A team from Lancaster University’s ImaginationLancaster and the Division of Biomedicine and Life Sciences went to Luanda (Angola). They collaborated with the Catholic University of Angola on a two-day workshop with local stakeholders from the municipality, government, and NGOs. The workshop was a snapshot for identifying challenge areas in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Luanda and nearby regions. Participants developed and presented ideas for future projects. Additionally, presentations were conducted by Prof. Emmanuel Tsekleves, Prof. Roger Pickup and Dr Akan on WASH-related projects and Lancaster University initiatives to boost African innovation, such as the African Research Innovation network. Furthermore, the trip helped to pave the way to meaningful local and international collaborations, such as with UNICEF which has community engagement at the core of their practices on WASH-related projects.
The initiative was part of the WASHable project which aimed to start developing a community-based research network on water, sanitation and hygiene in sub-Saharan Francophone and Lusophone Africa. This project is providing a steppingstone for longer and deeper research collaborations that can be further strengthened and sustained. WASHable was a collaboration between Lancaster University (UK) and the University of Buea (Cameroon) and the Catholic University of Angola, and provided knowledge exchange and capacity building, addressing the need for African academic organisations to open their doors and work with, in and for their communities. You can learn more about the WASHable project and its outcomes on the WASHable website.