The training activities scheduled by the Project GoBenin began on March 14 in Abomey-Calavi. 23 beneficiaries - managers and technicians - will attend on-site training for 5 weeks to strengthen their knowledge on water basin and district planning, analysis of water demand, water supply and drainage systems, QGIS for water resource monitoring, water treatments and uses. The training session in Benin will be followed by 8 traineeships in Italy for technical staff empowerment on the topics of water infrastructure, lab analysis for water quality, production and management models shared from the Italian experience.
Benin is currently going through a broad transformation process of the water sector: new needs impose a modernization of the services based on the revision of national strategies for rural and urban water management. The town of Abomey Calavi, located in the outskirts of Cotonou, is characterized by dynamic growth trends in terms of economy and demography, favored by its geographical location and natural assets, which are likely to modify its traditional organization. These are the premises of the Project GoBenin, which has the general objective of contributing to the promotion of a better and effective management of water resources for all uses by transferring knowledge and sharing experiences in support of the social and economic development of the local population.
The core of this initiative draws from the recognition that water sustainability depends on its correct management, conservation and planning. The project aims to facilitate the definition of a feasible local framework for water governance through the production of guidelines on the optimization of water needs in each sector. In this process, training local technical staff and decision makers represents the element of sustainability that Hydroaid strives to set in action. Investing on inclusive approaches as a focus, all institutional and non-institutional stakeholders have been involved, together with the local community and their representatives, from the critical analysis of the state of local water resources in Abomey Calavi to the proposal of actions for the improvement of their management system.
The study of the context and the pressures influencing water availability reported that it is extremely unlikely that the increasing water demand can be tackled by specific solutions. Future policies and decisions should rather be oriented to the optimization of the uses of water resources in an integrated perspective, especially in non-agricultural sectors, so that sufficient amounts will remain available for ensuring the security of food production. The water-food-energy nexus is now at the centre of political agendas and balancing priorities represents the highest responsibility of decisions makers.
This is why the training model designed by Hydroaid is based on the direct application of the transferred know-how and empowers the involvement of local partners and beneficiaries, who are not only called to contribute to the improvement of the local water system but also expected to take on increasingly central roles for the dissemination of the acquired knowledge. This is the principle of the training-of-trainers methodology where beneficiaries become the front-row operators of a development process, thus creating a pool of professionals for the public sector that constantly contribute to expanding the reach of the Project impacts. Targeting beneficiaries in an effective way was critical for this purpose and functional to addressing all local interests and needs, stimulating participation and sense of project ownership that ultimately facilitate the realization of any cooperation effort.
The Project also includes the realization of a technical manual for local technicians and administrators and a set of participative actions and a Water Forum with the involvement of stakeholders from Benin and Italy to share experiences and proposals for collaboration in the water governance. Thanks to the strong decentralization of the country, the Project is able to operate directly with the authorities that are responsible for local services - the Town Municipality - and to engage them in a path of dialogue and innovation oriented to the resilience of the water sector in conditions of environmental vulnerabilities and massive growth. Benin has made great advancements in the field of water planning, but the introduction of new techniques, models and tools for measuring, monitoring and managing water is crucial. In doing so, the Project is expected to produce long term impacts on social and economic conditions through the improvement of the different uses of water resources - agriculture, energy, production and domestic uses.
Official project website
La nation: Sergio Galletta - Former les cadres et techniciens des pays en developpment
A mission for preparing the training activities programmed within the Project GoBenin “Implementation of national water policies in the Commune of Abomey-Calavi”, a EU funded cooperation initiative led by ENAS (the Sardinia Region Water Authority) was carried out from 24 to 28 January.
A team of members from ENAS, Hydroaid, ART Ambiente Risorse e Territorio and Centro Ricerche Economiche Nord Sud (CRENoS) travelled to Abomey-Calavi to meet the local partners and representatives from the University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), the Direction Départementale des Mines de l'Energie et de l'Eau de l'Atlantique/Littoral (DDMEE Atl-Lit), and the NGOs AID and GNO'NU with the task of defining the goals and methodologies of the training program on integrated water resources management that will be implemented in the months of March-April 2016.
