Eleven towns in the Lake Victoria Basin are now able to provide improved urban management and basic services following the recent completion of an integrated programme of training and capacity building which targeted municipal councils, service providers, NGOs, Multi-Stakeholder Forums and Community-Based Organizations.
The Training and Capacity Building Programme is a component of the Lake Victoria Region Water and Sanitation Phase I which is delivering water, sanitation and solid waste management improvements in 11 towns of Kisii, Homa Bay and Bondo in Kenya; Masaka, Kyotera Mutukula and Bugembe in Uganda and Bukoba, Muleba, Mutukula and Bunda in Tanzania.
The Training and Capacity Building Programme was launched on 1st March 2010 beginning with the Inception Inquiry phase followed by the delivery phase in October 2010. The inquiry process revealed the extent and major causes of deficiencies in water, sanitation and environmental management, and explored ways and means in which the town actors could engage in synchronized and coherent actions towards service improvements. Also, local town actors were assessed on their capabilities and effective participation in the dynamics of water and environmental services provision.
Based on the inquiry outcome UNHABITAT in collaboration with a consortium of four international partners, Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), the Gender and Water Alliance (GWA), UNESCO-IHE and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) designed a tailor made Training and Capacity Building (TCB) program consisting of training interventions that would respond to specific town, community, institutional and individual needs based on the reality on the ground. Network for Water and Sanitation (NETWAS) International, a regional capacity building institution successfully implemented the Training and Capacity Building (TCB) program in the 11 towns.
About 2511 people have received training out of which 1,685 (67%) are men and 820 (33%) are women. The training programme targeted actors from water utilities, district councils and local authorities, town engineers and heads of other departments, community group members/leaders and non-governmental organizations working in water supply sector, public health assistants, school teachers and church leaders.
Major outputs of the trainings were individual, organizational and town level Action Plans that were prepared by participants of the Capacity Development Interventions. Action Plans include a set of interventions to be carried out by using newly acquired knowledge and skills to improve services delivery and living conditions in the town using newly acquired knowledge and skills. It was envisaged that some of these Action Plans are short-term and produce immediate results, whilst others are more complex and require more time to be implemented. In all the 11 towns there are "champions" who are trainees already using new acquired skills to implement their action plans.
As the capital investment phase of the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Initiative Phase I, comes to a conclusion, UN-Habitat is confident that implementation of the Action plans will continue in order to improve the management of water services, protecting the water catchments, delivering better solid waste management services and promoting more effective governance arrangements to address the needs of the poor women and men in the 11 towns 'for a better urban future'.