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Showing posts with label Water. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Water. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

African institute graduates 3rd cohort on water, energy - NaijaAgroNet

The Pan African University Institute for Water and Energy Sciences including Climate Change (PAUWES) celebrated the third graduating class of both the engineering and policy tracks of our Masters programmes in Water and Energy, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The graduating class made up of 79 students from across the African continent, received their diplomas during a ceremony at the University of Tlemcen. The graduating students and their guests were addressed by official representatives and dignitaries from the Algerian government from across Africa and Europe, including Her Excellency Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, the African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST), Mr. Ali Benyaiche, the Governor of the Wilaya of Tlemcen, and Her Excellency Ulrike Knotz, the German Ambassador to Algeria.

This year’s graduating students are about to constitute the next generation of engineers and policymakers committed to addressing the issues critical to Africa’s sustainable development. PAUWES graduates have not only successfully completed their coursework requirements, they have conducted practice-oriented research for their master theses that address the water, energy, and climate change challenges facing Africa and elsewhere. 


Additionally, they completed international internships in the private and public sectors at renowned research institutions across Africa and beyond, gaining a transcontinental perspective of those same challenges. 

During the graduation ceremony, H.E. Prof. Sarah ANYANG AGBOR said: “I would like to congratulate you on your efforts and for upholding the core values of our continent. I wish you the best in your future endeavours. As a mother, let me advise you to always remember that in real life, every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. So always strive to graduate in every decision or activity you make. I am proud of you, we are proud of You, Africa is proud of You!”.

The graduating cohort represents and fulfils one of the key objectives of the Pan African University (PAU) and PAUWES—which is to foster an African learning environment of the most qualified and motivated scholars while revitalising and nurturing the quality of African higher education. The Class of 2018 has students from twenty African Union member states with all regions of the African continent represented. This diverse cohort of students have had the opportunity to study, being taught by and international faculty coming from four continents. Supported by the University of Tlemcen and the key thematic partner Germany, Prof. Abdellatif Zerga, Director of PAUWES, is confident: “The students of the Class of 2018 are well positioned to become change makers in public administration, policy-making, research, technology, private enterprise, and civil society.”

The PAUWES 2018 Class Booklet showcases this year’s graduates, and PAUWES is pleased to invite future employers to meet them.

PAUWES has also just welcomed the incoming class (students from 29 countries across Africa) and is proud to announce that thanks to a number of specific measures, gender parity could be reached, which is a huge achievement within our latest cohort.

Isaac OyimahGEE


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Friday, August 3, 2018

Aurecon’s Lloyd elected into Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee - NaijaAgroNet

Lloyd Fisher-Jeffes, a Civil Engineer with global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon, has been elected to the Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee of the International Water Association (IWA), reports NaijaAgroNet.

The election, NaijaAgroNet reports, recognised his outstanding role in coordinating a committee of 30 Young Water Professionals as part of the 8th International Young Water Professionals Conference (IYWPC), held in July in Cape Town.

Fisher-Jeffes will attend several global meetings where he will have the opportunity to influence how the IWA engages with young water professionals and contribute to the IWA’s current activities at an international level. Besides being able to network with various IWA leaders and committees, he will be able to contribute to best practice frameworks while developing his competencies as a leader and water engineer.

James Cullis, Aurecon’s Global Service Leader for Water, says Fisher-Jeffes’ election to the IWA’s Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee is a reward for his exceptional ability as a young professional in the water sector, as well as a future leader in the industry.

“Lloyd did an excellent job as Chair of the local organising committee of the IYWPC. He is not only a critical part of our Cape Town water resources team, but will also be a key player in the future of Aurecon’s water consultancy,” says Cullis.

“One of the takeaways from the IYWPC event was the urgent need for Young Water Professionals to have a seat at the table,” says Fisher-Jeffes. “We need to be more involved in planning the future of water infrastructure in our countries. I hope that my role as the YWP Specialist Group Coordinator will allow me to facilitate and encourage Specialist Groups to invite YWP’s to become involved in their initiatives,”

He also hopes his role will help inspire other Young Water Professionals to take a more proactive role in infrastructure planning.