The Project GoBenin aims to improve health standards as well as support the local social and economic development by transferring know-hows and experiences on the governance and effective management of water resources. The specific objective of the action is to realize a study and a pilot experience in the Municipality of Abomey-Calav oriented to propose a replicable framework of local governance.
p://www.artambiente.it/" style='transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; orphans: auto;widows: 1;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;word-spacing:0px'>ART Ambiente Risorse e Territorio and Centro Ricerche Economiche Nord Sud (CRENoS) travelled to Abomey-Calavi to meet the local partners and representatives from the University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), the Direction Départementale des Mines de l'Energie et de l'Eau de l'Atlantique/Littoral (DDMEE Atl-Lit), and the NGOs AID and GNO'NU with the task of defining the goals and methodologies of the training program on integrated water resources management that will be implemented in the months of March-April 2016.
One of the tools chosen for the achievement of such objectives is the training of technicians, a task assigned Hydroaid as Implementing Partner. The mission of January was the occasion for setting the methodologies and specific contents of the training on the basis of local needs: an introductory module addressing the topics of planning and water balance will be held from 7 to 18 March; this will be followed by specialization modules on urban drainage, water supply, wastewater treatment and QGIS software, for a total of 5 weeks.
The activity thus setup is designed according to the training-of-trainers approach and includes a final module where the beneficiaries will be involved as trainers in a restitution session on the acquired knowledge, contributing to the overall sustainability of the results achieved by the Proje
The participants of the recent internship in Italy realized within the Project "Governance dos Serviços Públicos de Saneamento Ambiental" produced a joint report about their activities in Italy and the state of sanitation in Brazil
The document is the outcome of technical visits, shared experiences and the expertise of10 professionals working in Brazilian institutions who attended an integrated training program by Hydroaid financed by ATO3. Starting from an e-learning course "Planejamento para sustentabilidade", the top qualified candidates were selected for an internship in Italy organized in collaboration with ART Ambiente Risorse e Territorio, and participated in a final workshop of dissemination in Sao Paolo.
by Chiara Brunisso, Ilaria Meggetto- photos by Agata Fortunato
In November 2015, Hydroaid – Association devoted to training on water resources and sanitation – led a technical mission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, aimed to carry out research activities in 3 slums of the capital: Addis Ketema, Kirkos e Lideta. This work is part of the Project “Sanitation Daily”, a 5-year initiative coordinated by the NGO Amref Health Africa and co-financed by the European Union.
Established as African Medical and Research Foundation in 1957, Amref is the largest African NGO, with Headquarters is in Kenya and 12 branches in Africa, Europe, Canada and USA. Amref currently operated in 26 Sub-Saharan countries and has 172 projects focused on mothers’ care, children’s rights, prevention of diseases, access to sanitation services, drinking water supply, training of local health operators.
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“Sanitation Daily” is aimed at facilitating the access to hygiene facilities and improving the management of urban solid waste and storm water in Addis Ababa. The explorative mission of November had the goal of collecting elements for developing proposals for a user friendly, labor saving and cost-effective innovative technology that will improve waste collection system in the 3 target areas. For this reason, Hydroaid appointed Agata Fortunato, Head of the Integrated Waste Cycle Office of the Metropolitan City of Turin, and Chiara Brunisso, graduate in Environmental Economy with experience in field data collection in Ethiopia.
The surveys of key locations for collection services and the interviews realized in loco showed a strong contrast between the urban context, characterized by tourism and trade (Addis Ababa is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, a certain reference for the Sub-Saharan region, and Headquarters of the African Union), and the slums, residential areas characterized by an extremely high demographic density originated by the urbanization flows from the surrounding countryside towards the capital.
