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ATPS Programme on Water and Environmental Sustainability

Program Duration: 2004 - 2008
Program Director & Coordinator: Dr. Kevin Urama, Executive Director, ATPS
Email Contacts:

Program Objective

The ATPS carried out STI research capacity building activities under the auspices of its Water and Environmental Sustainability Program. The main objective of the program was to enhance the generation, use and communication of knowledge in driving environmentally sustainable use of water resources in Africa. The specific objectives addressed in this program were:

  1. To improve water management and conservation for poverty reduction
  2. To enhance the capability of the water and sanitation governance and delivery institutions in meeting their service delivery objectives in selected key countries
  3. To induce attitudinal and behavioral changes with respect to sustainable water and environmental management at various levels
  4. To harmonize national and regional water acts and environmental acts/policies to avert potential cross-border conflict
  5. To enhance knowledge exchange and collaboration between the different water stakeholders' in Africa
  6. To generate new knowledge and build capacity for efficient water management
  7. To improve Africa-wide policies on Water and Environmental Management through support to NEPAD.

Programme Purpose

The purpose of the program was to contribute to increasing knowledge on the use of technology for the sustainable management and conservation of water and to empower stakeholders at the grassroots and other levels by increasing their knowledge on the benefits of good management of water, sanitation and environmental conservation.

Programme Strategies

Four main strategies were followed to achieve the program objectives during 2004-2008. These included primary research and research capacity building at both institutional and individual levels involving research methodology training, surveys, and extensive data collection and analyses and synthesis of policy environment; dynamic engagement and empowerment of stakeholders at all levels including engagement in research design, implementation and results validation; knowledge generation, results dissemination and policy advocacy, involving scientific publications, training of journalists, artists and other relevant stakeholders in science communication, national dissemination seminars, etc; identification and prioritisation of future policy research gaps in liaison with stakeholders, including press conferences, policy fora, etc; and active research valorisation activities, including writeshops, regional and international conferences, publications in various media, and active advocacy for implementation of small scale technologies developed by the program researchers, engagement in international and global networks for knowledge circulation and building partnerships, etc.

Target Groups

The final beneficiaries of these activities include:

  1. Policy makers, planners and implementers, and other government officials;
  2. Active network members who took part in program activities and received support and guidance on research skills in this area;
  3. Poor households in rural and urban areas who were engaged in these activities, especially the main survey, policy fora and small grants results dissemination at local levels;
  4. Grassroots organisations and other local NGOs in rural communities who participated and will continue to participate in the dissemination activities;
  5. The International development partners and expert community who benefit from the presentation of the outcomes of the studies at international policy fora, workshops and conferences. ATPS network on water and environmental management has grown tremendously through this program, leading to joint research proposals with relevant science and policy research institutes and ministries in more than 10 countries in Europe and elsewhere.

Overall, the program funded 9 small grants case studies on various issues in 9 countries (including Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda); 5 regional baseline studies in 5 countries (including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria) and 3 regional policy review studies covering all the countries of the Great Lakes & Horn of Africa, the SADC and the ECOWAS countries. It has so far produced 64 publications in various media including popular articles, policy briefings and articles in peer reviewed journals. A book volume of STI for sustainable water and environmental management in Africa is in the pipeline. Other low cost technology for purifying waste water developed by a small grants researcher in Cote-d’Ivoire is also being followed up on for potential implementation in Abidjan. Recommendations of the Small Grants Case study in Lesotho are also being used to inform policies on Waste management in Lesotho. The program was coordinated by Dr. Kevin Urama.

Programme activities

STI Training and Sensitisation Activities

  • An international conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 29 November – 3 December 2004 (attended by over 100 researchers, stakeholders and policy makers from over 22 African countries and experts from European countries including UK, The Netherlands, France, etc);
  • An international policy forum in Enugu, Nigeria, 6 May 2005 attended by over 60 researchers, policy makers and water managers form Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana;
  • An international policy forum in Nairobi, Kenya, 18 May 2005 attended by researchers, stakeholders and policy makers from Egypt, Ethiopia Kenya and Nigeria;
  • 17th NETWAS regional water and sanitation seminar, Mombassa, Kenya, 5-9 September 2005. Attended by 49 Water practitioners and stakeholder from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, South Africa and the UK.
  • 18th regional water and sanitation seminar organised in collaboration with NETWAS, Mombassa Kenya, 4 – 8 September 2006. Attended by 54 water practitioners from 8 African countries and others from Switzerland, India, USA, UK and the Netherlands.
  • A writeshop on Maximising the impact of research through science communication, Naivasha, Kenya. 18-20 June 2007, attended by over 40 researchers, Artists, Journalists, and Policy Makers from over 14 African countries and experts from Europe.
  • 19th regional water and sanitation NETWAS seminar and knowledge fair, Mombasa Kenya, 26 – 28 September 2007, attended by 100 participants from 23 countries from Africa, America, Europe and Asia.
  • A pan-African Stakeholder Forum in Arusha, Tanzania, 12 – 14 March 2008 on Integrated Transboundary River Management Policy Development (INTREPID)
  • A training workshop (under the auspices of the Nile Basin Initiative) in Mombasa on 27 – 30 August 2008 where ATPS output on WES programme was disseminated

Knowledge Valorization Activities of the ATPS WESP

  • 17th NETWAS regional water and sanitation seminar, Mombasa, Kenya, 5-9 September 2005. Attended by 49 Water practitioners and stakeholder from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, South Africa and the UK.
  • 18th regional water and sanitation seminar organised in collaboration with NETWAS, Mombasa Kenya, 4 – 8 September 2006. Attended by 54 water practitioners from 8 African countries and others from Switzerland, India, USA, UK and the Netherlands.
  • Ninth Biennial Conference of International Society of Ecological Economics (ISEE) on Ecological Sustainability & Human Well-Being 15 - 19 December 2006, Delhi, India
  • 19th regional water and sanitation NETWAS seminar and knowledge fair, Mombassa Kenya, 26 – 28 September 2007, attended by 100 participants from 23 countries from Africa, America, Europe and Asia.
  • A Global Conference on Applying Ecological Economics for Social and Environmental Sustainability, 7 – 11 August, 2008, Nairobi, Kenya. Over 250 delegates and Nobel laureates from all over the world.
  • A training workshop (under the auspices of the Nile Basin Initiative) in Mombasa on 27 – 30 August 2008 where ATPS output on WES programme was disseminated
  • Workshop on Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in Freshwater programs in East Africa, 14 – 16 October 2008, Nairobi, Kenya in  collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)
  • Follow up workshop on Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in Freshwater programs in East Africa, 16 December 2008, Nairobi, Kenya in  collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)
  • Workshop on Global Green Economy Imitative (GEI), 1 – 2 December 2008, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Workshop on Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability in African Universities (MESA), 24 – 28 November 2008, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Workshop on Global Climate Change Adaptation Network in Africa (GCCAN), January 2009, Nairobi, Kenya.

Other Resources:

Water and Environmental sustainability concept note (pdf)

Publications from the ATPS WESP program (pdf)

Funded research and research teams in the ATPS WESP programme (pdf)

Participants of the Stakeholder Engagements in the Water and Environment Program (pdf)

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