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Institut Polytechnique Saint Louis (IPSL) 2014

Assessing the environmental impact of Water Users Associations (WUAs) in East Africa

MEYER, Aline

Titre : Assessing the environmental impact of Water Users Associations (WUAs) in East Africa

Auteur : MEYER, Aline

Etablissement de soutenance : Institut Polytechnique Saint Louis (IPSL)

Grade : Ingénieur ISTOM 2014

Over the last 40 years there has been an increased uptake and development of Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) globally. These associations empower local communities to manage and finance their water services at a local scale. They are assumed to bring socio-economic and environmental benefits. However, evidence for WUAs’ overall impact on poverty reduction is controversial while the environmental benefits of these associations still needs to be demonstrated. WWF, having supporting WUAs in East Africa were keen to define a conceptual framework to assess the environmental impacts of these associations. This study critically reviewed the indicators used to quantify WUAs’ performance globally, using a Systematic Rapid Evidence Assessment (SREA). Further desk-based research was conducted to define the environmental impact of East African WUAs, environmental indicators that can be used to quantify this impact and factors likely to influence the environmental assessment. As a result, an assessment framework was built for East African WUAs, validated by interviewing key informants. The key findings from the SREA showed the main indicators used to assess WUA globally focus on socio-economic outcomes, water management for human uses, financial autonomy and internal functioning of WUAs. The environmental indicators defined to assess East African WUAs’ environmental impact are related to WUAs’ water management activities. It is essential to link the environmental assessment with socio-economic considerations as well as factors which could influence the assessment such as external stakeholders’ impact on water resources. For a full assessment of WUAs in East Africa, a transversal approach is required through the quantification of the environmental impact of WUAs and by conducting a qualitative assessment of the involvement of the populations in environmental conservation


Présentation (ISTOM)

Page publiée le 27 février 2017, mise à jour le 29 septembre 2019