Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Learning Journey with KIEMP

In our first post SSA: UHSNET would like to give a summary a learning journey the Network has undertaken in partnership with KIEMP (Kampala Integrated Environmental Planning and Management Project) and members of its Water, Sanitation and Environment Working Group. The goal of the learning journey was to view first hand the projects KIEMP has implemented in 3 separate areas around Kampala, to give members an opportunity to learn best practices in the area of water, sanitation, waste management, urban agriculture and infrastructure development.
Setting off from the Secretariat, the team headed to KIEMP sites. Along the way, the Programme Assistant Ineke, gave member a brief of the project background and modalities to set the mood for the deliberations of the day. KIEMP is a project that has run for a period of five years, as a partnership between the Belgian and Ugandan Government

The trip began in Bwaise looking at drainage systems that have been constructed throughout the community.

An 800+ metre Drainage system built by KIEMP
It was remarkable to see the change that the drainage systems had brought in place. the project manager who walked the team through the area informed members that despite still facing flooding the periods of flooding were less destructive as the drainage systems helped to channel the water out of the area after a while.

As the group walked through the community KIEMP pointed out the level of flooding that used to be in the area before the drainage system was constructed. Flooding in this area used to be so severe that is was common to have 3 or 4 feet of water, as the lines on houses indicate. Some houses had sunk into the ground, which is a swamp, and been abandoned.

House that has been abandoned and sunk into the ground
After viewing several more of the areas where drainage systems have assisted the community in reducing flooding, the group visited a pre-paid water meter installed by BTC (Belgian Development Agency). BTC is one of the key funders of KIEMP along with the government of Uganda.

Water and Sanitation Working Group listening to explanation of how the system operates

The area of Bwaise also suffers from poor sanitation issues: despite the existence of sub-standard structures that are used as toilets sanitation was found greatly lacking.

 Toilet in Bwaise

KIEMP, also built toilets that address the specific needs of Bwaise. The public toilets are controlled by caretakers and the community have structures in place to guide their use and sustainability.

Toilet in Bwaise that KEIMP built
KIEMP informed the group that the toilets they had built did have quite a high budget due to the specific requirements needed to address the flooding in the area. As a result the toilets are raised, but are also water proof.

As the group moved through the community, they also saw the much larger channels that have been built that subsequently feed into the channel that takes the water out of the community and into the main channels out of the city.
Wider drainage system that feeds into main line
The main channel, also known as the Lubigi channel, is being widened significantly as part of the Kampala Institutional Infrastructure Development Project with funding from the World Bank/International Development Agency.
Lubigi channel being widened
From Bwaise the group then traveled to Kisenyi II to visit an urban agriculture and infrastructure project. KIEMP has also been directly involved in improving key infrastructural components of these communities. In  Kisenyi II they have tarmacked some key roads.

View from Kisenyi II looking back on the city center
 One of the urban agricultural projects that has been implemented is the use of 'food towers'. These structures use small spaces to create large yields of vegetable and herbs. This particular project was implemented in partnership with KCCA's Urban Agriculutre Office.
Working Group discusses benefits of food towers
 Also in Kisenyi II, KIEMP explained their sack garden project.
Sack Gardens thriving in Kisenyi II
The final community visit was in Katwe, where KIEMP shared best practices in involving communities and community administration to best achieve results. In Katwe, the project was constructing drainage systems that infringed on peoples land. Community consensus had to be reached which required engaging the area as a whole to embrace its benefits. As a result of the drainage system and tarmacking of the main road, business and quality of life has improved in the area. Overall today's visit achieved its goal of educating members on the types of projects KIEMP has been involved in and also the challenges and successes in each area visit. SSA: UHSNET would like to thank KIEMP for taking the time to show the members of the Water and Sanitation Working Group their projects.

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