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 (Impresna Publica da Aguas) 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 below 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.


2014 Luanda Map Prices of Water

2013 Luanda Map prices of water

2012 Luanda Map Prices of Water
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 where the DW/Angolan Government-led community management system (MoGeCA) has been introduced, water can be found at affordable prices. The coverage of community management via MoGeCA has increased significantly in the fourth year of DW’s Voices of Citizens for Urban Change Program, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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.

Polio Vaccination Campaign

Campaign staff and volunteers.A group of volunteers, including DW staff, joined a three day Polio Vaccination Campaign in the municipality of Viana. The campaign was organized together with the Ministry of Health, USAID – US Agency for International Development, World Health Organization (WHO) and Africare.

dThe arm over the head position, as in the picture above, shows how you can determine if a child is under or over 5 years of age. If s/he can catch the ear, they are over 5. Then they don’t need the vaccine anymore. Many children and their parents are not really sure of their age. This is how you can test it.

The director of Africare, Erna van Goor, and the Administrator of Viana, Manuel Mateus Caterça were happy with the very successful campaign, and hope this will support Angola to receive their Polio Free Certificate before the end of the year.

Chapter on “Roque Santeiro Informal Market” in the 2015 Informal Market Worlds ATLAS

Now on our website, read DW director Allan Cain’s chapter on Luanda’s Roque Santeiro market in the Informal Market Worlds ATLAS (published by nai010 in March 2015).

The market of Roque Santeiro emerged as an important centre of the informal economy in Luanda in the 1980s. The market, which had been a huge source of employment within the city, was closed in 2010. Its transfer meant a loss of employment for stevedores and ambulant sellers who earned a daily livings there and local house owners who provided overnight temporary warehousing of merchandise.

Many workers have lost their livelihoods as a consequence, a scenario which may have contributed to increased levels of crime and delinquency in Luanda. The Government however has renewed its determined effort to stamp out informal trading in early 2014 by announcing a heavy regime of fines, not only on informal traders, but on their customers as well.

Read about the history and current situation on our website here.


DW visits two Integrated Housing Development Program sites in Addis Ababa

Women on construction site - housing background Yeka Abado

Women on construction site – Yeka Abado housing in background

Ethiopia has one of the lowest proportions of citizens living in urban areas: only 16.7 percent. However, things are changing and the country is now urbanizing at an annual growth rate of 3.49 percent. The combination of high population and urban growth rates, coupled with a high prevalence of urban poverty, has placed enormous strain on Ethiopian cities, especially when it comes to affordable housing.

DW’s director Allan Cain participated in an Expert Meeting on Housing Finance convened by the African Development Bank and UN Habitat on February 18 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The mission visited 2 sites of the Integrated Housing Development Program in Addis, one in the urban centre and one in the periphery. Addis’ current housing project has a goal of constructing 400,000 condominium units between 2010 – 2015.

For details and to listen to audio recordings taken during the site visits please read about it here on our website.

Ayat II - Baldaras - Housing

Ayat II – Baldaras Housing

Neighbourhood Data Collection Workshop

Santa Fe ConferenceIn November, Development Workshop participated in “Acting Locally, Understanding Globally – Workshop on Building an International Community of Practice for Neighbourhood Data Collection” at the Sante Fe Institute in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

We were very pleased to two of our projects: Voices of Citizens for Urban Change (supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Cities Alliance) and the GSMA Mobil Water Monitoring project.

A key finding we shared from DW’s programs: enabling local municipalities to co-own data from the beginning supports a sense of common ground in the defence of community interests in improving access to basic services, tenure rights and participative planning. Find out more here.

Supporting land tenure rights in Angola’s central highlands

Harvesting potatoes in Huambo, Angola.

Harvesting potatoes in Huambo province, Angola.

On November 28 Development Workshop and World Vision launched the Draft Land Management in the Central Highlands of Angola  in Kuito, Bié province. The project is the result of a recent agreement between the EU and the FAO to ensure the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure (VGGT).

