Regarding the topic " Economics and financing for innovative investments", my country Uganda and Africa at large present opportunities for private investment in water management infrastructure for example water storage tanks, small hydro projects, irrigation schemes and technologies etc. Uganda is one of the pioneers of innovative financial tools like mobile money/ using mobile phones as cash banks. Over 70% of the population have access to mobile phones and these mobile finance platforms. These could be good plaforms for investors to work with communities and small-medium firms to avail technologies and infrastrucre related to water resource management. What are the South American experiences can we learn from? What are the most affordable financing options available to fiance access to water, irrigation and small hydros?
The topic "Water and cities" is very key for us in Uganda. We have a growing number of urban centres and thousands of youth are migrating from rural areas to the city and or urban centres. However, the water infrastructure in these urban centres is not growing as fast. We have cases of no safe water access in new settlements and housing estates, just 20 Kms outside Kampala city. What are the South American experiences that we can learn from, here in Uganda and Africa at large?
The topic Water Energy and Food Security nexus, is very relevant for my country Uganda with approximately 75% of the population living in rural areas, and with country-wide access to electrcirty under 12%. The need for renewable energy schemes that utilise water e.g small hydro and mini-hydro projects will be crucial in faciliating rural electrification and sustainable development in rural Uganda and Africa generally. The major challenges that concern communities include lack of approporiate government policy to allow for partnerships between rural communities that have access to land and water resources e.g small rivers and streams, with private investors or developers, who have capital and technology, to offer affordable reneweable energy solutions at local level. The regulatory framework for development of small and mini hydro projects in rural communities should be decentralised to allow for smooth project preparation, planning, implementaion and operation.
1 year 9 months
The topic "Infrastructure for sustainable water resource management and services" is of interest to us here in Uganda and Africa in general. Alot of the agricutre in Uganda is rain-fed and is done by small holder farmers (farmers with land acrage less than 4 acres). Climate change and drought have increasingly posed challenges to our small holder farmers. We could learn alot from the South American experience on irrigation infrastructure, water schemes and water storgae infrastructure e.g dams etc to support growth and productivity in agriculture. Agriculure in my country employs over 75% of the population, and more than 80% of this agricultrue is done on small holder farms. South American experiences can be helpful to us. Does Brazil and South America in general have many small holder farmers? Is irrigation used widely in rural areas? Are there affordbale irrigation technologies and infrastructure that we can access, based on South American experiences?