The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed what was known to be normal. In the new normal, Connective Cities has also resorted to virtual formats of the dialogue events. Between the 7th and 14th of September, in intermittent virtual sessions, about 43 participants from 24 cities and representing 7 African countries and Germany, congregated to share best practices and develop project ideas in the areas of water supply, wastewater management and urban mobility.
The rapid urbanization in Sub Saharan Africa has seen an increase in the urban population and subsequently the demand for basic urban basic services such as water, sanitation and sustainable transport. More than half of the urban population in SSA is yet to access these basic services.
This event provided a platform for utilities and cities to share on solutions to increase access to water supply, different approaches in management of wastewater and approaches in implementing sustainable urban mobility.
The conclusion of the event was crowned with six project ideas for Connective Cities to consider for further support in refining the concepts.
The content of the event was a combination of keynote speeches that funneled from a wide look at the challenges at city level to sector specific challenges and opportunities for change and development. The next step was delving into city specific input where different cities shared good practices on the three topics as described below. The keynote speeches and good practices highlighted areas in which the cities could work on in form of projects. Acknowledging that there are often ideas in place, the learning process facilitated a clear definition of the interventions to pursue.
Introduction key note; Urban basic services and sector governance
Prit Salian, i-Consulting
Organisational instruments towards the reduction of Non-Revenue Water (NRW)
Linnea Foelster, Hamburg Wasser
Challenges and opportunities in wastewater management in Sub Saharan Africa
Lubabalo Luyaba, Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent, South Africa
Challenges and opportunities in urban mobility in Sub Saharan Africa
Claire Birungi, ITDP Africa
Financial advisory; pointers in donor funding
Clifford Waithaka, World Bank
Integrated Urban Water Supply Management in a Water Scarce South Africa Municipality
Emahlahleni, South Africa
Joint Town-Level Planning Approach for Mbeya City
The City of Tshwane Zeekoegat Co-Generation Plants (CHP) Project
Tshwane, South Africa
City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation Approach
Closing the Loop in Nakuru City’s Sanitation Value Chain
Waste to Energy Opportunities in Wastewater
Implementing the NMT Pilot Corridor for Kampala
Beautification of the Median in Oforikrom Municipal Assembly
The contributions and discussions in the different working groups confirmed that most cities in Africa are faced by similar challenges yet there is a shift towards doing things differently as we adopt economically feasible, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly measures to address the gaps in provision of basic services. The interventions in the cities are however, worth learning from. The good practices were shared from Emalahleni (South Africa), Lusaka (Zambia), Kisumu (Kenya), Leipzig (Germany), Hamburg (Germany), Tshwane (South Africa), Malindi (Kenya), Nakuru (Kenya), Oforikrom (Ghana), Kampala (Uganda), and Kumasi (Ghana).
As diverse as were the good practices, so were the project ideas brought forth. We seek to increase access to water in communities in Emalahleni through decentralized systems and bulk water supply in Mbeya and add a twist in Lusaka by developing an integrated local area plan. Imagine using briquets made from recycled waste; Malindi intends to address the sanitation gap by not only containing the waste but converting waste to energy. We also leverage on other channels of learning by visiting cities that have successfully implemented projects similar to our ideas. That will be the case for the City of Tshwane. The city dwellers of Oforikrom and Kumasi can look forward to beautiful and well-lit streets which are less congested.
Connective Cities will offer customized support to the projects in line with the services we offer.