Micro-enterprises are in charge of urban waste collection services which they carry out, without distinctions, in both commercial and residential areas. The latter represent a hard task because of difficult access and limited vehicles. Teams of 10-12 members collect waste products door-to-door twice a week from areas including up to 1000 households with an average population density of about 200-300 families per square km. In some areas there is a preliminary segregation of material that could represent a value in the market of reused products. In others, waste sacks are transported – on foot, by cart or with the occasional motorized vehicles provided by this Project - to intermediate transfer zones. Here they operate a general segregation of different materials, mainly plastic (because of the consistent use of bottled water), glass, WEEE, metal and cardboard, which are conveyed for direct sale to Merkato, a large outdoor commercial area – considered the biggest in Easter Africa – employing over 13,000 people. Part of these materials are stored and sold to foreign companies, mainly Chinese, for re cycling purposes.
Besides acquiring information on the current waste collection system of Addis Ababa, the research focused on the working conditions of employees. Even if they do possess some basic equipment for personal protection, operators only wear light tracksuits – partially because of the high temperatures of the dry season – and are constantly exposed to dust, leaks and metals that could be harmful for health. The most burdensome part of their job, they reported, is the lifting of sacks from households to intermediate transfer zones because of the lack of proper vehicles (such as in the case of hand push carts that require the joint effort of three men).
Therefore there is an urgent need for improving the working conditions of the collectors who currently represent a disadvantaged portion of society not only because of the exposure to sanitary hazards, but because of low salaries and social consideration too.
Project: "Governance of the Sanitation Services: Training and Capacity Building for Brazilian Public Consortia"
Starting frm Monday, November 16, the top 10 qualified participants (see ist below) of the distance learning course "Planejamento para Sustentabilidade" will engage in a traineeship in Italy within the Project “Governance of the Sanitation Services: Training and Capacity Building for Brazilian public consortia”. This initiative is realized with the financial support of ATO3 – the Turin Water Authority and it is aimed at improving the conditions of “saneamento ambiental” in Brazil through the empowerment of local technical and managerial skills – including planning, organization and technical capacities at lenght - in collaboration with the Ministério do Meio Ambiente, the Frente Nacional de prefeitos and the Observatorio dos consorcio Publicos e do Federalismo.
Following a preliminary meeting at the Headquarters of Hydroaid in Turin, the participants will get to know Italian leading institutions and utilities in the field of water and waste management, including SMAT S.p.A., TRM S.p.A., ART Ambiente Risorse e Territorio s.r.l., MilanoDepur S.p.A, IREN S.p.A. e EmiliAmbiente S.p.A. and ATO3 – whose experience will be presented and shared in order to define models of effective and sustainable governance of the integrated water cycle.
"Development is a local challenge that must be faced globally". This is how Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations summarized the meaning of the 3rd World Forum of Local Economic Development hosted by the City of Turin from 13th to 16th October 2015. In a context where "cities are merging and distances are getting shorter", most people still live within a 500 km radius for their entire life and struggle everyday for survival. This is why, insisted Ban, the local dimension remains of critical importance and future efforts must be driven by the goal of producing a greater enclosure rather than dispersion, thus retaining regional and global stability. In an open invitation to an audience of over 1,000 delegates from all over the world, the UN Secretary-General encouraged local authorities to reach out for their citizens and asked local communities to support their administrations for engaging in development processes, particularly in urban transformations.
As remarked by the Mayor of Turin, Piero Fassino, the III LED Forum took place on a roadmap of events marking 2015 as a milestone year for development: the negotiation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recently approved in New York, the conclusion of EXPO Milano 2015, Habitat III - the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development scheduled for October 2016 - and the COP21 climate conference in Paris in 2015.
Although local economy and development are the hot topics crossing these great international events, people are their true focus. People as individuals, members of communities and the ultimate stakeholders in the changes, are the source of innovations and, as the President of the Piedmont Region Sergio Chiamparino stated, "innovations are the only means to overcome the contradictions and discriminations originated by economic growth". The needs and sensitivities of local beneficiaries will therefore represent the pillars of an effective approach to development.
According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni, the role of small communities, schools and women is essential for stimulating the economy. Drawing from the experience of large cities so far, the Italian Senate President Pietro Grasso pointed at flexible models of cooperation that can foster inclusive development based on new public-private partnerships and modular solutions.