“I want to motivate Young Water Professionals to get involved in designing the solutions of the future. Water resource planning typically has a 30-year horizon and the current generation will either benefit from or suffer the consequences of decisions made in the sector today. As under 35-year-olds, we will be leaders 30 years from now, so it’s important to get involved in the decisions that will shape the infrastructure we will be managing and operating,” says Fisher-Jeffes.

He is currently working on a project advising the City of Cape Town on its drought response and future water resource planning. Some of his former projects include flood studies and 2D modelling. 


“As the IWA membership includes environmentalists, sociologists, activists, scientists and engineers, I’m looking forward to being exposed to diverse ideas and innovative thinking on water management. The diverse solutions that are presented on this platform will help me broaden my competencies and become a better water engineer,” concludes Fisher-Jeffes.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Pix: Lloyd Fisher-Jeffes

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Water infrastructure intelligent, wise move for Africa

The water infrastructure intelligent would have effect on water demands  on the continent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The chief executive officer (CEO) for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa, Sabine Dall’Omo, gave this insight in South Africa, saying that the rapid urbanisation across the continent is expected to have effect on water demands, just as its estimated that by the year 2030, the world will need 40 per cent more water than its current accessible, reliable supply.

NaijaAgroNet also reported that compounding the issue, according to the UN’s Water for Life Report, is that approximately 300 of the 800 million inhabitants in Sub-Saharan Africa live in a water-scarce environment. While in South Africa’s Western Cape region there is a drought that one meteorologist referred to as a once-in-628-years weather event.

“Water is vital to human existence. We depend on the resource to carry out important economic activities and provide proper sanitation, which are crucial elements to well-being and health.  If neglected there will far reaching implications for government, business and ultimately society,” Dall’Omo.

Awareness about the importance and finite availability of the resource are crucial to widespread behaviour change and necessary to ensure environmental sustainability, and capacity for future generations.  Water education should not be restricted to scientific or factual knowledge but be holistic and include decision makers, water technicians, communities, stakeholders and media to promote systemic change.

When a resource is in such short supply, managing and producing it effectively is essential. Digitalization of the existing infrastructure is just one water wise move for both the public and private sector.

The water industry has been focused on ushering in a new era of water management, with an emphasis on automation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and more sophisticated data management and analysis software that enables the water end user or plant operator to have valuable, actionable information.

This proactive focus is driving digital transformation for both utilities and industrial plants, and enables them to not only detect and react to an issue when it occurs but also predict and prevent issues from occurring.

In South Africa, local municipalities are losing up to 36 per cent of bulk water due to pipe leaks and theft. Smart water management technologies and digital management systems combined with faster response times could dramatically increase water reliability and significantly reduce losses.

Prioritising the use of intelligent, networked systems will conserve energy, avoid water losses and curb resource consumption. By having a 360 degree view of a water system, solutions can be pre-emptively identified.

As we progress further into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, agility and inventiveness will become a pivotal requirement for the new world order. Climate change and global water shortages are a collective concern.  In the latest World Economic Forum Global Risks Report, water crises ranks 20th as one of the risks respondents are most concerned about for doing business in their country in the next 10 years.

To overcome this risk we will need to deploy major innovations. Imagine using 3D virtual technology to see a realistic representation of an existing water plant and overlaying how automation, drives, pumps, instrumentation and electrical components can best be implemented to ensure positive outcomes.

In 2016, Siemens and Bentley Systems, a global leader in software solutions for advancing infrastructure, initiated a strategic alliance agreement to drive new business by accelerating digitalization. Bentley’s advanced knowledge in the field of water infrastructure means that customers are able to simulate processes in water plants allowing for predictive maintenance, resource optimization and energy data management.

