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T HE M ILLENNIUM D EVELOPMENT G OALS AND THE S USTAINABLE M ANAGEMENT OF R IVERS Tyhra Carolyn Kumasi (Miss) 2 nd African Science Communication Conference,

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Presentation on theme: "T HE M ILLENNIUM D EVELOPMENT G OALS AND THE S USTAINABLE M ANAGEMENT OF R IVERS Tyhra Carolyn Kumasi (Miss) 2 nd African Science Communication Conference,"— Presentation transcript:

1 T HE M ILLENNIUM D EVELOPMENT G OALS AND THE S USTAINABLE M ANAGEMENT OF R IVERS Tyhra Carolyn Kumasi (Miss) 2 nd African Science Communication Conference, 2009 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

2 S USTAINABLE D EVELOPMENT Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (WCED, 1987). Sustainable water use is: the use of water that supports the ability of human society to endure and flourish into the indefinite future without undermining the integrity of the hydrological cycle that depends on it (Gleick, 1995). The availability of water in adequate quantity and quality is crucial for sustainable development. Water is at the centre of sustainable development and essential for poverty reduction.

3 T HE M ILLENNIUM D EVELOPMENT G OALS The eight MDGs break down in to 21 quantifiable targets that are measured by 60 indicators. Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Goal 2 Achieve universal primary education Goal 3 Promote gender equality & empower women Goal 4 Reduce child mortality Goal 5 Improve maternal health Goal 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria & other diseases Goal 7 Ensure environmental sustainability Goal 8 Develop Global partnership for development

4 GOAL 7: E NSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water & basic sanitation. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.

5 INDICATORS OF TARGET 2 & 3 Proportion of land area covered by forest. CO 2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP. Consumption of ozone-depleting substances. Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits. Proportion of total water resources used. Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected. Proportion of species threatened with extinction. Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source. Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility.

6 C HALLENGES OF S USTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Population Poverty and inequality Food and Agriculture Freshwater Forests Energy Climate change Water and Health Health and Air Pollution

7 W ATER Water is intimately linked to health, agriculture, energy and biodiversity. Without progress on water, the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be difficult if not impossible. Explicitly unless sustainability levels can be vastly improved, the Millennium Development Goal target to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe water by the year 2015 will not be achieved (Harvey and Reed, 2005) making the fight against poverty reduction a mirage.

8 F RESHWATER In a growing number of areas, limited freshwater resources are a major constraint on sustainable development, requiring difficult decisions regarding water allocation among various users. Nearly half of the world's people will experience water shortages by 2025.

9 SERVICES PROVIDED BY FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS ARE THREATENED Many freshwater systems are being degraded through excessive water withdrawals, water pollution and introduction of invasive species of plants and animals. Worldwide, about half of all wetlands have been lost and more than 20 per cent of the worlds 10,000 known freshwater species are extinct, threatened or endangered.

10 H EALTH AND WATER Over one billion people in developing countries do not have access to safe drinking water, and 2.5 billion lack adequate sanitation facilities. Most deaths in the least developed countries are readily preventable.

11 C OMMUNITY P ARTICIPATION IN S USTAINABLE D EVELOPMENT The attainment of a more effectual and sustainable balance between human and environmental needs for fresh water is one of the great challenges of this century but dependent on community participation. The objectives of this study was to highlight the attitudes of the catchment area inhabitants towards their involvement in the sustainable exploitation and management of the Barekese watershed as a natural resource. And explore ways of sustainably managing the Barekese catchment area to ameliorate the deteriorating water quality.

12 S TUDY A REA In Kumasi, the Barekese reservoir provides 80 percent of the total public pipe borne water to the Kumasi metropolis and its environs. However over the past two decades the watershed has seen persistent degradation through anthropogenic activities along its catchment area which also raises concern on the deteriorating water quality. Slush and burn is the main practice in clearing land for agricultural purposes, activities of vegetable crop farmers most of whom pump water from the dam for irrigation and the use of agrochemicals all contribute to the degradation of the watershed.


