Climate Change challenges on Urban Agriculture in Africa

Joachim Ibeziako Ezeji
Chief Executive Officer RAWDP

Around the world, hundreds of millions of men, women and children live in extreme poverty. An understanding of how the poor respond to economic crises has become increasingly important. A great many of these poor men and women in urban, rural and periurban settings base their livelihoods on ‘informal activities’-----smallscale cropping, livestock rearing, agro-processing and other microenterprises.

Poverty, caused by circumstances such as unemployment and dwindling household incomes have necessitated the rise of these various small-scale entrepreneurial activities in urban centers around the world, especially the third world.

The Informal sector in Africa
Example: Nigeria • Most populous country in Africa • Population (est.) = 140million • Urban population (est.) = 39% (1985); 43.5% (2009); 50% (2010) and 65% (2020) • 57.9% of urban labor force is informal • The informal sector employs twothird of all workers in Nigeria • Informal economy generates onethird of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 90% on new job creations • (Source> Federal office of statistics, (2004); UNDP, (2006)

Understanding urban agriculture!
• An emerging global phenomenon • Activity size ranges between 15% in Hanoi and 68% in Dares salaam • Mostly an informal activity in parts of Africa • Land sizes varies between 0.1 to 2hactares • Inputs includes land, water, seeds and fertilizer • Employs both men and women • Common crops cultivated are vegetables and fruits (some meat e.g. chicken) • Harvests consumed locally or sold in nearby markets • Saves family income • Reduces family expenditure • Improved nourishment to family menu

Water is central

Water, Water, Water!
• There has been the age-long need to balance the competition for water between different uses and users. • Policy documents on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), whether from governments or donor organizations, give first priority to water supply for agricultural production purposes in water allocation decisions ( WWDR2, (2006.232). • For example, the agricultural sector of the South-Asian region receives about 96 percent of the total allocation. • Even in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a much less developed irrigation infrastructure than Asia, 84 percent of total water allocation is used in agriculture. • The difference between credible high and low estimates of the water globally required for agriculture in 2025 is in the order of 600 cubic kilometers(km3)WWDR2 (2006; 233).

Water, Water, Water (2)!
• In South Africa; productive uses of water utilizes water services on a full cost recovery basis. • Unlike water for basic needs which is free (up to 6000 liters per household per month). • This is tailored towards demand-responsive approaches, cost recovery and sustainability. • Using water from domestic systems for productive uses is not always wholly beneficial as unplanned and unrestricted productive use of domestic water causes problems for users at the tail end of under-designed domestic systems.

Water, Water, Water (3)!
• That Climate Change poses a threat to water sources is already apparent through threats from increasing incidents of storms, flooding, drought, and the overloading water and drainage systems in many regions (IWA, 2009; IPCC, 2007). • With an expanding global population, comes the fear that consumption of water will reach new heights and that quality deterioration as a result of pollution of drinking water by agriculture, industry and private households will expand.

Case study (1): Cameroun
• Study carried out in 3 urban and peri-urban sites in Yaounde • City population =1.5million • 34% of population has access to domestic water connection and 47% use communal water points • No municipal sewer system exists • Household water from affluent HHs discharged via septic tanks and sinkholes • Others discharged via open drainage networks

• Wastewater draining from all sources finally flows into inland valleys, where wastewater agriculture takes place • Common crops cultivated are indigenous leafy variety as well as salad, leeks and lady finger (+ Horticulture)

Case study (1): Cameroun (cntd)
• Hand watering of vegetables was a typical practice • Farmers carry two 10 -15 liters watering cans on either hands • 40% farmers attribute use of wastewater on its abundance and proximity to farm • Others use it because it is free (15%) and nutrient rich (20%)

• • • • • •

Health risks observed with farmers -Malaria (59%) -Skin irritation (23%) -Skin ulcers (18%) -Bilharzias (10%) -Typhoid fewer (8%)

Case study (2): South Africa
• Study carried out in Bushbuck Ridge district on the border of Mpumalanga and Northern Limpopo provinces • Access to safe water of sufficient quantity a major problem in the area • Mostly because of water source constraint • Mostly vegetable gardens, fruit trees and livestock • Limited water quantity constrains harvest

