Water for African Cities Programme
Water for African Cities Programme
Timeframe: 1997 - 2007
African Development Bank
Gender and Water Alliance
IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre
UNESCO: Institute of Water Education
Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
Water, Engineering and Development Centre (UK)
The Water for African Cities Programme aims to reduce the urban water crisis in African cities through efficient and effective water demand management, minimize the environmental impact of urbanization on freshwater resources and boost awareness and information exchange on water management and conservation.
The main objectives of the programme are to:
• Develop norms, standards and management tools for the water and
• Promote pro-poor investment
• Provide strategic support to pro-poor water and sanitation initiatives
• Monitor the progress towards the achievement of Millennium Development
Goal and World Summit of Sustainable Development targets relating to
water and sanitation
Focus areas of the Programme:
- Pro-poor Governance. The programme aims to increase policy makers’ commitment to implement policies that favor the poor by building the institutional and human resource capacity of key actors in the water and sanitation sector and thus enhance their ability to implement pro-poor policies and programmes. Key elements of governance framework are:
- Assessing the effective demand of communities for services
- Building concrete, project-oriented, partnerships between local
- governments and other service providers and community groups
- Developing innovative financing mechanisms that can be accessed by
- Developing toolkits for use to train and build the capacity of policy
makers so that they are able to effectively implement action plans
and outline specific investment proposals for African cities
- Improved Sanitation for the urban poor
- Urban Catchment Management. Urban catchment management seeks to protect and secure water resources by offering an integrated approach, linking water management, land-use, the environment and human activities and involving cooperative governance by local authorities and other stakeholders
- Water Demand Management. At the regional level, the strategy is to advocate water demand management at the country policy level. At the national level, the approach is to build on the regional advocacy initiative, directly with technical and other administrative staff. At the city level, water demand management will be scaled up and expanded within various water utilities.
- Water Education in Schools and Communities
- Advocacy, Awareness-raising and Information Exchange
- Gender Mainstreaming
- Training and Capacity Building.The programme targets utility managers in three specific groups - middle level managers, senior managers and policy and decision makers. Separate and sequential training is carried out at the three levels, with the aim of enabling the individual trainee an understanding of the subject area and his/her own contribution in realising an appropriate strategy to address it.
The first phase of the programme started in 1999 and ended in December 2002. Cities that participated in this first phase include Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Accra (Ghana), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dakar (Senegal), Johannesburg (South Africa) Lusaka (Zambia) and Nairobi (Kenya).
The programme focused on three inter-linked priorities:
• Introducing effective urban water management strategies in African cities
• Protecting freshwater resources from the impact of urbanisation
• Enhancing regional capacity for urban water management through
information sharing, public awareness campaigns, training and education.
Achievements of Phase 1:
- Implementation of Water Demand Management principles and practices
- Application of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) principles at
- Promotion of new investments for water in African cities
- Raising public awareness on urban water issues
- Introduction of Water Education in African Cities
- Training and capacity-building of utility managers
- Developing a global consensus on urban water issues
One of the most notable successes of the first phase was the wide acceptance of water demand management as the cheapest form of augmenting supply at both utility and national policy-making levels. The implementation of a catchment management strategy also provided a unique platform to bring together diverse stakeholders from the urban water and environment sectors and community groups into action-planning, monitoring and implementation of local environment management of water resources.
Phase I of the programme provided excellent value for relatively modest investments. With modest donor support, it leveraged funds within countries, demonstrated the potential to change the attitudes of senior decision-makers and strengthened managerial capacity in the participating cities.
The second phaseof the Water for African Cities Programme was launched at the Pan African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water in December 2003. WACII took into account recommendations from an Expert Group Meeting held specifically to develop the second phase of the Water for African Cities Programme. The meeting developed thematic priorities and an implementation strategy taking into account recommendations of an independent evaluation of the first phase.
WACII has a multi-faceted strategy to programme formulation and implementation. It uses a top-down approach to encourage and support national governments in the development of policies, regulations and legal frameworks, and a bottom-up approach to build capacity in local authorities, and strengthen relevant institutions through training programmes and other capacity building measures.
In addition to the eight countries that participated in WAC I (Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania), another seven countries have joined the second phase, Nigeria, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Rwanda and Uganda. The duration of the second phase was three years, 2004-2007.
For the more detailed information on the programme, including publications, news and events, visit the website of UN-Habitat.