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Africa Renewal. 2007 Oct; 21(3):7.Until six years ago, Eugenia Uwamahoro and several of her eight children had to trek 2 kilometres each day to a river to get about 140 litres of water for drinking, cooking, washing and feeding her four cows. There was a water pump in her village, Nyakabingo, in Rwanda's Gicumbi district, but it hardly functioned. Then the Rwandan government, with financial support from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), repaired the pump, and the community contracted a private manager to maintain it. "It has improved my life," Ms. Uwamahoro told African Renewal. "Now we can rest." Not only has the pump saved her considerable time and effort, but she also gets her household's daily water supply at lower cost than she would have from the private village water carriers who cart it up from the river. Many villagers "are happy to pay for the improved service," says Kamaru Tstoneste, who operates the pump. But some villagers cannot afford the cost. So community leaders compiled a list of the neediest households, and review it from time to time. "This group gets an agreed quantity of free supply," Mr. Tstoneste told Africa Renewal. Still, he adds, "Old habits die hard. There are those who refuse to pay for water and still go to the river." (excerpt)
Woking, England, Plan, 2004 Oct. 52 p. (Working Paper Series)Safe water and environmental sanitation services (by which we mean solid and liquid waste facilities, vector and pest control as well as food hygiene) are vital for people's dignity and health, and are especially important in ensuring the healthy development of children. The lack of such facilities is responsible for over two million child deaths each year. This working paper aims to support Plan staff by looking at the whole issue of water and environmental sanitation and enable the organisation as a whole to direct resources in an integrated and cost-effective way. By doing so, we will be able to play a crucial role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and in the 'International Decade for Action, Water for Life (2005-15)'. There is a clear link between poverty, poor water quality and a lack of environmental sanitation facilities. This working paper aims to position Plan's approach to water and environmental sanitation within the context of the broader international development goals andwithin Plan's own commitment to child centred community development. From this standpoint, it then looks in more detail at the main challenges linked to water and environmental sanitation and in each case details how Plan staff can put our approach into practice and the main issues to bear in mind while doing so. Further important issues to consider are also included. (excerpt)
In: International watercourses: enhancing cooperation and managing conflict. Proceedings of a World Bank seminar, edited by Salman M.A. Salman, Laurence Boisson de Chazournes. Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1998. 77-99. (World Bank Technical Paper No. 414)This technical report chapter addresses issues of management of transboundary watercourses (TWs) in Africa. Examples are given of a two-tiered approach that is being used in Southern Africa, Lake Victoria, and the Volta Basin. Stresses have occurred due to uncoordinated use of resources and imbalances in capacity. Lessons learned are identified for the three cases as well as the implications for developing joint management of the Nile River. Africa has an abundance of TWs and countries making mutually exclusive claims for international water basins. Sustainable development of the region's water resources requires joint management of shared river basins. The main issues of the three cases are access to and control over water resource use. Major stakeholders of the Volta River Basin are Ghana and Burkina Faso with 88% of control and major economic dependency. Water demand has increased. Lake Victoria is a source of survival for thousands of rural settlements in three countries. The lake ecosystem supports a variety of economic activity, recreation, and biological resources. The ecosystem suffers threats to biodiversity, water pollution, wetlands degradation, and damaging effects from the water hyacinth. Southern Africa is a water scarce region with many international basins. Regional issues in Africa are water scarcity, drought, and watershed degradation. The World Bank supports the development of joint management of water resources in these three cases, each of which is described. Balanced levels of knowledge and information are important among riparians in order to build capacity and reach achievable goals. Dialogue must be sustained and trust needs to be established. Mutual benefits attract riparians and sustain dialogue.
In: International watercourses: enhancing cooperation and managing conflict. Proceedings of a World Bank seminar, edited by Salman M.A. Salman, Laurence Boisson de Chazournes. Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1998. 65-76. (World Bank Technical Paper No. 414)This technical report chapter is devoted to a discussion of legal management issues of watercourses in the Aral Sea Basin: program goals, a 1992 cooperative agreement, regional institutions for reinforcing cooperation, and annual bilateral and multilateral agreements. There is a need to strengthen the water management legal framework. Donors could play a role in providing technical and financial assistance, as crucial factors in development and implementation of legal strategies. Other tools for improving transboundary water-related environmental concerns include the Nukus Declaration (1995) and the UN Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses (TWs) (1996). Central Asian states have not ratified the UN Convention but the principle of "the polluter pays" and public participation of all key stakeholders are important for developing strategies for efficient water use. The ecosystem protection approach of the Helsinki Convention would be useful for protection of the deltas of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers and for prevention of desertification in this region. The Central Asian Republics recognize the need to strengthen the existing institutional and legal regulatory framework and to adapt to new demands. However, institutional legal instruments need to be integrated. The countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan adopted an Aral Sea Basin Program in January 1994. The aim is to stabilize the environment of the Aral Sea Basin, to rehabilitate the Disaster Zone, to improve the management of TWs, and to build capacity to assist riparian states in cooperation and adoption of a sustainable regional policy.