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ensureWEF

 

Enhancing Sustainability and Resilience of African Cities through a Water-Energy-Food Nexus (WEF) Approach (EnsureWEF)

A three-day scenario development workshop was organized from 6th – 8th July 2021 at CSIR-STEPRI Conference Room, as part of the implementation of the Enhancing 
Sustainability and Resilience of African Cities through a Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach (EnsureWEF) project.
EnsureWEF is one of several projects supported
by Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa (LIRA 2030) Programme, which is run by the International Science Council in partnership with the Network of African 
Science Academies (NASAC) and supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

In his welcome address at the workshop, the Director of CSIR-Water Research Institute, Prof. Mike Y. Osei-Atweneboana indicated that the aim of the workshop was to co-develop
scenarios with stakeholders in the water, energy and food sectors including government ministries and agencies, NGOs and stakeholders from the private sector. “We cannot
discount the significance of water, energy and food resources to our very existence, well-being and the sustainable development of our nations”, he commented, and noted that
analysing water, energy and food through the nexus approach is very relevant to the sustainable development of the country. He further recounted how the poor and vulnerable are
challenged in terms of access to WEF resources, pointing out also that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the inequitable access to water, energy and food in our societies,
especially among the underprivileged. He underscored the need to switch from the ‘silos’ approach to a nexus approach in addressing WEF security challenges in the city.
Ending his address, Prof. Osei-Atweneboana called for more collaborations to make significant progress on the project.

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                                                                                                                    Prof. Mike Osei-Atweneboana delivering the welcome address

Dr. Emmanuel Obuobie, Head of Surface Water Division at CSIR-WRI and Project Supervisor for the EnsureWEF Project, in his remarks stated that even though the nexus approach
is not well-established in developing countries, it is the current trend of doing things the world over. He noted that some infrastructure, particularly water infrastructure systems,
were initially built for irrigation but eventually had to add on domestic water supply as communities developed and populations increased. This he said results in shortfalls in the
operation of the schemes owing to the different operational requirements of the competing systems. “The nexus perspective is therefore necessary at the very beginning of various
projects, including the designing of the various systems to allow for effective and efficient management”, he noted.

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                                                                                                          Dr. Emmanuel Obuobie delivering the opening remarks

Presenting on the overview of the Project, the Principal Investigator, Dr. Deborah Darko, also a Research Scientist at the CSIR-WRI, indicated that the research is being implemented
in two African cities; Accra (Ghana) and Kampala (Uganda), because the cities are among the world’s fastest growing cities with annual growth rates of 2.93 % and 4.03 % respectively.
She also stated the overall goal of the project, is to enhance the sustainability and resilience of the two cities through integrated and participatory knowledge generation and through
WEF Nexus approach.

In her presentation, she noted how water, energy and food are important ecosystem services, and highlighted the pressure on WEF resources in cities globally arising from increase in
global population and the number of people living in cities. The project she said, seeks to achieve WEF security by cross - sectoral and integrated approaches.

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                                                                                       Dr. Deborah Darko giving an overview of the project at the workshop

 The workshop drew participants from stakeholder institutions including but not limited to CSIR-Food Research Institute, Ghana Water Company Limited, Water Resources
Commission, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Energy Commission, Volta River Authority, International Water Management Institute,
among other key WEF institutions, NGOs, private sector, etc. The workshop was very participatory in nature, engaging the expertise of stakeholders across the WEF sectors in Ghana.
The programme generally entailed presentations by the research partners and break-out sessions for group exercises by the participants. Discussions touched on policy, legislative
and institutional factors that influence access to, utilization, and governance of WEF Nexus in the city of Accra. The drivers of change for WEF, levels of importance and uncertainty of
these drivers were also discussed.
Issues bordering on synergies, trade-offs and conflicts on WEF resources were highlighted. Participants contributed immensely towards the development of scenarios for WEF in the
future. The need for stakeholder collaboration in order to maximize and effectively manage WEF came up strongly in the discussions. On the whole, the workshop was engaging,
generating insightful discussions and also led to knowledge sharing among the participants. 

 

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                                                     Work products from stakeholders’ group exercises        

                                                                                                     p6 

                                                                                                                                A cross-section of Participants listening to presentations by Research Partners

     
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                                                                Participants involved in group exercises

                                                                                                                         p8

                                                                                                                                               Group photograph of Participants and Research Partners at the workshop

 

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                                 Group photograph of Research Partners with Project Supervisor (first left)