United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.

www.unu.edu

Quick Links

Employment

Procurement

Internships

Press

Explore UNU Bonn´s entities

Water Lecture: Perspectives from West Africa

On Wednesday, 13 July 2011, the next lecture in the series will cover the topic “Water, Culture and Development: Perspectives from West Africa”. The scientists Emmanuel Akpabio, Irit Eguavoen and Wolfram Laube from the Center for Development Research (ZEF) will reflect on the topic of water, culture and development, give insights from their field experience, draw conclusions and want to discuss with the audience if and how water culture and water development should or could be linked more closely. The lecture takes place 5.00 - 6.30 p.m. at ZEF (right conference room).

Background information on the water lecture:

Water, Culture and Development: Perspectives from West Africa

Water is a central theme in many of the world cultures. Water resources in their different forms are part of founding myths of societies, attract spiritual beliefs and are surrounded by local knowledge, norms, values, as well as clear regulations and even taboos that determine the way in which water is treated, distributed, shared or protected. Like in the realm of custom, tradition and religion, water has attracted widespread attention in the world of development. The creation of hydraulic infrastructure, the provision of safe drinking water supplies and sanitation, but also water management and the environmental protection of water resources are issues that have been the focus of development organizations and projects long before the World-Water Decade of 1990s, and are currently at the heart of many of the Millennium Development Goals of the UN.

While local culture, belief, values and norms are regularly referred to in water policy documents, water programs and projects often do not take stock of, document and engage with local water knowledge and culture. The implementation of water sector programs is thus often accompanied by unanticipated dynamics, such as conflicts, boycotts and local disengagement, which may be problematic for project implementation but may also disrupt the local cultural and social fabric. Dwelling on long-standing research experience in Ghana and Nigeria three scientists from the centre for Development Research (ZEF), Dr Emmanuel Akpabio, Dr Irit Eguavoen and Dr Wolfram Laube, will reflect on the topic of water, culture and development, give insights from their field experience, draw conclusions and want to discuss with the audience if and how water culture and water development should or could be linked more closely.