According to UN reports, more than 700 million people, or 10% of the global population, still live in extreme poverty and lack basic security through access to food, water and sanitation. It is important to reduce the vulnerability of the very poorest in order to reduce their susceptibility to climate-related incidents and other types of environmental, social and economic disasters and shocks.
The work of the Mistra Urban Futures
centre at Chalmers includes a project related to marketplaces in Kisumu, Kenya. Many markets in Kisumu are vulnerable due to an inadequate infrastructure, fluctuations in the prices of raw materials, a lack of waste disposal and sanitation facilities as well as a lack of clarity in regulations. The impact of climate change also creates insecurity. The participants in the project are working with key stakeholders in the city to tackle these challenges and make the markets more efficient. Within the project, five market prototypes have been drawn up, such as a fish kiosk and a container market. The project is well on the way to making a difference in Kisumu, and its aim includes investigating how marketplaces affect people’s well-being and inequality between groups of poor people.
For many years Chalmers has enjoyed research collaborations with several countries in East Africa – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Mozambique – within many different areas of research. The goal of many of these projects is to tackle poverty and malnourishment. Chalmers researchers meet with researchers from East African universities to find common research interests. Chalmers can also offer supplementary laboratory equipment or useful modelling tools that can assist the research process. Chalmers has extensive exchanges of researchers and students with the East African universities.