Another way in which Siemens is catalysing creativity in the digital economy is through a recently hosted 48 hour hackathon - #DigihackAfrica2018 - which brought together Siemens engineers alongside IoT and digital industry experts from IBM, IoT.Nxt, Atos and Wits University to work on ideas that will have the potential to disrupt the IIoT environment in Africa. 

The winning team presented a decentralised intelligent water management system. The fully automated water accounting and leak detection system is made up of intelligently linked instrumentation from Siemens, flow meters and pressure transmitters linked to a GPRS 3G module that sends signals back to an in-house cloud based system. Through a mobile app, water technicians and engineers on the field will have real-time monitoring access to the flow of water in any water infrastructure network on a device. The winning team will travel to Siemens HQ to further develop their idea and receive seed capital towards making their idea commercially viable.

The value of investment in R&D in Africa to find solutions to the water crisis should not be underestimated. Being able to have foresight about future problems and develop solutions, with a uniquely African view and relevance, will provide the continent with a competitive edge.

Ultimately, effective and smart water management will enable governments and utilities to provide a safe and reliable resource to its people. Improved water stewardship pays high economic dividends and technology can help to make this happen. It seems like a smart start and a step in the right direction to find sustainable solutions that work for Africa and in Africa.


Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

5m people to benefit from improved water supply, wastewater services


A US$210 million World Bank project will improve the quality of drinking water supply and wastewater services to 5 million residents in Baghdad who suffer from water shortages and the outbreak of waterborne diseases due to inadequate infrastructure, rapid population growth, and the inflow of internally displaced people, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Baghdad Water Supply and Sewerage Improvement Project, approved today by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors will support the Mayoralty of Baghdad and the Baghdad Water and Sewerage Authorities through improvement in utility management, and generate employment during the construction, operation and maintenance stages of implementation. The project will also help reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases and improve the quality of life, health, and sanitation.

“The recently completed National Water and Land Strategy (2015-2035) indicates that Baghdad will need substantial investments in its water supply and wastewater treatment systems over the next 20 years. Given limited availability of public funding, attracting commercial finance will be critical for implementing this ambitious strategy”, said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director. “In close coordination with the International Finance Corporation, this project will focus on creating a more favorable business environment, and on supporting the preparation of feasibility studies and transactions to enable private sector participation in the water sector.”

The residents of Baghdad deal with daily water service interruptions, especially during the hot summer months. Baghdad is one of the governorates impacted by outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Leakage from sewer pipes contaminates potable water networks and groundwater aquifers, which aggravates health and environmental problems. Contaminated water supply and improper disposal of sewage force families to spend a significant fraction of their income on medical treatment and to purchase bottled water. 

“Water supply and sanitation have immediate and major impacts on the quality of life of citizens”, said Thikra Alwash, Mayor of Baghdad. “We are committed to improving public services for the residents of Baghdad and to alleviating the burden households face on a daily basis in getting clean and reliable water supply. We are confident that improved access to these services can significantly strengthen people's trust and confidence in the state and contribute to building social cohesion when it is most needed”.  

“Major cities like Baghdad face a growing population but have inadequate water infrastructure and service delivery capacity”, said Abdulhamid Azad, Lead Water Resources Specialist and Project Team Leader. This project will improve the city’s water and sanitations services as well as support the Baghdad Water and Sewerage Authorities in improving their institutional knowledge and preparedness in relation to water security and urban water management. 

"Also, the project will finance capacity-building activities targeted to female technical and managerial staff to increase their professional skills and allow for career advancement within the Water and Sewerage Authorities.”  

The project will finance the construction of a service reservoir with a total capacity of 135,000 cubic meters, which will help the city manage its water supply better in case of climate-induced droughts. The project will also rehabilitate existing sewerage pumping stations thus reducing the public health effects of untreated wastewater discharged into the Tigris. The project will contribute to the reduction of physical losses by replacing about 130 km of water supply distribution network and the creation of district metering areas. 

