Es müssen nicht immer Wasserleitungen sein
Ein Projekt der Universität Trier fand heraus, dass europäische Denk- und Lösungsansätze für die Wasserversorgung in Ghanas Hauptstadt Accra nicht unbedingt funktionieren
On 15 - 16 July 2019, the WaterPower Project held its final Symposium at Trier University to connect and reconnect with researchers from the fields of urban and human geography and political ecology, among others. The two days were filled with discussions and debates on current transformations in the context of uneven environments with a strong focus on urban areas in the global South.
The six sessions were linked to WaterPower’s research centred on the contested geographies of water in the urban context, drawing on in-depth case studies on urbanisation patterns, practices in the provision of water, uneven access to water, water-related risks, as well as conservation politics in urban aquatic ecosystems in Accra, Ghana. With contributions from invited researchers and insights into diverse case studies, the sessions provided a rich foundation for debates and reflections focused on socio-ecological inequalities in the context of urbanisation, land and water.
WaterPower's research was kindly presented by Prof. Chris Gordon from IESS, our project partner, during the working visit of the Minister of Education and Research of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ms Anja Karliczek, in Accra from 28th July – 1st August 2019.
The Minister was briefed on some research initiatives taking place in Ghana that are supported by the German Government. Beside WaterPower, the project TAKeOFF “Tackling the Obstacles to Fight Filariasis” and INFRACOST “Adaption of systemic concrete Infrastructure to environment-related challenges and risks” were presented.
The focus of her trip was the participation in the ministerial conference of WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use), a large-scale research-focused climate service centre based in Accra.
The Governance and Sustainability Lab and WaterPower welcomed Prof. Claudia Ritzi at its bi-weekly colloquium for fostering interdisciplinary exchange. Claudia Ritzi recently joint Trier University as Professor for Political Theory and History of Ideas. In her presentation she talked about online participation of young citizens and raised the question “Can the internet help mobilize young citizen for political participation”? Moreover, she induced a lively debate on the concept of the “critical citizen”.
Trier University WaterPower team in collaboration with the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (University of Ghana) organized a Science-Policy Forum on Urban Futures and Water Security in Accra between 1st and 2nd of April 2019. The forum brought together about thirty participants from academia, NGOs, government organization, research institutes, and international organizations to identify and discuss plausible or desirable urban water futures that are situated and adjusted to the specific Ghanaian social, economic and political context.
On the first day, WaterPower team members presented their different research findings. These presentations covered aspects such as urbanization and land use change, uneven water access in peri-urban areas, wetlands and ecosystem service, heterogeneous urban water infrastructure, and services as well as gender. On the second day, a participatory scenario planning exercise was conducted to collate information from the stakeholders' perspective on desirable urban water futures and governance strategies for water security.
From the scenario planning, stewardship and pollution were identified as the most important factors that could affect water security in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA). Four scenarios were developed and the most desirable is characterized by low pollution and high stewardship. This scenario was seen as utopian but will require significant efforts in governance, infrastructure, education, proper land use planning and human resource development to achieve. However, in light of the prevailing development challenges in Ghana, participants generally agree the most achievable scenario is illustrated by low stewardship and low pollution. In this scenario, the GAMA is seen as a city made up of people who have bad behavior towards the environment, however, systems are put in place to keep the levels of pollution low. Such systems include green businesses, water recycle and reuse.
15-16 July 2019 at Trier University
Save the date! Bringing together five years of WaterPower’s research across diverse sub-fields in Geography (environmental governance, development geography and urban geography), the symposium provides a forum to present our findings on the political ecologies of Accra’s waterscape.
Moving on from questions of socio-ecological inequality, access to and governance of water and exposure to environmental risks the symposium also addresses implications for an achievement of sustainable urban development pathways in the context of global agendas like the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.
We invite scientists that do research in the field of human-environment geographies to contribute to the symposium and share their research on sustainable urban futures and transformative governance.
Urban Water Management - A Critical Handbook presents the ongoing research of the WaterPower research group. With this comprehensive handbook, we aim to address practitioners, students, academics, policy makers and civil society organizations interested in exploring the socially relevant aspects of urban water research. We want to encourage a dialogue between the technical and social disciplines and focus on advancing critical perspectives on water access not only within academia, but also in policy and practice.
Click here to download the handbook for free.
Our students invite to their exhibition on the Ghana field trip of last summer. The photos will be on display from the 28th of January until the 1st of February in the hall of Sparkasse Trier at Viehmarkt, Trier. The students will discuss topics like urbanism, contested spaces and resources during the vernissage at 6 pm at the 28th of January with anyone who can come around.
The Governance and Sustainability Lab and in particular the members of the WaterPower research group welcomed Prof. Christopher Gordon of the University of Ghana at Trier University. Prof. Gordon is the former Director of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS), the main partner of the WaterPower project.
During his one-week research stay at the Governance and Sustainability Lab (15 - 21 October 2018) Prof. Gordon led internal workshops and participated in various meetings. In addition to that, he gave an inspiring lecture on “Charity at home: The University and delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals", which was open to the public.
The Lab is grateful for the visit of Prof. Gordon and the long lasting partnership with the IESS.
This summer Maria Kondra had the exciting opportunity to visit Accra twice. The first visit was linked to the WABES workshop which gave her a chance to get to know the project and meet biodiversity and ecosystem services experts from West Africa. For more information, please visit the Ghana News Agency (http://www.ghananewsagency.org/science/experts-from-west-africa-discuss-biodiversity-and-ecosystem-services-134373).
On 16th of July, after attending two conferences, Maria returned to Accra to continue her fieldwork for two months. The data collection started in Sakumono lagoon (in Tema) where she first met the key-informants with whom she already established good contacts during her previous fieldworks. However, she also interviewed fishermen and fishmongers, did group discussions with farmers and followed the everyday life of one the Forestry Commission officers. After a short trip to Cape Coast, where she visited the Centre for Coastal Management, Maria returned back to her second case study called Tsokomey, located in the Densu delta. In this case study, she mainly worked with fisher women who are harvesting oysters and employ sustainable community based management strategies.
Water and Energy are critical for human well-being and sustainable development therefore they play a key role within the Sustainable Development Goal process. The workshop currently starting in Accra, under the theme The role of Water-Energy interlinkages in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), was formed in cooperation between the Governance and Sustainability Lab, Trier University and the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS), University of Ghana. It brings together scientist and practitioners to discuss the synergies and interlinkages between the SDG´s 6 and 7, which focus on water and energy. Therefore, the workshop is designed as a participant led workshop and aims at bringing together stakeholders who may be focused on separate sectors and SDGs into dialogue with one another. The 30 participants do not share the same professional background but come from different spheres as the ministry, industry or NGOs. In order to simplify the interdependencies between the SDGs, the workshop is based on a “nexus” approach, focusing on water and energy within the nexus.