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DW Angola — Fourth Year Interim Report: August 2013 to July 2014
Fourth Year Interim Report: August 2013 to July 2014
In its fourth year the program has achieved some significant successes and is generally on schedule, and on some milestones ahead of schedule. We have very positive developments with our growing and very active Partner Organization base that meets on a very regular basis, to address the issues faces by the urban poor in Luanda. But we share their growing concerns about the continued postponement of the municipal elections. We still await a clear time frame for them to happen. One major step towards these elections is the 2014 Angolan Census. This has happened, and is considered by all stakeholders a great success, both logistically and as a big step into further improving the ties between the government and the citizens of Angola.
A constraint that remains is the lack of quality and (timely) availability of municipal plans and budgets. The ones that are available often do not have detailed budgets, and many decisions regarding improvements and investments in municipalities targeted by the program are still made at the provincial level. The policy decision to down-load budget-making to municipalities in Luanda was made late in the reporting period and will be put into effect in 2015. Luanda’s municipalities will therefore acquire the same status as provinces in the rest of the country with relationship to budget management.
In the fourth year of the program:
- The Angola 2014 Census took place. The household enumeration was done in the last two weeks of May 2014. One of our former DW program managers and current board member, Santinho Ferreira had a key role in leading the process. The preliminary results will be made available in October 2014, but one important result is: the people participated willingly and openly. They understood and believed the need and purpose of the government with the census.
- Luanda continues to develop at a rapid rate. New roads, new schools, new hospitals, new shopping centres, street signs, traffic lights (that function), improved water and electricity delivery, it is all happening.
- As we explained in the last 2 years’ report: The government continues to reaffirm its intentions to move toward the creation of a new level of Municipal Governance (at least in Luanda) by restructuring administrative divisions of the city, arguing that this will facilitate elected “autarquias” (Autarquis is the term used in Angola to describe the municipal level institutions that are being planned as part of the state's decentralization strategy. Autarquis will be a new autonomous level of local governance).
- Significant progress has been made through the project to ensure that Municipal Forums are held regularly and annual plans and budgetary consultations include civil society and incorporate their recommendations.
- The online Municipal Atlases and Municipal Forums created by the current project are now all up and running, using the social media-linked platforms where the general public can find data on core poverty indicators. The on-line portals created serve as public debating spaces for the voices of the urban citizens and the voices of the local administrations to dialogue. Urban civil society has become again more articulate and effective in making their voices heard, through these municipal forums, community and social media channels and demands for more accountability on how public investments are developed and spent.
- DW has greatly improved its online presence, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the DW website. Any and all activities get shared as widely as possible on the website and via social media. As the coverage, especially in the urban area, of smart phones and internet access has greatly improved, and the costs of going online are indeed decreasing, this is our key strategy to reach the most people.
- DW continues to be part of many networks and gives technical assistance to the Ministry or Urbanism, in a research to establish what happened in the last 20 years, and where to go from here. DW has been asked by the Ministry and UNHabitat to lead the preparation of Angola’s report to Habitat III. This study reviews the implementation of Angola’s commitments over almost twenty years to the Habitat II Agenda signed in Istanbul in 1996 and the key “urban MDGs”.
- The MOGECA book is a manual on Community Water Management, developed by DW, which is now the Angolan National Policy on sustainable water management. DW works closely with the government and the support of all DW donors to implement the MOGECA method not only in Luanda but in municipalities across the country.
- DW WATSAN team has supported EPAL and the water and sanitation committees at 244 public stand posts. Some significant improvements to water coverage have resulted from the project’s partnership with the Luanda Water Company EPAL and the National Water & Sanitation Directorate (DNA) in urban bairros. DNA is the former DNAAS.
- As evidence of the program’s progress on the policy development, the project’s participatory monitoring of urban indicators demonstrates that service “coverage” has improved significantly. However the poor’s “access” to services still remains below the targets promised by Government through their ‘Water for All’ and ‘One Million Houses’ programs. The political will remains high, and so is the attention in the media, both state owned and private. DW has had a privileged relationship with Government institutions leading these pro-poor programs and has assisted them in becoming more consultative with communities and adopting participatory implementation practices.
- The project will continue to be implemented following the general program plan but as social media technology evolves, these ICT tools will be developed with an aim to reach the youth who are emerging as new and vocal actors in the urban scene and who are beginning to change the local political discourse.
The government plan for the all important local (municipal) elections has been set back to 2016. The delay in fully implementing the decentralization program is continuing to hamper the scope for this project to fully achieve Objective 2: to promote the use of community monitored poverty indicators as a tool for the preparation of annual municipal plans and budgets. However the decision to give Luanda’s municipalities enhanced budgeting powers is expected to be implemented in 2015. The ruling party received the majority of the votes in the last elections, but a significant power shift to the opposition parties was seen, especially in the urban areas. The delay in announcing municipal elections, especially in the urbanized areas, is the perceived result of this. And as administrators continue to be appointed, they will remain to be more inclined to look up to the party lines and politics, and (yet) less down to their constituents. The level of independence that municipal administrations presently have (especially with respect to the management of funds and control over formulation of major municipal development plans) is not expected to change until after these elections are held.
At this moment it has become apparent that the government will not call for local elections before the end of this current project. At the time that the current project was conceived municipal elections were planned for late 2012 or early 2013. The current Voices of Citizens for Urban Change program is being implemented at a crucial time and continues to be able to influence to development of urban policies at a time when they are being conceived, discussed and tested. Senior program staff members have been seconded into key decision making roles in the Government departments leading the decentralisation reform process.