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Friday, September 29, 2017

PAUWES graduates 48 on energy, water, climate change

The Pan African University Institute for Water and Energy Sciences including Climate Change (PAUWES) celebrated the second graduating class of its both tracks of two Master programmes  with 47 students from across the African continent, report NaijaAgroNet.

The graduating students, NaijaAgroNet gathered have received their diplomas during a ceremony at the University of Tlemcen.

Director, PAUWES at University of Tlemcen, Prof. Abdellatif Zerga, said this year’s graduating students join the next generation of African engineers and policymakers committed to addressing the issues critical to Africa’s sustainable development. They have not only successfully completed their coursework requirements, but have conducted practice-oriented research for their master theses based on a multitude of case studies that address the water, energy, and climate-related challenges Africa faces.

NaijaAgroNet reports that in order to gain a transcontinental perspective of those same challenges, our students have also completed international internships in the private and public sectors at renowned research institutions cross Africa and beyond. Besides focusing on their studies, the students of the Class of 2017—with the support of PAUWES—launched the first student-lead clubs, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club and the Community of Practice (CoP), which have contributed to the overall sense of community and leadership that our institute strives to promote.

This cohort of graduating students, NaijaAgroNet reports, represents and fulfills one of the key objectives of the Pan African University (PAU) and PAUWES, which is to foster an African learning environment of the most qualified and motivated scholars while revitalizing and nurturing the quality of African higher education.

Not only are an array African Union member states and eleven female students represented in the Class of 2017, but this diverse cohort of students have had the opportunity to study alongside an international faculty of over 100 professors and researchers from across Africa and the world.

Supported by PAUWES, the University of Tlemcen and our key thematic partner—Germany, we are confident that students of the Class of 2017 are well positioned to become leaders in public administration, policy-making, research, technology, private enterprise, and civil society.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

180m lack access to basic water, UNICEF

Over 180 million people do not have access to basic drinking water in countries affected by conflict, violence and instability across the world, UNICEF warned today, as World Water Week gets under way.

“Children’s access to safe water and sanitation, especially in conflicts and emergencies, is a right, not a privilege” said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF’s global chief of water, sanitation and hygiene. ”In countries beset by violence, displacement, conflict and instability, children’s most basic means of survival – water – must be a priority.”

People living in fragile situations are four times more likely to lack basic drinking water than populations in non-fragile situations, according to a recent UNICEF and World Health Organisation analysis. Of the estimated 484 million people living in fragile situations in 2015, 183 million lacked basic drinking water services.

In Yemen, a country reeling from the impact of over two years of conflict, water supply networks that serve the country’s largest cities are at imminent risk of collapse due to war-inflicted damage and disrepair. Around 15 million people in the country have been cut off from regular access to water and sanitation.

In Syria, where the conflict is well into its seventh year, around 15 million people are in need of safe water, including an estimated 6.4 million children. Water has frequently been used as a weapon of war: In 2016 alone, there were at least 30 deliberate water cuts – including in Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Raqqa and Dara, with pumps destroyed and water sources contaminated.

In conflict-affected areas in northeast Nigeria, 75 per cent of water and sanitation infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, leaving 3.6 million people without even basic water services.

In South Sudan, where fighting has raged for over three years, almost half the water points across the country have been damaged or completely destroyed.

“In far too many cases, water and sanitation systems have been attacked, damaged or left in disrepair to the point of collapse. When children have no safe water to drink, and when health systems are left in ruins, malnutrition and potentially fatal diseases like cholera will inevitably follow,” said Wijesekera.

In Yemen, for example, children make up more than 53 per cent of the over half a million cases of suspected cholera and acute watery diarrhoea reported so far.  Somalia is suffering from the largest outbreak of cholera in the last five years, with nearly 77,000 cases of suspected cholera/acute watery diarrhoea. And in South Sudan, the cholera outbreak is the most severe the country has ever experienced, with more than 19,000 cases since June 2016.


In famine-threatened north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, nearly 30 million people, including 14.6 million children, are in urgent need of safe water. More than 5 million children are estimated to be malnourished this year, with 1.4 million severely so.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Monday, April 24, 2017

Earth Day 2017: GROHE shares tips on water saving in Africa

The German leading brand in sanitary fittings, GROHE, has shared some tips on water saving on the continent of Africa, as part of the 2017 World Earth Day through its commitment to innovative design with a strong focus on sustainability, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This year’s theme for Earth Day is “Environmental and Climate Literacy,” GROHE said that for sustainability sake, is a corporate value with a tradition and a future.

GROHE, NaijaAgroNet gathered, has developed a wide portfolio of advanced product technologies and launched also a series of awareness campaigns and programs to change mindsets and habits.

Since 2009, NaijaAgroNet also gathered that GROHE has launched the Green Mosque Initiative in many countries, whereby the company partners with local entities to install water-efficient products in the ablution rooms of mosques to help the respective regions achieve sustainable reduction in water consumption.

The Vice President of GROHE Egypt, North and West Africa, Mohammed Ataya, said Muslim worshippers' ritual ablutions consume between 10 and 15 liters of water per day, stressing that every possibility to save water therefore has a great impact on consumption, asserting, “mosques play an important role in people’s day-to-day lives.”

The initiative, NaijaAgroNet reports, has reduced water consumption for the cleansing rituals by roughly 30 per cent which is good for the environment and helps cut costs.

“Water saving taps and showers and water saving flush systems are two of the main ways that everyday citizens can contribute to protecting the environment, and sustainability is one of the core values and a top priority in the creation of every GROHE product for bathrooms and from the design to development stages.” Ataya said.

In addition, Ataya said, quality materials, first-class design and advanced engineering all play an important role in saving water, citing for example, GROHE EcoJoy hand showers with the feature as an integrated flow limiter, an Eco button or spray dimmer which lets user choose when to reduce the water flow.

GROHE, says it agrees strongly with the Earth Day ethos that everyone needs to be empowered with the knowledge and the products to inspire action and protect the environment. Noting that the individual choice to reduce water consumption is only one of the many strategies needed to address the issue of water scarcity but it gives each person a role to play in protecting the planet.


Isaac Oyimah/GEE with additional report from APO
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

600m children to live with limited water resources by 2040 - UNICEF

An estimated 600 million children will be living in areas where water demand far outstrips supply by 2040, according to a UNICEF, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This, UNICEF also said reflects that 1 in 4 children worldwide will be suffering from water scarcity in the next 23 years.

UNICEF, NaijaAgroNet noted in the report entitled, Thirsting for a Future: Water and children in a changing climate, looked at the threats to children’s lives and wellbeing caused by depleted sources of safe water and the ways climate change will intensify these risks in coming years.

UNICEF Executive Director, Mr. Anthony Lake said that water is elemental; without it, nothing could grow.

“But around the world, millions of children lack access to safe water -- endangering their lives, undermining their health, and jeopardizing their futures. This crisis will only grow unless we take collective action now,” said.

According to the report, 37 countries, including Nigeria, are currently facing extremely high levels of water stress, which occurs when more than 80 per cent of the water available for agriculture, industry and domestic use is withdrawn annually. Warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, increased floods, droughts and melting ice affect the quality and availability of water.

For Nigeria, the greatest challenge, NaijaAgroNet gathered, is the availability of physical infrastructure to harness rainfall and ground water effectively.

UNICEF’s Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Kannan Nadar, pointed out that there are huge variations in rainfall between north and south Nigeria, making it all the more important to better plan and manage water resources to minimise the impact of floods and drought.

“In Nigeria, as we work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of reaching everyone with access to safe, functional, affordable and accessible water, we must manage water resources more efficiently to meet the needs of Nigeria’s growing population and economic development,” Nadar said.


NaijaAgroNet recalled that population growth, coupled with increased water consumption, and higher demand for water largely due to industrialization and urbanization, are draining water resources worldwide. Conflicts in many parts of the world also threaten children’s access to safe water. 

