In this webinar, Bony Etti and Jacinta Nekesa from WaterAid Uganda describe their shocking findings from investigating boreholes and pumps (as part of the UPGro Hidden Crisis study) some of which have failed or become unusable within 6 months of being installed. Jake Carpenter, a consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda describes the history, theory and practice of corrosion issues and provides practical solutions for resolving the issue. Our discussants, Dr Peter Harvey (UNICEF) and Jess MacArthur (iDE) add their comments on why this avoidable problem is still around and in a lively Q&A session, some positive ways forward are discussed.

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Le secteur est au courant depuis plus de trente ans des problèmes de corrosion des pompes manuelles. Il est scandaleux que ce problème soit encore récurrent dans plus de 25 pays, et cela nuit à la réputation des financeurs, des chefs de projets et des gouvernements.
Dans ce wébinaire, Bony Etti et Jacinta Nekesa de WaterAid Ouganda présentent les résultats choquants de leur évaluation de forages et de pompes (dans le cadre de l’étude UPGro Hidden Crisis) dont certains sont tombées en panne ou ne sont plus utilisables 6 mois seulement après leur installation. Jake Carpenter, consultant et ancien bénévole des Peace Corps en Ouganda, reprend lui l’histoire, la théorie et les aspects techniques des problèmes de corrosion en général, et propose des solutions simples et pratiques pour les résoudre. Dans la session Questions/Réponses les participants discutent de ces alternatives à mettre en place pour améliorer la situation.
Dans la version anglaise du wébinaire deux intervenants, Dr Peter Harvey (UNICEF) et Jess MacArthur (iDE), apportent aussi des précisions sur les raisons pour lesquelles ce problème pourtant évitable continue d’exister.

T-GroUP: A Visit to Dodowa!

The T-GroUP team have been getting to grips with groundwater in Ghana:

Dr. Jan-Willem Foppen visited Dodowa from 22 to 29 of July. In his visit, Jan Willem met with Dr. George Lutterodt from Central University College (CUC) in Accra, who heads the Local Transition Team (LTT). Together with Dr. Sampson Oduro-Kwarteng from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), who is also part of the LTT, they visited Dodowa, met with local leaders, invited local consultancy firms and drilling firms, and discussed project phases. Also, the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and the Ghanata Senior High School, two of the associated partners in the project, were visited.

Below a short video clip with impressions and a number of observations:

Re-blogged from: t-group.science

Groundwater Governance

10th March 2015

Two presentations followed extensive discussion. Groundwater risks and institutional responses in Kwale, Kenya (Jacob Katuva, Oxford University) and From Codes of Practice to a Code of Conduct – groundwater governance in Kenya from a drillers perspective (Tom Armstrong, JB Drilling). Practical issues of borehole design and construction, groundwater quality, gender and poverty as well as the realities of the Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs) in Kenya, and plans of the Kenya Water Industry Association (KWIA) were discussed.

Groundwater Resources and Supplies in Africa

24th February 2015

Two research-based presentations by: Joy Obando (Kenyatta University, Kenya) and Dan Lapworth (British Geological Survey, UK). With a focus on selected sites in in Comoros, Tanzania and Kenya, Obando’s presentation sets out key social and economic issues with respect to groundwater resources in coastal East Africa. Lapworth’s presentation examines the changes in water access and realities of groundwater resources in Kabwe, Zambia. The examples, combined with the lively exchange with participants, provide insights into the realities of drinking water for the poor in urbanising Africa. The webinar is facilitated by Jan Willem Foppen (UNESCO-IHE, Netherlands).

Africa Groundwater Research

9th December 2014

Jan de Leeuw (presenter)
Dr Jan de Leeuw, World Forestry Centre (presenter)
John Chilton, BGS/IAH (Presenter)
John Chilton, IAH (Presenter)
Dr John Gowing, Newcastle University (Discussant)
John Gowing, Newcastle University (Discussant)

In this webinar, Jan de Leeuw presented his project’s work in developing and using a decision-support tool to enable a municipality to quantify the risk of developing a major new groundwater source from the Merti Aquifer, in Kenya. John Chilton presented disturbing evidence from Uganda about why handpumps fail and that some of the major problems come from poor installation and supervision in the first place – thus giving communities an uphill struggle to manage their water source sustainably. In the debate afterwards, John Gowing, of the AMGRAF project, and the participants asked some searching questions.

Mapping Groundwater Quality for Decision-Makers

25 November 2014

In this webinar, Pauline Smedley from the British Geological Survey presents the work done to get a better understanding of the occurance of high natural fluoride in the groundwater of the Ethiopian Rift Valley. High fluoride damages teeth and bones, particularly in children, but there are limited alternate source of water. Dr Jim Wright of Southampton University presents the work done by his colleagues in Kenya on mapping and understanding the changes to urban groundwater in Kisumu, with a focus on understanding the risks to the shallow groundwater – that feed numerous wells – from man-made pollution.

In a lively debate and Q&A session that follows, Dr Rob Hope from Oxford University, adds his reflections based on their UPGro work, also in Kenya.

Dr Pauline Smedley, British Geological Survey
Dr Pauline Smedley, British Geological Survey (Presenter)
Jim
Dr Jim Wright, Southampton University (Presenter)
Rob
Dr Robert Hope, Oxford University (Discussant)