14 S TUDY M ETHODS Informal village appraisals were conducted in seven towns and villages of the catchment area. Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs) tools were used to collect the local perceptions on the involvement of the local communities in the sustainable exploitation and management of the reservoir, reasons for the non involvement in management of the reservoir and ways of ameliorating this. The PRA tools used were focused group discussions and participant observations. Additionally, various levels of consultation with key informants and desk study were used in gathering data. A survey involving 370 respondents was conducted in seven communities along the Barekese catchment area.

15 F INDINGS Farming was the dominant occupation (70.3%). Farmers farming within 5-15m of rivers were 57.3%. Most (49.5%) of the communities were farming on watercourses with reasons being scarcity of land, non payment of compensation and as a form of protest. Respondents (50.3%) indicated that they do farm, hunt and fell trees in the reserve.

16 F INDINGS Sources of energy Fuel wood only 48.6%Charcoal only 15.9% Charcoal & fuel wood 20.0% Electricity 1.1% All 12.2% Charcoal & fuel wood 20.0%

17 FINDINGS Farmers admitted using fertilizers & agrochemicals (34.1%). In all the communities % did not have access to Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pit (KVIP).



20 I S THERE A SOLUTION ? What can (we): Experts Civic groups, Policy makers, Journalist Academia. We can employ science communication to link science and policy in order to strengthen the decision making on a local level and achieve global results.

21 COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION Reasons for the non involvement of local communities Lack of knowledge and experience of local communities (51.9%) Lack of technical know how in natural resource management (38.3%) The local communities were not benefactor of the Barekese reservoir (9.7%)

22 WILL COMMUNITIES PARTICIPATE? Readiness of local communities to be involved in the Sustainable mgt of the reservoir Will not participate when involved (2.2%) Will participate when involved (97.8%)

23 C OMMUNITIES EXPECTATION FROM DEVELOPMENT The sustainable mgt of the Barekese reservoir Adequate compensation Release some of the land, adequate compensation & Access to potable water Release some of the land + adequate compensation Access to potable water Return our lands to us Relocation of the community Release of some lands back Involvement of community in the management of the catchment Scholarship for our children Alternative livelihoods Afforestation projects Access to free pipe-borne water and electricity

24 T AKE HOME MESSAGE 1 Projects are often designed without local input and consultation and efforts to gain local acceptance are sought later (Sharpe, 1998; Campbell and Vainio-Mattilia, 2003). This is not different from the situation of the local communities along the Barekese catchment area. Contrastingly, local cooperation should be central, not peripheral, as local objections can override the best conservation intentions. Joint objective-setting, planning and implementation can decrease conflict and thus reduce costs. Rather than viewing the local communities as part of the conservation challenge, to be educated, compensated or given economic alternatives, local priorities for conservation should be placed at the centre of joint conservation strategies (Vermeulen and Sheil, 2007).

25 Conservation is something that most people are willing to support to some degree. Even those penalized by conservation projects accept the need for conservation interventions more generally (McLean and Stræde, 2003).Working with the local communities efficiently utilizes both insider and outsider knowledge (Sheil et al., 2006). Local communities needs must be taken into consideration especially those that affect their livelihoods and resource base. Active participation of the affected communities in all stages of a project is needed for the sustainability of a project in question.

26 TAKE HOME MESSAGE 2 The refusal of government to pay outstanding compensation to the farmers who lost their farmlands has compelled most of these communities to farm on the fertile lands in the reserve and on watercourses. The issue of paying compensation to local communities who lost their lands under the provisions of the State Lands Act (1962) has to be amended. This is because the payment of compensation is not sustainable, every generation of the local communities will keep demanding for realistic compensation packages perpetuating a vicious cycle of poverty.

27 There is the need in making the local communities shareholders to the project in question. This could be in the form of dividends paid to the communities yearly or it could be channelled into developmental projects and the award of scholarships to brilliant children of the local communities. This will make the communities feel that they are part of development ensuring social equity and the ultimate sustainable use of the natural resources.

28 T AKE HOME MESSAGE 3 Researchers and the academia must learn to communicate the findings of science and technology in a language that can be understood by everyone. In view of the fact that science communication is currently used as a pillar for the democratisation of science in Africa. This is an colossal task but greater part of moving this continent forward rest on the shoulders of science and technology. However the findings become futile if the communication is appalling.


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