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Water, hygiene plus sanitation improve health & romance

Washing hands with simple “tippy taps,” made with easily-available supplies,
 and soap or ash reduces the spread of disease.
Nafisatu Yunusa is excited about change. The 23 year-old mother of three lives in Marafa, a village of just over 600 people in Bauchi State, northern Nigeria, where the dry winter season can be hard. Red dust clouds the sky, vegetation turns brown, and there's no rain for months. 


 
Like other rural communities in the region, for a long time, many people in the village of Marafa did not have access to running water or toilets. Without them, open defecation was the norm. Most households had lost at least one family member to preventable diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
Fields and villages were contaminated with feces, which was not only unsightly and malodorous, but was also extremely unsanitary. “Back then, our children were always suffering from diarrhea, typhoid fever, cholera," Nafisatu explains. "It was the biggest challenge we had, it was everywhere."

Information about stopping open defecation has helped to make the village a more attractive – and healthier place to live.
But the establishment of a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee, or WASHCOM, in her village, has transformed Nafisatu's life. The WASHCOMS have been set up in communities in the area under UNICEF’s SHAWN (Sanitation Hygiene and Water in Nigeria) programme, which is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Nafisatu works as a treasurer for the WASHCOM and is one of the nine Mafara WASHCOM members who have been trained to teach healthy sanitation practices to others in the community. “Now when a child goes to use the toilet he or she comes and washes hands – with soap, if it is available, or ash,” she says, “and that has contributed a lot to stopping the spread of diseases."  As a result, Marafa has become one of 351 communities that are now certified as “open defecation free” in the Local Government Area of Dass, in Bauchi state. Every household in the community has a latrine and nearby hand washing facilities.
And the SHAWN programme has rewarded the community with a borehole and hand pump, so that water is now easier to access, even in the dry season.

The United Kingdom’s DFID supported this UNICEF project.
The improved sanitation and easy access to water, says Nafisatu, has not only saved lives, but it also helped ease a common strain on marriages in Marafa. Among the good hygiene practices they have been trained to teach, WASHCOM hygiene promotion team members have shared their knowledge with women community members about menstrual hygiene management.

When water is easily available, good hygiene practices are also easier to implement.
Nafisatu recalls that women in the village used to stuff dirty menstrual padding under their beds, which often made the bedrooms smell unpleasant. Their husbands, recounts Nafisatu, would burn spirals of mosquito coils, hoping the acrid smoke would cover the smell. But sometimes, even that wasn’t enough, and Nafisatu said that several husbands even refused to sleep with their wives. 

Now that there is water in the village, and with women having learned about better menstrual hygiene practices, that problem has vanished. “The change has been so overwhelming,” says Nafisatu with a smile, “relationships are much improved!”
23 year-old Nafisatu Yunusa trains her community members 
on good hygiene and sanitation practices.
Photo credit for all pictures: UNICEF/Nigeria/2017/Stefan Heunis
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Friday, January 20, 2017

FAO tasks stakeholders to act on water scarcity

The Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, has called for a better water management and improved access for small farmers, reports NaijaAgroNet.

He underscored the growing water scarcity, saying its now one of the leading challenges for sustainable development, and that challenge is poised to intensify as the world's population continues to swell and climate change intensifies.

Competition for water will intensify as humanity's numbers exceed 9 billion people around 2050 — already, millions of family farmers in developing countries suffer from lack of access to freshwater, while conflicts over water resources already surpass those tied to land disputes in some regions, he noted in remarks made at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (19-21 January) in Berlin.

Additionally, climate change is already altering hydrological regimes everywhere, Graziano da Silva said, citing estimates that around one billion people in dry regions may face increasing water scarcity in the near future. These are regions with a high concentration of extreme poverty and hunger.

Agriculture is both a major cause and casualty of water scarcity. Farming accounts for around 70 percent of fresh water withdrawals in the world today, and also contributes to water pollution due to pesticides and chemicals. 


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