Case study (3): Zimbabwe
• • • Study carried out in Bikita district Annual rainfall ranges 400mm to 700mm Productive water points gardens communally promoted to diversify livelihood strategies Value of production vary between US$2,500 and US$8000 per hectare Annual gross income for farmers varies between US$18 and US$80 per annum per family Water point gardens have good pump and water wells for irrigation Cost of pump or well investment is US$502
Many individuals cannot afford this amount

• •

• •

Case studies (continued)
(4) Accra, Ghana • Urban water supplies in Accra, Ghana by Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) • For every 100litres of water pumped into pipe network, only 50 could be traced back to the meter • Water lost to leakages but also illegal connections and meter tampering • Bills not well paid • Mere 40% of people in Accra have access to improved supplies

(5) Owerri, Nigeria • Population =1 million • Crops cultivated mostly vegetables, fruits and livestock • 75% were women farmers • 60% of harvests sold in market • Mostly on rented and untitled plots • Water supplies tapped from utility networks

Opportunities The setting allows easy access to ready market Creates employment for those involved Guarantees food security (Note: the poor spends 70% of their income on food)
Waste management e.g. Solid Waste (+human waste) to Compost; and use of waste water; all enriching soils. 1.5 liters of undiluted urine can fertilize 1 square meter of soil in background garden. 1.5litres is the amount produced by one adult in one day.

Water Supply Needs Feeding growing urban population • Water demand management issues and attendant tariffs • 39.7% (2008); 50% (2025); 80% • Options of developing alternative (2050) of Africa Urban water sources e.g. Rainwater harvests and Waste water • In West Africa, average food treatment supply (2,430cal/day/person) is • Prioritizing crops by matching below the optimum level of high value crops and liter of water (2,700 cal/day/person) per kilo of crop • Annual investment of • Cost of developing/investing in irrigation facilities US$4.7billion required to achieve food security in Africa • Pollution of water source by chemical fertilizers

Challenges (2)
Climate change issues
• • • • • Dependence on rain fed agriculture Vulnerability to and impacts of storm, flood and drought Water quality deterioration or persistence of pollutants Combines with population growth to exacerbate water demand Over abstraction of groundwater and saltwater intrusion in coastal and delta regions Over abstraction of surface water induces low flows which causes decreased contamination dilution capacity and thus higher pollutant concentration, including pathogens

Land use issues • Access to land and land tenure • Degradation of soil by poor soil or land management practices e.g. erosion • Effects of pesticides on land fertility

Challenges (3)
Diseases and ill-health • Crop could be contaminated by wastewater if not well applied • Nevertheless use of wastewater in arid and semi-arid areas will rise • 25% of vegetables grown in Pakistan were irrigated with untreated urban wastewater. And were cheaper than vegetables imported from other parts of Pakistan (Ensink et al 2004)
• 60% of vegetables grown in Dakar Senegal are grown with a mixture of Ground Water and untreated wastewater (Faruqui et al. 2004) • Infection with intestinal helminthes poses the major health risk associated with wastewater use • WHO (2006a-d) has developed an updated Guideline for the safe use of waste water, excreta and grey-water • Most of these borders on crop restriction, application techniques, and irrigation timing

Challenges (4)
For example: • In Owerri, most urban farmers live or operate on rented plots; this together with huge capital costs hinders the option of any sustainable rainfall harvesting. This is in the face of the reality that the city records an average of 2000mm of rainfall per annum. • Earlier findings show that rainwater costs about five times as much as metered water supplies in Sri Lanka, and that it takes 20-25 years to recover the capital cost of such investment in Namibia (Skinner, undated). • The apparent inertia and apathy in utilizing rainwater as an option in Owerri by these groups could therefore be appreciated from this standpoint.

Other Challenges
• Tension between water users and urban farmers • Tension between water utilities and urban farmers • Tension between Nomads (cattle owners) and urban farmers

Abridging the challenges
• Better access to credit and finance • Land titles • Enterprise development support • Friendly urban or municipal policies • Capacity building • Waste reuse best practices • Rain water harvests • Land use management • Creation of Graze lands or corridors

• More research required -volume of activity, socioeconomic benefits, waste reuse, irrigation • Climate change is indeed challenge because of its link to water which is all ready a competitive product for urbanization and growing population. • Thank you!

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful