a BRAVE new world…now online

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The UPGro Consortium project, BRAVE has launched a brand new website to show case the fantastic work that the team – led by Reading University, in the UK is doing. BRAVE, or to use its more descriptive-but-not-so-catchy name: “Building understanding of climate variability and environmental change into planning of groundwater supplies from low storage aquifers in Africa” is focusing research on aquifers in Ghana and Burkina Faso.

The big idea behind BRAVE is  that we can build better ways to model and communicate the complex environmental changes in the Sahel region of West Africa and use that to improve the long term planning of groundwater supplies and provide early warnings of groundwater shortages so that the most vulnerable families and communities are more resilient to drought.

The team held their 2017 Annual General Meeting between 24 – 26 January and you can find full details on the new website, so be BRAVE and dive in!

Presentations:

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With no access to piped water, residents of Accra meet their own water needs. Here’s how.

Self-supply in Accra (J. Groenwall/SIWI 2016)

re-blogged from SIWI: http://www.siwi.org/news/siwi-explores-complexities-of-groundwater-governance-in-peri-urban-accra-ghana/

Low accountability and complex governance landscape complicate understanding of reliance on groundwater in peri-urban Accra, Ghana, finds article by SIWI’s Dr. Jenny Grönwall.

Poor urban dwellers tend to be disadvantaged in terms of public service delivery, often relying instead on groundwater through self-supply, but their specific needs and opportunities—and own level of responsibility—are seldom on the agenda. The Greater Accra Region of Ghana and the country as a whole serve to illustrate many interconnected aspects of urbanization, inadequate service provision, peri-urban dwellers’ conditions, private actors’ involvement and user preferences for packaged water.

Based on interviews and a household survey covering 300 respondents, this case study aims to provide insights into the water-related practices and preferences of residents in the peri-urban, largely unplanned township of Dodowa on the Accra Plains in Ghana and to discuss implications of low accountability and a complex governance landscape on the understanding of reliance on groundwater.

Self-sufficient from wells and boreholes until a distribution network expansion, Dodowa residents today take a “combinator approach” to access water from different sources. The findings suggest that piped water supplies just over half the population, while the District Assembly and individuals add ever-more groundwater abstraction points. Sachet water completes the picture of a low-income area that is comparatively well off in terms of water access. However, with parallel bodies tasked with water provisioning and governance, the reliance on wells and boreholes among poor (peri-) urban users has for long been lost in aggregate statistics, making those accountable unresponsive to strategic planning requirements for groundwater as a resource, and to those using it.

Dr. Jenny Grönwall, Programme Manager, SIWI, forms part of the T-GroUP consortium led by UNESCO-IHE and funded by the research programme Unlocking the potential of groundwater for the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa (UPGro). The project focuses on parts of Kampala (Uganda), Arusha (Tanzania), and Accra (Ghana) as examples of growing mixed urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa, including poor people in slums, who depend on groundwater.

Self-supply and accountability: to govern or not to govern groundwater for the (peri-) urban poor in Accra, Ghana. Available with Open Access from Environmental Earth Sciences, 75(16), 1-10.

My experience of Life in Dodowa and the T-group Project

By: Alimamy Kolipha Kamara from T-group.science

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Yes, it was a period of intensive fieldwork which included the daunting task of collecting, transporting, and concentrating huge volumes of groundwater samples, inspecting sanitary facilities, etc., but life in Dodowa and the project house at Salem left a balanced memory between fieldwork and the social interaction that was needed.

Continue reading My experience of Life in Dodowa and the T-group Project

Finalising Obed’s fieldwork in Dodowa

By:  Obed Minkah

Final fieldwork activities in Dodowa included the establishment of monitoring network which consist of 40 wells to monitor groundwater fluctuation and to help us determine the groundwater flow direction. In order to know the groundwater flow direction, the monitoring wells were levelled to each other using a total station. It was daunting task to level wells scattered on about a 13.5kmsq area but the task was done within 3 days with support from my colleagues (Isaac and Eric) from The Hydrological Services Department. The water levels of these wells were also measured weekly to know the groundwater levels change over time and from the monitoring it was observed that water levels in the wells were decreasing gradually over the course of fieldwork.

 

Obed working during the levelling of the monitoring wells
Continue reading Finalising Obed’s fieldwork in Dodowa

Exploring cases of community participation in (ground)water governance in Dodowa

By: Shona Jenkins (from t-group.science)

By the end of February, I will have spent 3 weeks conducting interviews with community members, community leaders and representatives from the local government across 11 communities in Dodowa. Throughout the interview process, I have attempted to better understand the water reality in each community: what sources of water are used and for what purpose(s) and how this impacts their day-to-day lives. As the interviews progress, I have tried to identify pressing problems in each community, which sometimes includes access to water and quality of water, but is not always the most pressing issue identified. As the interviews conclude, I have tried to gain a better understanding of whom community members look to for solutions to pressing community issues and I have tried to identify both formal and informal actors in each community who are critical in undertaking any community improvement project.

Continue reading Exploring cases of community participation in (ground)water governance in Dodowa

BRAVE project holds workshop on groundwater for the poor

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney) on www.ghana.gov.gh

There is the need to develop resilient agricultural water supplies as an essential first step to ensuring safe and reliable access to water by the rural poor, Ben Ampomah, Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission (WRC) of Ghana, has noted.

Mr Ampomah, therefore, identified groundwater has having a major role in meeting demand for increasing population in Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa.

Continue reading BRAVE project holds workshop on groundwater for the poor

Research: Is climate change making groundwater supplies in Sub-Saharan Africa less reliable?

source: University of Reading blog

Over 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) depend upon groundwater supplies, and this is set to rise dramatically. Safe and reliable access to water for the rural poor is a critical factor when reducing the proportion of people living in extreme poverty. As the majority of poor people in Africa depend upon farming for their livelihoods, developing resilient agricultural water supplies is an essential first step.  Groundwater could provide a solution to this as there is the potential to tap into huge groundwater ‘reservoirs’ under the Sahel to provide water  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17775211).

Continue reading Research: Is climate change making groundwater supplies in Sub-Saharan Africa less reliable?

T-GRoUP kicks off

By Thloriso Morienyane and Jan Willem Foppen (reposted from: t-group.science)

From 1-3 September, the T-GroUP kick off workshop took place at UNESCO-IHE in Delft. The main purpose of the workshop was to get to know each other, to learn more about Transition Management and Learning Alliances, to discuss data collection programs, to identify overlaps and differences between the three focal areas in Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania, and to detail individual year plans of each team member.

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Part of the team listening to the workshop introduction by Jan Willem Foppen

Transition Management and Learning Alliances

Continue reading T-GRoUP kicks off

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