And if on one side Turin was hosting the III LED Forum, on the other it was also the chosen location for the international conference “Urban Africa” organized from 16th to 18th October by Center for African Studies (CSA) of Piedmont and the African Studies Association in Italy (ASAI) in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Politics and Society, the Department of Law at the University of Turin and the Department of Architecture and Design at the Politecnico di Torino.
In his keynote speech, Bill Freund from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) spoke at length about the new scenarios faced by cities in Africa, where even the common definition of cities is changing. “Urbanism”, he said, “appears irreversible as almost nobody is willing to return to rural origins
The people imaginary of ideal city, an ever changing concept, is being transformed to its very essence by new economic and social trends. Whatever the results of these processes will be, however, the impacts of growing cities on their surrounding areas (in terms of sustainability, food production and population welfare) should be a matter of preventive planning.
African urbanization, according to the accurate interpretation of anthropologist Maria Anita Palumbo, can be an incentive to "reverse the point of view" over the idea of cities. What can we learn from “Urban Africa” about our urban condition? We learn that cities are nothing else than bodies and goods, shaping the architecture, the behaviors and the objects composing the structure of our urban centers.
One of the most compelling issues emerged during the conference was the relationship between cities and markets: the colors, crowds and motion of markets make them and their 'unplanned spatiality' a core landmark in the African continent, from large cities to the semi-arid Sahel region. These are the aspects that describe better than anything else the evolving spirit of the urban context spirit.
Africa is moving from the periphery to the center of urban agglomerates, along the river banks or the river themselves, over barges full goods to be sold or exchanged. The African cities described as "instant cities" by Dr. Palumbo are nothing but photographs of a reality that will never be the same again. An apparently chaotic perception of urban spaces, this vision is an actual ability of restructuring the living environment, a real process of city creation.
On the other hand, Liana Ricci, researcher from "La Sapienza" University of Rome, aims to "reconfigure the city and orientate it towards a path of resilience". The ability of ecosystems to respond to stress or shocks, thus becomes the benchmark for adapting new infrastructures to changing environmental conditions.
Water demand in particular emerges as a binding parameter that will guide architecture and infrastructure design, with the goal of reducing social inequalities in the access to basic services, reinforcing resilience and expanding the involvement of local actors.
The focus rising from these two occasions – the III LED Forum and the conference “Urban Africa” – dedicated to dialogue on development points straight at the priorities which will have to be addressed by the 2030 Agenda: people, protagonists of rapidly changing scenarios. Economic development starts from the individuals living and defining cities: they are not only the ultimate stakeholders of development policies, but also the necessary active subjects generating them and, through the expression of their identities, in charge of those resilience strategies that will shape their future.
The Tyrec4Life’s results have been exhibited. The project concerns the use of bitumen containing crumb rubber from scrap tyres. The conference took place at the Castello Valentino in Turin, last Friday, 19th September 2015. The audience was attended by all the project partners: the Metropolitan City of Turin (project leader), Politecnico di Torino, Fiat Research Centre (CRF), Brillada & C. (a road construction company in Piemonte), Patrimonio Città di Settimo Torinese, Ceipiemonte (center for the internationalization of the Piedmont Region).
Tyrec4Life is one of the action plans co-financed by the EU LIFE+ Program, which is dedicated to support "projects that contribute to the development and implementation of environmental policy and law" (LIFE+ Program).
According to the guidelines of the LIFE+ Program, the project, which was 3.5 million EUR
worth, focused on three macro areas - nature and biodiversity, environmental policy and governance, information and communication – and its results effectively satisfied technical, economic and environmental parameters. Francesco Bonino, LCA & ELV Manager of the CRF, and Prof. Ezio Santagata (DIATI Department - Politecnico di Torino, scientific director of the project) explained the main aspects of the research, emphasizing the benefits and environmental performance of the End of Life Tyres (ELTs) grinded into crumb rubber and demonstrating "the multi-disciplinary nature of the results", as stated by Prof. Santagata.
