The general idea was to show the results and the outcomes of the WAVEplus training and cooperation activities in the four main partner countries Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. (South Sudan, which is actually also a partner country joined the WAVEplus program only a year ago which led to the decision not to collect any results from there).
Margraf Publishers together with the GIZ program administration decided to establish a participatory approach to compile a selection out the various «Good Practices» coming out from the numerous WAVEplus activities. To display the selected cases, an easy-to-use and attractive format was chosen to present the «Good Practices» in eight pre-formatted slides which – after printing them out – were put together as A1 format posters. These 23 posters were presented at the «Marketplace» during the «Good Practices» conference and are described here ›››
The central part of the conference was the discussion and exchange on the 23 selected «Good Practices» exhibited on the marketplace. In four rounds during the day, the presenter of each case had the opportunity to briefly introduce the 70 conference participants to his/her «Good Practice» case and to tell them why participants should visit his/her market stall.
The following «Marketplace» opened the Good Practices for the conference participants. They could visit those stalls with the Good Practices which they found most appealing and most applicable to their own situation and problems. Several visit-rounds to the marketplace gave every conference participant the opportunity to discuss and to exchange knowledge and solutions with the presenters and the other marketplace visitors on quite a number of Good Practices.
This approach was highly appreciated by all participants and the discussions and visits to the «Good practices» exhibited on the market filled this whole day of the conference.
The last day of the WAVEplus conference started with a Round Table of selected participants who gave their opinions and impressions from the «Marketplace of Good Practices» they visited the day before. The members of the round table expressed their appreciation of this initiative – it was emphasized several times that almost nobody was actually aware of the fact that there are so many Good Practices resulting from the WAVEplus regional trainings. One participant from Zambia said:
«I am so surprised of all these innovative approaches from our WAVE partner countries – I and my colleagues will be able to pick a lot of very good examples from all those good practices for our utilities».
The round table recommended that the collection of Good Practices should be published as soon as possible to ensure the distribution to other interested utilities. In general, all participants expressed the opinion that the opportunity to learn from each other was one of the strongest impressions they took from this «Marketplace of opportunities».
A MD-member of the biggest Kenyan Water Utility said when commenting that he was deeply impressed about the Good Practice of one of the smallest Ugandan utilities which had very good results which their approach how to reduce Non-Revenue Water and in general about the customer-oriented approaches various Good Practices demonstrated:
«Big can learn from small. We all can learn from each other. There are no big brothers any more...»
Beside the establishment of a more effective network amongst the WAVEplus actors for better access to the Good Practices, the round table also recommended that WAVEplus should get into joint contact to the AfWA (African Water Assiciations) and to display the variety of results and Good Practices during the next African Water Week in Dakar. All Good Practices shown at the conference were results of the regional WAVEplus trainings and the e-Learning courses developed by the WAVEplus program. One of the round table members clearly stated that:
«…the WAVE approach impressed me deeply. The WAVEplus trainings almost immediately identified the areas of concern in our region and concentrated in the topics CCO und NRW. This also avoided „ad-hoc“ training-programs...»
Participants also agreed that the Marketplace methodology chosen by the team of Margraf Publishers to collect and show good and unique results from the WAVEplus work was an appropriate one. Some voices:
«The enthusiasm of the visitors impressed me most...», «Great way to share ideas...», «This approach really encouraged to thinking „Out-of-the-box“...»
The only fact which was regretted by the participants of the round table was that an exposition of Good Practices has not been initiated before in the WAVEplus program.
After highlighting the WAVEplus history and the results which came out of this program, the last section of the conference showed some developments of interest for the water sector.
Andreas Schmidt of the NGO Borda demonstrated the «Decentralized Sanitation Approach (DEWATS)» and Patrick Onyango from the GIZ bi-lateral program introduced to «Sustainable Water & Sanitation for one million peri-urban Inhabitants». As the topic of «Sanitation» is becoming more and more in focus, conference participants appreciated greatly these input lessons.
Rashid Mbaziira of the GIZ/AMCOW program gave a very impressive overview about AMCOW‘s work in general and about the Climate Adaptation Measures in the Water Sector initiated by this program.
The last lecture of this day on the ICT developments in the Tanzanian Water Sector demonstrated the use of a free app for smartphones which – in connection with the built-in GPS and low-cost water testing kits – is able to establish a database of all water-sources and their water quality in terms of Nitrat/Nitrit and E. coli according to the WHO safe drinking water guidelines. For sure, this approach represents only a first step in a new era. Conference participants were happy to discuss the upcoming perspectives.
The conference was officially closed by Heiko Heidemann of the GIZ WAVEplus program and by Dr. Shija Kazumba of the Water Development & Management Institute and WAVEplus Focal Point Tanzania.