Development Workshop proposes to Cities Alliance a strategy looking forward beyond the end of the current project in 2015 to build on the success of the program and the relationships built between musseque community networks, local government administrations and national policy makers to play an important role in the decentralisation reform process that is underway. City Alliance members such as SDI and UCLG and the southern country partners Brazil, and South Africa and programs implemented in Mozambique and other sub-Saharan Africa countries can offer valuable experiences at this crucial time of decision-making in Angola.
Selected Highlights from the Report
A major Project objective has been to influence public policy through the participatory monitoring of the MDG urban poverty indicators.
Here are some examples of our baseline diagnostic studies and MDG maps.
The price of water in Luanda
The most important map for us is always the price of water. As the water market is still highly privatized, especially in the areas with bad or no ‘normal’ access to water from EPAL at home. This means that water becomes a commodity that is traded, and the more distance there is between the source of water and the house, the higher the prices. In many of the high density areas there is no functional household water system. And roads are too small for tank-trucks with water. Water is transported by the women and girls in buckets and bidons, or delivered by boys with carry-alls.
The maps show the variation of water prices across the city of Luanda based on a 20 liter bidon or bucket which is the common measure of sale at community stand posts or at the water tanks of private sellers. It can be seen that there is still a wide variation in water prices and that water is still a major financial burden on families in some parts of the city. However in areas that the project has introduced the community management system that water can be found at affordable prices. The coverage of the community management MoGeCA has increased significantly in the fourth year of the program.
Looking at the 3 years we have mapped, we can see shifts in the prices and the most expensive locations. This clearly indicates the improvements reached in some areas, and the deterioration in other areas. One main pipe burst, or a road blocked, or a heavy rainy season (like this last year) can influence the access to water for tens of thousands of people.
Sanitation remains a major challenge in the city of Luanda.
Household solid waste collection has improved progressively across the city and neighborhood collective containers have been provided across the city for night-time pickup and removal. Household pickup was a goal set by the provincial sanitation company but has not been introduced on a wide scale as yet. Rubbish container removal from musseque zones remains a problem, particularly in the rainy season. As explained last year: There has been no substantial new investment in the city centre’s sewage system, but there is some improvements in keeping the canals empty from solid waste. Luanda has no sewage treatment plant and both grey water (rain) and black-water (containing fecal and other contaminants) are fed into the same system that was inherited from colonial times.
Development Workshop has promoted improved household latrines as an intermediary solution for peri-urban and informal settlements. Work still needs to be done on sludge removal systems for septic tanks and latrines. ELISAL, Luanda’s sanitation company still has inadequate capacity to deal with pit-emptying. Flooding and storm water run-off remains a serious problem every year in Luanda. Civil works on a storm water channel management system progresses slowly. The problem is exacerbated by the use of water channels for depositing rubbish during the dry season causing flooding at the beginning of every rainy season. The project has encouraged the discussion of these issues in the Municipal Forums and CAVS. Community water committees and ACAs promote the concepts of “community lead total sanitation (CLTS)” and social mobilizers and water caretakers have been trained in CLTS tools and social marketing.
Analysis of the Land Tenure Issue
The State has failed to produce sufficient sites and serviced plots of land with secure tenure to meet the needs of large segment of the population who in 2014 still cannot use their untitled land to guarantee bank mortgages. The 2013 study shows that the only municipality where land tenure security has increased over previous years in Viana where the Government has undertaken new housing investments and where land reserved have been created.
Development Workshop continues to advocate on land tenure issues with the aim of piloting good practices at the Municipal Administration level and promote the adoption of international land rights policies at the national level. Development Workshop has participated in the Tenure Security Facility Southern Africa project, supported by Cities Alliance and Urban LandMark. DW has (done) several Land Tenure Projects. Data and information coming from these programs are always shared with the stakeholders.
DW continued to give workshops, training, meetings, Open Space sessions, talks, debates, Social Mobilizing activities, Technical Assistance. Some examples: Together with our ACOs (Active Citizens Organization) our Partner Organizations, we held many different activities including 3 day Workshop on decentralization, planning and participatory budgetingCSO participation in communal and municipal CACS meetings; Forums; Civil Society Organizations like APRODEC, ANAKIKOLO, and ANAC, convened regularly in CACS meetings. In Cazenga and Sambizanga 8 organizations supported by the program regularly participate in CACS meetings for information dissemination and to collect contributions for upcoming agendas.
During the reporting period several municipal and communal forums were held in all the municipalities. Community groups and associations engaged amongst themselves to discuss ways of building synergies and agree on best strategies to engage with service providers and the various provincial and central government working commissions that have been working in the respective municipalities.
The combination of all these meetings, workshops and trainings gives a constant sharing of information and raising of expectations between stakeholders, and keeps the pressure on all of them to perform their duties. The DW staff regularly gives presentations to different stakeholders at different levels. You can find many examples on the DW website http://www.dw.angonet.org/content/forums
All debates can be found on: http://www.dw.angonet.org/content/friday-debates
The Online Municipal Forum
The online Urban Forum is the interactive forum on 3 of the Municipalities and contains also a lot of information on Luanda at large. We keep feeding new information to the sites, to keep them up to date and to become the one stop shop for up to date action oriented data. See http://forum.angonet.org/forum
Municipal Profiles in the Municipal Atlases and the Online Municipal Forum
New versions of the Atlases have been published in 2013 and 2014. We now have the Viana and Cacuaco Municipal Atlases and Posters. See http://www.dw.angonet.org/content/books-dw
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