Mombasa County is a strategic location within the Northern Economic Corridor (NEC), connecting to the rest of East Africa, and thus a key player in commerce and tourism. Nonetheless, the port city is facing many challenges such as water, sanitation, transportation and waste disposal.
To understand challenges and provide solutions, COMRED with other partners; County Government of Mombasa, eThekwini Municipality (Durban, South Africa), University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa), Macquarie University (Australia), Kenya Marine & Fisheries Research Institute (Mombasa, Kenya), ilab Africa (Strathmore University) and UN-HABITAT through the Miji Bora project aims to co-creatively examine the city systems and design practical pathways to becoming a smart and sustainable coastal city.
The project will examine the planning & governance processes related to energy (sources, consumption and efficacy), water, sanitation and waste disposal, urban environmental processes (ecological footprints), transport and digitalisation. The project will also conduct hands-on peer to peer learning exchanges between Mombasa and eThekwini Municipality (Durban).
Thanks to the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) through the Cities & Coast Project that gave life & support to the Miji Bora Project.
The city’s main challenges with respect to water and sanitation are inadequate clean water supply, treatment and distribution; lack of modalities for storm water management and recycling and; inefficient/ageing sewage infrastructure. Identify the sources of water, estimate supply coverage, analyse water quality (especially of the boreholes), follow the flow of wastewater to establish loses, and establish the social and environmental impacts of the solid waste disposal. Use the lessons learnt from eThekwini Municipality to come up with strategies to address the problem.
The peer-to-peer learning exchanges between cities is acknowledged as an effective platform for city officials and academics (ideally those engaging in co-learning transdisciplinary partnerships) to share solutions for common climate change and development challenges. eThekwini Municipality (Durban) has engaged in several successful learning exchanges within the Durban Adaptation Charter, and this has advanced climate change adaptation in the region.
Global warming represents one of the greatest challenges that the planning profession has ever faced. As we saw earlier, addressing the twin challenges of exponential population growth and climate change will require planning approaches which fall outside the usual neoliberal planning paradigm of economic efficiency and rationalisation. While this does not necessarily call for new institutions, it calls for new thinking. In view of this fact, this project will assess the city’s existing policies, development plans, vision documents and institutional arrangements in order to establish their relevance and effectiveness in the face of climate change.
The project will evaluate the need to utilise geospatial capabilities to help in the management of both natural and capital intensive infrastructure, enhance response to natural disaster and inform the sustainability management of a vibrant community with a strong and diverse economy. Among other specific activities, we will identify and map vulnerable areas, establish mechanisms of transitioning from disaster preparedness to increase effectiveness in coping with hazards. We will also embed geospatial technology and spatial prioritization tools in the planning and monitoring framework. The overall idea is to establish ways in which Mombasa city can be transformed into a smart digital city.
We will identity the sources of energy in Mombasa city, but more importantly we will evaluate its efficiency and conservation.It is an established fact that more reliable and affordable energy can help reduce vulnerability to acute hazards and increase communities’ capacity to cope with the impacts of those hazards. Therefore, energy efficiency has tangible impacts on resilience. We will characterise energy consumption in the city, identify energy efficiency gaps and potential solutions, evaluate costs and benefits of potential solutions, analyse implementation barriers and peak demand constraints and evaluate the codes and practices on energy regulations for building.