Today it is possible to observe some real improvements in ELTs recovery rates: in 2008, despite the ban imposed by EC Directive 31, 30% of all scrap tyres were disposed in landfill, 45% targeted for recovery and energy, and only 25% for material recovery. Only a few years later, the percentage of ELTs collected and sent forwarded to recycling processes increased to 43% (data of 2013), while the remaining 57% has been converted to energy
recovery. Although a considerable stock (which will have to be recovered gradually) remains, the applications are numerous. Eng. Marco Benso, Technical Manager of the Roads Sector for the Metropolitan City of Turin, Marco Sala, responsible for road concession of Patrimonio Città Settimo Torinese, and Vittorio Brillada, President of Brillada Vittorio & C., illustrated them.
Several kilometers of paving have already been realized with mixtures of bitumen enriched with crumb rubber from ELTs: the result proved excellent properties of vehicle drainability, adhesion and sound absorption. Another advantage is also represented by the minimization of energy consumption in the phase of production. The are many examples in Italy and in Piedmont: the Borgaro- Venaria road, a part of the road from Baio Dora (Borgofranco of Ivrea), the road for San Giorgio Canavese, and the road for Settimo Torinese, two kilometers length.
Innovative technologies have been evaluated in the context of applications of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment), thanks to Prof. Mariachiara Zanetti, Director of the DIATI Department of the Politecnico di Torino, and her team. In this contest, the use of ELT is advantageous both to produce conglomerates for street paving, in line with the objectives set for this sector by the EU, and for the construction of an innovative system of Life Cycle Risk Assessment (LCRA), which takes into account the toxicity parameters (Hazard Quotient HQ) and carcinogenicity (Individual Life Excess Cancer Risk IELCR).
A discussion table followed these presentations and addressed the main prospects, employment opportunities and some criteria concerning the recycling of ELTs and its economic sustainability. Paolo Foietta, officer of the TAV Committee, asserted: "It is necessary to translate a positive experience into a process that can be quantitatively significant". It is therefore essential to encourage this market with a concrete assessment of the costs. Roberto Ronco, Regione Piemonte anticipated that "We must use the planning tools to grow the market for ELTs in order to compare the cost of bitumen enriched with scrap crumb rubber, equalizing the traditional one".
In conclusion, identifying the uses for ELTs will be very important. And, as Professor Maria Chiara Zanetti pointed out, "The law obliges us to grind the ELTs, then you need to find solutions. As an alternative to road paving, ELTs could be used for athletic tracks or football fields. What is certain is that, if you do not know the possible outlets, the temptation to landfill disposal is strong".
Tyrec4Life plays a particularly important role in the dissemination of these findings and, of course, in awareness raising over a very crucial topic. The recycling of ELTs has many applications and this is the reason why we can only agree with what was stated by Agata Fortunato, coordinator of the project and Head of the Office for the Integrated Waste Cycle for the Metropolitan City of Turin: "The extraordinary size offered by the road paving system is an opportunity that has no equals".
Tyrec4Life, the EU Project dedicated to the reuse of crumb rubber from scrap tyres for street paving, was concluded on September 2015 with a final conference at the Valentino Castle in Turin and the participation of all project partners: the Metropolitan City of Turin (leader of the initiative), Politecnico di Torino, FIAT Research Center, Brillada & C., Patrimonio Città di Settimo Torinese, Ceipiemonte. As part of the LIFE+ actions plans financed by the European Union, Tyrec4Life supports development and innovative policies for the protection of environment and, although scrap tyre products still have a limited employement in the reuse market, this project highlighted several advantages for incentivating their use, including considerably improved performances of street paving.
A recent report by UN Water calls for a global focus on wastewater management. With only 20% being treated worldwide, wastewater represents a greatly underestimated resource and an issue that has exacerbated more than one water-related problem.
The report recognizes a direct link between wastewater, energy and food and points at wastewater management as a key factor to achieve future water security in a world where water stress is projected to increase even further.
The full report can be downloaded from the UN Water Portal.