News and Blog

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!

BRAVE Student – Échange de Recherche Communautaire

Le projet BRAVE apporte une approche unique d’intégration des sciences sociales et physiques et de travail, en partenariat avec les communautés locales, pour soutenir la traduction et l’adoption efficaces des activités de recherche. Les co-bénéfices donnent aux étudiants et aux chercheurs l’opportunité d’apprendre directement des communautés sur ce dont ils ont besoin et comment le projet BRAVE peut être le plus efficace et bénéfique pour les communautés locales et les partenaires. Un exemple principal de ce travail est démontré par les échanges de recherche étudiants et communautaires de BRAVE. Dans le cadre du projet BRAVE, trois bassins versants ont été équipés d’une infrastructure permettant un suivi détaillé de tous les aspects du bilan hydrique. Sur le site de Sanon au Burkina Faso, le suivi est assuré par Narcisse Gahi, PDRA BRAVE qui siège au sein de l’IRC, et par Jean Pierre Sandwidi à l’Université de Ouagadougou, ainsi que Mahamadou Koita au 2iE. Dans les bassins versants du Vea au Ghana et au Burkina Faso, il est dirigé par le technicien WASCAL, Sammy Guug, avec l’aide du Water Research Institute.

Sur le site du village de Sanon, le projet a loué des logements locaux où les étudiants vivent pendant la saison des pluies. Jusqu’à présent, au cours de deux saisons humides, trois étudiants de MSc et sept étudiants de BSc de l’Université de Ouagadougou et 2iE ont recueilli des données pour le projet. Ces étudiants viennent de cours liés à l’hydrologie et à la biologie. Sur les sites de Vea Catchment, un étudiant au doctorat WASCAL a collecté des données, ainsi qu’un stagiaire et un étudiant BSc. Il est plaisant de voir cette collaboration à la fois améliorer la collecte de données et renforcer les capacités des étudiants locaux.

Pendant ces séjours, les étudiants, les chercheurs et les communautés apprennent les uns des autres à travers des recherches menées et des échanges collaboratifs. Les étudiants et les chercheurs apprennent comment mener des travaux sur le terrain dans les communautés qui acquièrent une compréhension critique et une expérience des techniques de collecte de données, mais aussi le rôle des communautés dans le processus de recherche. Les communautés acquièrent également une compréhension de première main de la recherche menée dans leur communauté ainsi qu’un aperçu du travail important accompli par les universités nationales et de la façon dont ce travail peut produire des bénéfices à l’échelle nationale et communautaire. L’équipe du projet BRAVE est très reconnaissante envers les étudiants, leurs superviseurs et les communautés BRAVE pour ces opportunités.

BRAVE Student – Community Research Exchange

from the latest BRAVE newsletter

The BRAVE project brings a unique approach of integrating both the social and physical sciences and working, in partnership with, local communities to support effective translation and uptake of research activities.  Co-benefits result in the opportunity for students and researchers to learn directly from communities on what is needed and how the BRAVE project can be most effective and beneficial for local communities and partners.  A primary example of this work is demonstrated through BRAVE’s Student and Community Research Exchanges.  Within the BRAVE project three catchments have been equipped with infrastructure that allows detailed monitoring of all aspects of the water balance.  At the Sanon site in Burkina Faso, monitoring is led by Narcisse Gahi, a BRAVE PDRA who sits within IRC, and by Jean Pierre Sandwidi at the University of Ouagadougou, as well as Mahamadou Koita at 2iE. At the Vea Catchment sites in Ghana and Burkina Faso it is led by WASCAL Technician, Sammy Guug, with assistance from the Water Research Institute.

At the Sanon village site, the project has rented local accommodation where students live through the period of the wet season. So far, over two wet seasons, three MSc students and seven BSc students from the University of Ouagadougou and 2iE have gathered data for the project. These students come from hydrology and biology-related courses. At the Vea Catchment sites, a WASCAL PhD student has been collecting data, as well as an intern and a BSc student. It is pleasing to see this collaboration that both improves data collection and builds capacity for local students.

During these stays, students, researchers and communities learn from each other through research conducted and collaborative exchanges.  Students and researchers learn how to conduct fieldwork in communities gaining critical understanding and experience in data collection techniques, but also the role of communities within the research process.  Communities also gain first-hand understanding of the research being conducted in their community as well as an insight into the important work being done through national universities and how that work can produce benefits nationwide and at community levels.  The BRAVE Project Team is very grateful to the students and their supervisors and BRAVE communities for these opportunities.