10 countries are involved: Angola, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan and Swaziland. This project is financed with funds from the European Union (EUR 33 million).

The 3 year project in Angola will cover 3 provinces: Huambo, Bié, and Benguela and aims to empower governments at national, provincial and municipal levels, non-state actors and local communities to facilitate the recognition of land tenure rights, forests and other resources.

Find out more here (text in Portuguese only):

David Birmingham on Politics & Poverty in Angola

David Birmingham speaks at DW's office in Luanda, 2006.

David Birmingham speaks at DW’s office in Luanda, 2006.

As part of Development Workshop’s celebration of 25 years work in Angola, DW invited the renowned historian David Birmingham to speak at our office in Luanda on September 19, 2006. We recently posted an audio recording of his talk on our website here:

Professor Birmingham transformed the history of Angola’s last one hundred years into a series of stories situated at ten year intervals beginning at 1906. The intriguing lecture covered the early Angolan resistance to colonial occupation, the period of Portuguese settler land acquisition, the beginning of the liberation war, independence and the civil-war period. Angola’s history was presented from the different perspectives of the variety of actors that experienced and influenced the events.

It was a privilege to have Professor Birmingham help us celebrate DW’s twenty five year contribution to Angola’s developing story!

Allan Cain on The Challenges of Community Water Management in Angola

“The poorest people in Luanda are paying a quarter of a billion dollars every year to buy water…” DW director Allan Cain gave a presentation to the Angola Field Group on August 28, 2014, about the challenges of Community Water Management in Angola. DW, together with the government, has developed a policy of community management of water as part of the Angolan Government’s Water for All Program, called “MoGeCA”. MoGeCA promotes an approach involving local communities in the planning, construction and management of water points, as a basic strategy promoting local development.

An audio recording of the presentation (in English) can be heard on DW’s website at

A MoGeCA Manual on Community Water Management and a set of cards to be used at training have been published and printed. You can download them both a PDF (in Portuguese) on DW’s website at The Manual has become the Angolan National Policy on sustainable water management.

Allan Cain also showed a new video about DW’s work in Integrated Community Water Project in Angola’s Peri-Urban Areas.


Thursday, August 28 Presentation: The Challenges of Community Water Management

This Thursday evening, Development Workshop’s director Allan Cain will give a presentation in Luanda to the Angola Field Group on the topic of DW’s work in Community Water Management.

Angola Field Group

Having to walk up to 100 meters to get a bucket of water from a standpost, is considered adequate water coverage according to the Angolan Institute of Statistics. Photo courtesy DW. Having to walk up to 100 meters to get a bucket of water from a standpost is considered adequate water coverage according to the Angolan Institute of Statistics. Photo courtesy Development Workshop.

More that a third of Luandans do not have access to drinking water. The informal water market in Luanda, pumping river water into water trucks to sell and then re-sell in city bairros, brings in more than 250 million dollars a year, according to a recent study by Development Workshop(DW), a local NGO that has been working in Angola for 34 years. The Angola Field Group invites you to take a closer look at the serious challenges of Community Water Management with DW Director and founder, Allan Cain, Thursday, August 28 at 7:45 PM (please note our new starting time) at the Viking Club. Mr. Cain, an architect, urban planner, and international speaker, will be launching two…

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Angola’s Lobito Corridor: From reconstruction to development

Published by the Chr. Michelsen Institute and the Centro de Estudos e Investigação Cientrifica, this April 2014 Angola Brief reviews the state of the transport corridor which runs from the port of Lobito and the city of Benguela though the hinterland of Angola before it connects with the mineral rich regions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

The once important Benguela railway was destroyed during the war and has not been in use since 1975. With Chinese assistance the railway has now been rebuilt from Lobito to the border with Congo. Minerals are yet to be transported to the port, but the corridor is already having an impact on the lives of the communities living along the corridor and is contributing to social and economic transformation.

Download a PDF version from our website here.